Matt Scott: Is FIFA immoral? If so the Swiss will soon wind it up


“We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our body, which is doomed to decay… from the external world which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless force of destruction, and finally from our relations with other men.” Sigmund Freud

Nothing lasts forever, that much is clear. But the destruction that is in any case inevitable can be hastened by factors not always beyond our control. Freud was writing about the course of civilisation at large when he penned the words above but they apply in equal measure to FIFA right now.

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Matt Scott: Bolton have lost their power. It won’t be long before the lights go out


“I am somewhat exhausted; I wonder how a battery feels when it pours electricity into a non-conductor.” Arthur Conan Doyle

Electricity is a wonderful, life-giving force. The defibrillator whose high-voltage pulse revives the dead from cardiac arrest; the electrical storm that destroys forest deadwood to give way to new growth beneath; the power that animates a television. It illuminates the floodlights that give us night football and, figuratively, it gives us the best of those nights when the atmosphere is electric.

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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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David Owen: A TV levy might be the best hope of avoiding a pharmaceutical free-for-all

As regular readers may know, I am sceptical about sport’s ability to bring doping by top-level athletes under anything resembling control. Equally, the spectre of a complete pharmaceutical free-for-all is, in some respects, so disturbing that I would concede we need to be certain we have exhausted all avenues before we all, to borrow a phrase used last week by Independent Commission chair Richard Pound, “go home”.

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Matt Scott: The blessings of St Mary’s are no miracle


“For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.” Mary’s Song, Luke 1:48, King James Bible

The meteoric rise of Southampton has been lauded by many as one of the truly great football achievements of our times. As recently as 2011, the 32,505-seat St Mary’s Stadium was home to a club in League One, England’s third tier.

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David Owen: Why rising international TV money may mean it is time to turn the Champions League on its head

We may be heading towards a tipping-point in the globalisation of football. Actually, that is not quite exact: we may be heading towards a tipping-point in the Europeanisation of world football culture. What I have in mind is the point when the big European leagues – Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A – start to earn more from international rights to broadcast their matches than domestic rights.

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Matt Scott: Klopp teams work hard. But rigour alone can never attain high virtue

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“Pacience is an heigh vertu, certeyn, For it venquysseth… Thyneges that rigour sholde nevere atteyne.” Geoffrey Chaucer, the Franklin’s Tale

The Franklin was the 20th of Chaucer’s pilgrims to give his tale and, like so many of his fellow travellers en route to Canterbury, he gave forth on the secrets of success in love. Thus did England’s earliest literary great teach us a lesson about the virtues of patience.

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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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