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

Mihir Bose: What FIFA needs is not reform but restructuring

One thing that unites all the Presidential candidates is their promise that they can deliver a FIFA that will get away from the scandals of the last year and become an organisation fit for purpose. Yet reading their proposed reforms what is striking is how timid these proposals are. None of them go far enough. They will amount to cosmetic changes that will not produce the new FIFA we need.

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Mihir Bose: What’s worse, state-led doping or money stealing federation chieftans?

FIFA in its present form may or may not be destroyed, as the US Justice Department is clearly aiming to do, but for all the never ending stories of corruption that continue to emerge from the world of football one point needs to be stressed. This is that, however dreadful the governance of football, the FIFA scandal as far as sport is concerned does not match what has happened in athletics. There, as has been well reported,

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Mihir Bose: To change FIFA we need to look beyond Zurich.

In all the coverage of the crisis in FIFA what has been happening in the far flung corners of world football, like for instance Nepal and Laos, has been rather missed out. Now I do understand that you cannot expect the western media, in particular the British media where a story about Sepp Blatter or Michel Platini now nearly always makes the front page, to dwell on such remote corners of the globe. For the British in any case Nepal means Gurkha soldiers,

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Mihir Bose: Why Platini has turned out to be not quite so unique

Michel Platini has always presented himself as unique. That he was a unique footballer cannot be doubted although the fact that he could not guide his country to a World Cup win means for all his great achievements as player he will always remain to an extent the nearly man, not quite in the class of Franz Beckenbauer. But it is his role as administrator in the last decade that raises questions about why and how he was ever considered a football administrator in any way different to the less than reputable bunch who have governed the world game for so long.

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Mihir Bose: West Ham renting the Olympic stadium shows how the British state has failed in the modern sports business

West Ham must have hoped that the dust had finally settled on their move next year to the Olympic Stadium. Not a bit of it. There are growing calls for public inquiry by fans of other football clubs into the decision by Boris Johnson to let the Hammers rent the stadium built by taxpayers’ money for the 2012 Olympics, an occasion of great British national celebration.

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Mihir Bose: Why Platini is the Dauphin, the insider, in the battle to succeed Blatter

The contest to succeed Sepp Blatter could still produce surprises, not least we could have more candidates. Some Africans, aided by European advisers, are still trying to find a heavyweight African, Tokyo Sexwale is the name most often mentioned, to provide a realistic chance of the first black man occupying Blatter’s wonderful House of Football in Zurich. Prince Ali could still stand. But whatever the final list of candidates already the contour of the election is clear.

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Mihir Bose: FIFA reform needs practical ideas not wild, stupid ones

Any organisation in crisis prompts outlandish ideas on what should be done to reform it. But even then some of the ideas proposed to reform FIFA are so absurd as to make you wonder if those proposing them are really serious or just seeking sound bytes. That FIFA needs reform is a given. But to reform FIFA we need to understand what kind of an organisation it really is.

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Mihir Bose: The one Blatter legacy that will live on

It is interesting that, despite all that has been written about FIFA, one issue has not been much discussed. This is how will politicians treat any future FIFA that emerges from its bribery crisis? We know how western politicians now regard FIFA. They have nothing but contempt. David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, has made this abundantly clear in the House of Commons.

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Mihir Bose: Warning – Blatter is not finished yet and could make life difficult for his enemies

We all know how the US Justice Department has moved the tectonic plates of FIFA. Yet the next few months, until the elective Congress meets to decide a new President, could also see major changes in FIFA and if Blatter gets his way these changes will not be very palatable to the Europeans and, in particular, the British. Indeed this could prove to be the most important period in FIFA’s history, even more important than the immediate post war years when a nearly bankrupt FIFA,

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Mihir Bose: Can British managers ever hope to manage a big club?

Talk of West Ham turning to Rafa Benitez in place of Sam Allardyce raises the question: what about British managers? If even a club like West Ham thinks foreign what hope is there for Britons who dream of managing the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal or Manchester City? And that this is a question being asked in a season where British managers have made quite a mark shows the problem for the native born.

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