Andrew Warshaw: FIFA runners and riders jostle in the parade ring

The clock is ticking and the behind-the-scenes horsetrading is in full swing. But like a canny game of poker, nobody is revealing their hand until they are sure of their ground. With Monday night’s deadline for FIFA presidential candidates fast approaching, cards are being clasped tightly to chests in anticipation of who will emerge as challengers for Sepp Blatter’s crown.

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Matt Scott: Home comforts are stifling for Englishmen’s football ambitions


“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” Jane Austen, Emma

Jane Austen’s fourth novel was published on Christmas Day in 1815 the Vienna peace accord had brought the Napoleonic wars to a close. With it began a century-long era of British commercial dominance through an empire whose roots had already begun to take hold with territories in Newfoundland, the Caribbean, west and South Africa, India and Australia.

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Matt Scott: Why the embers of past court battles could be fanned into a fire engulfing Blatter

“Il n’y a pas le feu au lac” – “The lake’s not on fire.” Swiss saying

If the famous Lake Geneva is not painting the sky with flames – and, quite obviously, it never has nor will – it’s said to be difficult to rouse a Swiss to any sense of urgency. Other French-speaking nations believe that in the land of the cuckoo clock and precision watches, time moves slowly.

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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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Martin Volkmar: Boring Bayernliga

German media and fans are united in agreement that after just eight weekends of the Bundesliga the championship is decided. Although the club bosses won’t entertain the same opinion, the frenetic 5: 1 victory over supposed challengers Borussia Dortmund has eliminated any lingering doubts concerning the dominance of Bayern.

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Matt Scott: Liverpool lose out in football’s arms race. Don’t blame Rodgers


“We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.” John F Kennedy

Strategy for both the Eastern bloc and the NATO allies during the Cold War was simple: arm yourselves to the teeth until the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction guaranteed neither side would be stupid enough to go to war.

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