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

Mihir Bose: Will Platini use his nuclear bomb?

Sometime later this month Michel Platini will tell his fellow UEFA bigwigs, gathered in in Dubrovnik, Croatia’s capital of charm, whether he wants to be President of FIFA. For years the Frenchman has insisted he would never enter a contest against Sepp Blatter. And until recently the confident expectation was that he would not have to. After all, has not Blatter declared that he will not stand again, once his present term finishes.

So it should be all neat and tidy.

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Mihir Bose: From Beckham to Bale, a tale of two transfer eras

Gareth Bale may be the first British galectico that Real Madrid have signed since David Beckham in 2003, but the differences between the two transfers shows how the world of football has moved on in the last decade. In a sense there has been a revolution in the way transfers are done and mega million transfers of high profile players have truly come of age.

It shows how much more skilful agents are,

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Mihir Bose: Why is Sky suddenly on the back foot?

The Premier League season is barely a week old and results for all the hoopla hardly count. But off the field we already have the makings of a fascinating duel between BT and Sky, both of whom have the rights to broadcast live matches. Now on the face of it this is the biggest mismatch ever.

Sky has the rights to most of the matches, it has built its entire broadcasting structure on the back of the Premier League and played a huge role in making the League what it is today.

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Mihir Bose: Watch out for the long game that Greg Dyke is playing

Greg Dyke has never been afraid to take on the big battalions. His fights with Rupert Murdoch first over the rights to televise the newly formed Premier League and then over Sky’s attempt to buy Manchester United are legendary. And, as has been well recorded, he famously took on Tony Blair, and particularly his PR guru Alistair Campbell, over the dossier about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. This ultimately cost him his BBC job but the way he waged that war showed his lust for battle.

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Mihir Bose: The debt we owe Luis Suarez

There may not be many people who feel kindly towards Luis Suarez at this moment, apart that is from his mum. Yet this whole unedifying Suarez transfer saga may well help us understand and, even possibly, get a workable buy out clause in future contracts. And that can only be for the good of the game.

Now transfer talk invariably involves coded language where words acquire a wholly different meaning. So the player who seeks to move –

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Mihir Bose: Concentrate not on what players say but what they do

On the face of there is nothing in common with sagas of Papiss Cisse and Gareth Bale. The Newcastle player did not want to wear a shirt carrying the logo of Wonga claiming that this was against his Islamic faith which prohibits profiting from money lending. Gareth Bale, by all accounts, merely wants to exercise his right to play for another club. And who can deny this right given how ideal this move must seem to a player at the top of his game?

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Mihir Bose: Football must watch out for the dangers of technology, just look at cricket

Have we got technology wrong? I speak as one who has always believed that sport should use technology. Yet the events in the first Ashes Test between England and Australia have made me think that technology may be becoming a sporting monster. I am well aware that the use of technology in football bears no relation to cricket, given how different the two games are. But the question is how far do you allow technology to decide events on the field of play.

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Mihir Bose: English football – where the American Dream is alive and kicking

A foreign owner jetting in to buy a club always produces the same response. The fans hope he will be another Roman Abramovich or Sheikh Mansour. Then reality sets in and the fans, who so enthusiastically welcomed the new owner, act like jilted lovers and cannot contain their anger. So how should the Fulham fans treat Florida-based Shahid Khan’s purchase of Fulham?

The first thing to be said is the sale was no surprise.

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Mihir Bose: Why English football cannot follow the Murray example

Andy Murray’s success has led to much talk of how British sport is finally getting rid of the sporting monkeys that have so long perched on its back. This is an understandable reaction.

When you win a coveted sporting crown after 77 years you are entitled to celebrate. And the triumphant feeling is all the more understandable given that it has crowned two years of success which has done much to make the British feel that the nation is no longer a sporting pariah.

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Mihir Bose: Concern about money is the real reason for the spat between FIFA and UEFA

When back in 1992 Bill Clinton launched his campaign for the US Presidency his campaign team told the workers forget all the other slogans, remember: It is the economy, stupid.

Much the same can be said of the spat between FIFA and UEFA over the World Cup in Brazil. There can be little doubt that concern about protecting FIFA’s money lies at the heart of the attack on UEFA launched by Jerome Valcke,

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Mihir Bose: Why world football should learn from the Americans

Those in Brazil who are now so angry about staging the 2014 World Cup should blame their fellow South Americans, the Colombians, for making it such a high profile political event.

It was the Colombians in 1973 who both invented modern football World Cup bidding and linked it to politics. Seeking the 1986 World Cup, they entertained a visiting FIFA delegation lavishly and at a reception the president of Columbia, Dr Borrero, made it clear that hosting the competition would prove Colombia had arrived as a nation.

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Mihir Bose: Why English football will always struggle to get rid of dreadful coaching ideas

It was almost inevitable that the UEFA Under 21 tournament should have once again focussed English discussion on the perennial problem in English football: why is the national team so bad? More so, when the Premier League is so powerful and rules the world, at least in terms of the spectacle it provides week after week, and in its reach, exposure and ability to make money?

This is a problem that seems to be always with us like death and taxes.

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Mihir Bose: Can Mourinho make us fall in love with Chelsea?

Jose Mourinho has nothing in common with Richard Burton. But the Portuguese, like the great Welsh actor, is about to discover what it means to go back to your first love. And, while not even the most devoted Stamford Bridge fan will argue that Chelsea is football’s Elizabeth Taylor, the way Mourinho has expressed himself in recent weeks, leading up to return, leaves no doubt that his great love for the west London club almost matches that of Burton for Taylor.

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Mihir Bose: FIFA and football could learn about democracy from the Olympics

During the London Olympics last year much was made about how much football could learn from the Olympics. Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s president, speaking at Wembley just before Team GB played Brazil, was asked whether the world’s most popular game could learn from the world’s greatest sporting event.

“Absolutely,” he answered, “At the beginning of the game, [the behaviour] is okay in football. But, at the end, we still have problems to bring the players together.

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Mihir Bose: It would be wrong to say there are no German lessons for English football

In the next few days we shall hear much about how the all German Champions League Final on Saturday is a game changer. True, the way Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund destroyed Real Madrid and Barcelona suggested a dramatic shift in power from Spain to Germany. But such conclusions, while both common and tempting immediately after the whistle has blown, rarely stand up to more considered scrutiny.

If a couple of matches can produce such dramatic football changes then why did the Manchester United-Chelsea final in Moscow in 2008 not leave an imprint on the game?

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