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

David Owen: The migrant crisis gives sport a chance to show it can make the world a better place

Sports leaders are often keen to ascribe a higher purpose to the gloriously trivial pursuits to which they owe their positions. Hence last year’s agreement aimed at strengthening collaboration between the United Nations (UN) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC); hence FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s dogged attempts to use football to help map out a modus vivendi between Israel and Palestine.

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David Owen: Reining in Confederations should be priority for Carrard

I was interested to read Laila Mintas’s recent column on voting reform at FIFA. But while I can see much logic in the position she stakes out, and can certainly appreciate the democratic anomaly of China (population 1.3 billion) having the same voting power as American Samoa and Andorra (populations each less than 100,000), it seems to me there are more important matters to focus on before the introduction of Mintas’s Point-Voting-System can have any bearing on the calibre of governance in world football.

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By David Owen: Platini and the Sheikh. Marriage made in Berlin and Lausanne?

From the days of Mrs Astor’s New York, and probably long before, all networks have had their must-attend parties. The annual summer party thrown by the late Sir David Frost, the media personality, is a good example of the sort of thing I have in mind. This past week in Lausanne, there was no doubting the invitation that those hooked into the Olympic “network” most wanted to get their hands on: it was for the June 8 reception to mark the inauguration of the new Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Headquarters,

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David Owen: Blatter’s long goodbye

Not for the first time, he wrong-footed us all. When the invitation to a FIFA press conference thudded into our inboxes on Tuesday at 3.36pm UK time, I don’t think anyone seriously expected two hours later to be listening to Sepp Blatter, one of the great survivors of our world, setting out how he proposed to “lay down my mandate” as FIFA President.

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David Owen: Twitter and the fine art of football electioneering

It being general election week here in the United Kingdom, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the FIFA Presidential election – via the medium of the four candidates’ Twitter feeds. Not because I judge this likely to offer great insights into the identity of the eventual winner: the football officials in whose hands the outcome lies are assuredly far too high-minded to be swayed by anything as trivial as social media.

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