45 days to go to the AFC Asian Cup, UAE 2019

David Owen: In defence of Adidas

Oh shut up, silly woman,’ said the reptile with a grin
‘You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.’
From The Snake by Al Wilson

My social media threads at the start of this week were full of the sarcastic indignation that is part of the medium’s stock-in-trade.

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David Owen: FIFA – a glimmer of hope while rearranging the deckchairs

Working your way through the 240-page “superseding indictment” unveiled on Thursday by United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch by way of a powerful aftershock to the earthquake that laid waste to the FIFA Congress in May, it would be all too easy to form the view that we should disband FIFA and start all over again with governance of the world’s most popular sport.

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David Owen: A TV levy might be the best hope of avoiding a pharmaceutical free-for-all

As regular readers may know, I am sceptical about sport’s ability to bring doping by top-level athletes under anything resembling control. Equally, the spectre of a complete pharmaceutical free-for-all is, in some respects, so disturbing that I would concede we need to be certain we have exhausted all avenues before we all, to borrow a phrase used last week by Independent Commission chair Richard Pound, “go home”.

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David Owen: Why rising international TV money may mean it is time to turn the Champions League on its head

We may be heading towards a tipping-point in the globalisation of football. Actually, that is not quite exact: we may be heading towards a tipping-point in the Europeanisation of world football culture. What I have in mind is the point when the big European leagues – Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A – start to earn more from international rights to broadcast their matches than domestic rights.

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