Craig Foster and the Bias of the Australian Sports Commission 

It’s a FIFA World Cup year!

The Greatest Sporting Event on Earth is around 120 days away, and we’re sending the Australian squad for the fourth consecutive tournament after the hellish saga that was Asian qualifying.

There’s zero chance we win the tournament, but (despite all the naysaying) it really is remarkable that Australia made the tournament at all with the squad we have and the lack of support it receives.

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The Disgrace of Gijón and the 48-team FIFA World Cup

The Final match of Group 2 of the 1982 FIFA World Cup saw West Germany take on Austria in the city of Gijón, Spain.

Because of a quirk in the World Cup point system, the result of the game meant that…

1-0 or 2-0 to West Germany: Both West Germany and Austria advance to the next stage.

Draw, or Austria win: Austria and another team in their group – Algeria – advance, while West Germany are eliminated.

West Germany win by 3 or more goals: West Germany and Algeria advance. Austria are eliminated.

Carry the two... Yep... It checks out.

Carry the two… Yep… It checks out.

You can see where I’m headed, right?

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Most overrated moves in sport


  1. The Beatles’ musical talent.
  2. Jennifer Lawrence’s acting ability.
  3. Nutella.

Yes, many things in life are overrated.

People, it's just sugar, palm oil, fake flavour, and some nuts... let's dial our Nutella-Love down a notch, shall we?

People, it’s just sugar, palm oil, fake flavour, and some nuts… let’s dial our Nutella-Love down a notch, shall we?

Sports is particularly susceptible to this, as marketing departments and fierce loyalties converge.

Entire populations become irrationally certain that a particular player is the best, a certain team is unstoppable, or a particular league is the pinnacle of their sport.

But if we drill right down, we even find that particular moves can be overrated.

Things like…

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Ethnic ties have held football back in Australia

A few years ago at work I was asked to show around a new employee, a young Englishman named Michael.

We got to talking and it emerged that Michael was a recent arrival in Australia, and was here to play football semi-professionally. He’d come to Australia to study, but was also playing football for a Victorian Premier League club, who were paying him a small stipend for his work as a central defender.

Weird that so many young English people end up in Australia, right?

Weird that so many young English people end up in Australia, right?

I asked him to compare the quality of the play in England to Australia, and his responses were generally predictable:

  1. England has a higher overall standard of play.
  2. Australia has surprisingly good goalkeepers though.
  3. English leagues are quicker.
  4. Australians are more aggressive

His next point was the one that, I admit, caught me off guard:

  1. There is too much ethnicity wrapped up in Australian football.

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Dancing pixels and shattered dreams

Last night a glittering second half hat-trick from Alexis Sanchez saw Arsenal prevail over Hull 3-1, and left me buoyant. The world’s colours shone brighter, food tasted better, and I had a spring in my step.

Encouraged by their solid display, Arsenal immediately changed shirts and backed up for another match (a hugely impressive feat) only to be decimated by a Manchester City shaped steamroller, 6-0.

Shattered… vulnerable… I put down the PS3 controller.

And two minutes later…

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Go away, Gary Ablett!

Two days ago we saw one of the most incredible games in World Cup history, with Germany annihilating Brazil 7-1 in the Semi Final.

The game and its implications will reverberate for years to come. People will remember where they were when the Brazilians were humbled. Hundreds of millions of people around the world watched as a German team with cliche-levels of efficiency completely dismantled the home nation on one of the biggest stages possible.

Cheer up kid. Maybe you’ve got some German *ahem* ancestry…

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Why Garry Lyon is centimetre perfect

Being a sports commentator is a hallowed and sacred position in the Australian sporting landscape.

We have our preferred commentators, we have those we can’t stand, and we have commentary that becomes synonymous with moments in time.

Jesaulenko, you beauty.

Leo Barry, you star.

This, is a famous victory.

Oh it’s a wonderful moment in Kaiserslautern!

But I have a problem with Australian sport commentary. And it struck me during Australia’s recent World Cup matches, which I watched at 2am while involved in numerous simultaneous SMS conversations with friends also watching the matches.

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