Mihir Bose: Why democracy may be a problem for FIFA reform

Now you may not readily think that democracy can be a hindrance to reform. To suggest that seems absurd. Yet in the case of FIFA that is indeed the stumbling block. Democracy is undoubtedly the best way to run things but the one person, one vote idea can have pitfalls as the working of FIFA demonstrates so vividly.

I say this because hard as it is to believe FIFA, in comparison with many other organisations including the United Nations,

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Mihir Bose: The farce of trying to change FIFA by sitting down

So UEFA will register its protest about events in FIFA by sitting down in Sao Paulo at next week’s Congress just as Sepp Blatter, as is widely expected, announces that he will stand for another term as President? My goodness what a protest. This I am sure Nyon thinks is the Lionel Messi moment for the men in suits when a wonderful shimmy delivers a beautiful, game changing goal. Don’t you believe it.

In fact when I heard about this UEFA protest against Blatter I merely flicked open my cuttings book and went back to another FIFA Congress,

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Mihir Bose: Politicians shun Europe but Levy loves the continental ways

Much has been made about how Mauricio Pochettino is the ninth permanent manager Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has appointed since he took charge of the club back in 2001. And the scribes have not failed to rub in the fact that, despite all these comings and goings, Spurs have singularly failed to achieve the status that they feel is their due, at least a top four finish in the Premier League every season, garnered with the odd trophy as well.

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Mihir Bose: Why the Champions League is glorious but UEFA’s powers are limited

Whether or not Real Madrid achieve their cherished goal of Decima tomorrow, which would mark the tenth time they have won Europe’s premier club competition, the Champions League Final in Lisbon once again emphasises that in all of world football’s many club competitions, spread across the various continents, nothing comes close to matching the glory of winning this coveted European trophy. It may be a competition that only European clubs participate in but not only do players from all over the world take part but,

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Mihir Bose: Dyke’s cure for depression is in his own hands

Greg Dyke says Manchester City winning the Premiership is depressing, given how few English players they have. There is, of course, nothing he can do about how City chooses its team, let alone force the City manager to field more players so as to help Roy Hodgson when the England manager comes to select his squad.

Yet there is one way the chairman of the Football Association could get over his depression. That is by getting the FA to pass a sporting regulation similar to one that many countries have.

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Mihir Bose: Power games require powerful leaders

One match, or even two never define a season, let alone a trend although it is tempting to draw sweeping conclusions from the way the Champions League semi-finals have panned out. Two Spanish clubs in the Champions League final, and that from one city, Madrid, must surely mark a very dramatic shift from the German domination of the League. After all it was only last year we had an all German final. And Bayern Munich was seen as the team that defined everything that was strong and worth emulating in European football.

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Mihir Bose: Managing change is United’s biggest failure this season

Fifteen years seems a long enough time to prepare for an event you know will happen. That is double the time countries hosting the World Cup or the Olympics get. But despite knowing about it for so long, and supposedly preparing for it, the fact that Manchester United has failed to manage the transition into the post Alex Ferguson age raises serious questions of how it went about this, arguably, the most crucial job the United management has faced since the 1960s.

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Mihir Bose: Fit and proper? But is this ‘test’ hiding the real issue?

Whether Massimo Cellino is allowed to remain an owner of Leeds remains an open question. The board of the Football League meet on Thursday to decide whether to let him run Leeds.

The story has all the makings of a modern soap opera. Cellino buys 75% of Leeds in February. But then he is disqualified by the League under its fit and proper test for owners because of Cellino’s conviction for tax evasion in a Sardinia court.

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Mihir Bose: Why making changes in football changes can be tricky

Michel D’Hooghe, the long standing FIFA executive member, should have every reason to feel happy. The man who chaired the Belgian football federation for many years, and led the country’s joint bid with the Netherlands for the 2018 World Cup, will travel to Brazil confident that this is the best Belgium side for more than a quarter of a century. “We have,” he tells me “the best generation after the generation of 86,” the one whose deeds in Mexico are still talked about in his country.

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Mihir Bose: Qatar 2022 and an Anglo-Saxon conspiracy

That the FIFA decision to award the World Cup to Qatar in 2022 is once again in the spotlight is no surprise but the manner in which it hogged the headlines last week has raised intriguing questions. These are how did the story emerge and is this an Anglo-Saxon conspiracy?

This is not to in any way suggest that the Daily Telegraph did not have a good story about the financial dealings between Jack Warner and Mohammed Bin Hammam just days after both,

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Mihir Bose: Football racism; personal or institutional?

You may think, if you live in England, enough has been said about Sol Campbell’s extraordinary claim that had he been white he would been an automatic choice as England captain. Despite all those who have rubbished his claims he remains adamant, as he told me, that the colour of his face, as opposed to that of Michael Owen, just did not fit with the FA. All Campbell will budge on was that he did not mean to say he would have led the national side for ten years as originally reported but for a long time during the ten year period he played for his country.

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Mihir Bose: Michel Platini needs help not abuse

Now you may think Michel Platini can look after himself and does not need the help of others, certainly not journalists like me, who in terms of footballing skills, would not be entitled to carry his boots let alone lace them. But he might do well to consider that he needs to learn how to present his ideas better and, what is more, make sure his announcements have been preceded by proper debate so that the thinking football public,

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Mihir Bose: Sochi and the lessons Brazil can learn

On the face of it a winter Games should hold no lessons for a summer football World cup. Yet Sochi 2014 does have lessons for Brazil 2014 and it would be unwise of the Brazilians to ignore what is taking place along the Black Sea.

Brazil it must be said starts with an advantage that Sochi could never have had. For anyone interested in football Brazil is the home of football. England may have invented the game and framed the rules but Brazil,

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Mihir Bose: IOC turns attack on America

Just hours before the Sochi 2014 Games open the IOC President , Thomas Bach, launched a surprising attack on the US and, in particular, former President George Bush junior for using the Olympics for political purposes. Although he did not name Bush the reference to the former US President was clear and this follows Bach’s remarks three days ago when he attacked western leaders, including Barrack Obama and David Cameron, for not coming to the Olympics as an “ostentatious gesture”

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Mihir Bose: Why FIFA cannot learn from the Olympics

The idea that football can learn from the Olympics has often been articulated not least after the London Games. Then the idea was even endorsed by Sepp Blatter. However, the question that was being talked about during London 2012, at least as far as Blatter was concerned, was how could football deal with what Blatter and others in the game call simulation but what most of us term as cheating. In other words the question of a player who dives in the hope he will get a free kick or a penalty,

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