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

Asian political power play threatens a hard-won regional stability

By Paul Nicholson

The three biggest football presidencies in global football come up for election in 2019 with FIFA, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and UEFA all voting on new presidential terms. At present the only election of the three that will be contested will be in Asia – current president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa announced his intention to run again last week.

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Enemies of the FIFA state beware

Scales of justice

August 15 – FIFA has moved swiftly to counter criticism of its Ethic processes following global outcry over the removal of the word ‘corruption’ from its updated Ethics Code, and the worrying (if not frightening) introduction of a new ‘defamation’ offence, being widely talked about as a new law for cover-up.

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Paying lipservice? For FIFA equality is just a word

FIFA shadows

US striker Megan Rapinoe’s claim that FIFA is “old, male and stale” may have been a comment triggered by disbelief over FIFA’s final nominations for its top female player award, but the wider context does bear closer examination. A look at the top of the FIFA hierarchy shows that half its confederation presidents do not have competing national women’s senior teams.

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So what do we really know about Qatar that isn’t fake?

Qatar construction 2

July 20 – The G20 demonstrations in Hamburg against Qatar last Saturday were paid for by an Egyptian businessman, according to German reports. The fake event that in turn spawned ‘fake’ news reports is one of an increasingly distorting series of stories and revelations that make the real situation in Qatar hard to understand, especially when trying to put into context any impact the blockade will have on the 2022 World Cup preparations and hosting.

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Obituary: Death of a Jamaican

On Tuesday afternoon, June 6, Captain Horace Burrell, 67, passed away at the John Hopkins Cancer Centre in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He had been battling cancer for more than a year and succumbed to it while undergoing additional treatment.

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Zul lost. Abu Rida won. But what was really won and lost in this African carve up?

He never had a chance but just getting on to the ballot was enough. Zelkifili Ngoufonja (the candidate known as Zul) was beaten 54 votes to 4 by Egypt FA president Hany Abu Rida for the last position on FIFA’s Council. But if there ever was a victory that showed up the deep flaws of FIFA’s easily corruptible and barely governed election system (and the Confederation of African Football’s in particular) then this was it.

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Piracy in the Caribbean

The battle for political control of the Caribbean is entering a crucial phase, and it has nothing to do with football and everything to do with controlling the votes, the agenda and the money. At the centre of the power play is the CONCACAF-driven attempts to remove Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president Gordon Derrick from office and split the CFU membership.

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Inside Editorial: The Thinker

iwf rodin

Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’, also displayed in this week’s cartoon (or, at least a variation of it), best qualifies the goings-on in FIFA, where the top floor stays lit up, even late at night these days.

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Inside Insight: That Chung Thing

Ever since the Korean Grandee, Chung Mong-joon (lovingly called MJ by his friends) announced his candidacy for the post of FIFA President, he has been doing what he has done best in the past: throw stuff at people. Whilst “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” was his motto in May of 2009 when he supported Sheikh Salman of Bahrain against Mohamed Bin Hammam, his target, this time, have been broadsides against his former ally and ExCo candidate of 2009 whom he then fervently supported.

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