As football movers and shakers head to Angola this week for the finale of the African Cup of Nations, some will still be mulling the significance of what happened the last time many of them set foot on the continent early last month.
First Africa, now Asia.
As our exclusive story last week revealed, some of football’s six continental confederations appear to be exploiting the race for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to try to drum up some extra windfall cash.
It has been a dreadful start to the year for African football.
I was just settling down to write a column arguing that African governing body CAF’s decision to sign an exclusive sponsorship deal with Qatar 2022 demonstrated that FIFA needed to take a firmer grip on the World Cup bidding process - either that or simply auction the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to the highest bidders - when word of the attack on the Togo team came through.
Today I met a great football man. Easily done, you might think, in the city that is about to host the World Cup draw; the place must be swarming with Beckenbauers, Platinis and Beckhams.
“It was desert in July 2003.”
The Aspire academy for sports excellence – along with the city-centre skyline – is perhaps the most dramatic illustration of the pace at which Doha is changing.
What do the rugby sevens World Cup, tennis’s Sony Ericsson Championships and football’s Club World Cup have in common?