Michel Platini will not be able to reform FIFA – he is part of the old guard, says Lennart Johansson

Michel Platini will not be able to reform FIFA – he is part of the old guard, says Lennart Johansson

London Evening Standard

Lennart Johansson knows how difficult it is to remove Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini from world football. In 1998 Johansson, then UEFA president, stood against Sepp Blatter for the top job at FIFA and lost. Then, in 2007, Johansson was dethroned by Platini after 17 years at the head of UEFA.

However, Blatter’s reign as FIFA president is finally nearing its end as he is being forced to step down in the wake of the scandal that has engulfed the game’s governing body.

The race to succeed him took a twist today when one of the candidates, Chung Mong-joon, claimed FIFA had charged him for allegedly breaking their ethics code as a ploy to prevent him from running for the presidency.

Platini is also in the running to replace Blatter at next February’s election but Johansson says: “Platini’s still part of the same world. That’s my impression. I doubt he will be able to reform FIFA.”

Read more >

Latest blog

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

Inside World Football

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.

What makes this very interesting is how this controversy has reignited. This is due to the media, in particular the Daily Mail, which a few weeks ago ran a detailed comment page article on the saga highlighting how many aspects of the deal between Johnson and West Ham have not been made public.

There is a suggestion that this is part of a wider campaign by the paper to get Boris. The paper has a reputation for feisty campaigns and it is possible editor Paul Dacre has got Boris in his sights. However, if this is what prompted it the paper clearly wants to be fair for this was followed by the paper’s celebrated sports writer, Martin Samuel, interviewing Karen Brady, the club’s vice chairman, providing a defence for the deal. Since then David Sullivan, the co-owner, has gone further in the London Evening Standard arguing that West Ham far from benefiting will actually lose out by moving to the Olympic stadium.

Read more >


Welcome to my website which has a flavour of my activities over 30 years as a writer and broadcaster. There are details of my books, articles, broadcasting, public speaking and awards.

New books

My new book Game Changer is about the rise and rise of the English Premier League.

The Premier League’s rise was a spectacular cocktail of events, few of which were properly anticipated let alone planned for. Game Changer takes us on a mesmerizing journey charting this rise, involving high stakes, multi-billion pound deals, powerful and rich people, and the future of the beautiful game.

Click here to order and for more information about Game Changer

The Spirit of the Game is now available in paperback.

The spirit of the game was first nurtured on the playing fields of the English public school and this Corinthian spirit was then exported around the world. Today, sport is dominated by corruption, money and celebrity. Yet, we still believe and talk about the game as if it had a higher moral purpose. This book tells the story of how sport has lost its original spirit and how it emerged in the 20th century as the most powerful political tool in the world.

Click here to order or for more information

Email updates

We will notify you by email when this site is updated.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Follow me on twitter
| More powered by WordPress
Web development London: Pedalo Limited