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Sepp Blatter

Could FIFA do with a Donald Trump?

Posted February 26, 2016

London Loves Business

FIFA’s presidential candidates are a bland bunch. They should be calling for revolutionary change, argues Mihir Bose

Imagine an election which has some of the elements of the US primary race but is in many ways more bottled up than the election of board of directors of a well-run company.

That is exactly what the election for the FIFA President to succeed Sepp Blatter is turning out to be. I have spent the last two days in Zurich and this city of bankers has never seen anything like this.

FIFA Congresses have always been football’s equivalent of the barons of the medieval age meeting for a joust. The 209 member countries that make up FIFA herd together under the various continental confederations. Each of the confederations have their own hotels dotted round the main conference centre, their flags fly outside the hotels, and the atmosphere is very much like the barons pitching tents round the jousting field.

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FIFA reform needs practical ideas not wild, stupid ones

Posted July 23, 2015

Inside World Football

Any organisation in crisis prompts outlandish ideas on what should be done to reform it. But even then some of the ideas proposed to reform FIFA are so absurd as to make you wonder if those proposing them are really serious or just seeking sound bytes. That FIFA needs reform is a given. But to reform FIFA we need to understand what kind of an organisation it really is.

It is fundamentally a trade organisation whose trade is football. And like many trade organisations it has peculiar rules like the one which says no organisation that belongs to FIFA can take FIFA to court. Clause 3 of Article 64 entitled “Obligations” imposed on the football associations that make up FIFA could not be clearer or more stringent. And its trade, football, also has peculiar rules such as that a club cannot poach a football player, manager, coaching staff, or anyone connected with its on field football activities, from another club without the permission of the club which employs them.

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FIFA must undergo reform before England bid for World Cup again, says Hugh Robertson

Posted June 23, 2015

London Evening Standard

England should not bid for another World Cup until there are major changes at FIFA, says Hugh Robertson, the sports minister during the FA’s failed attempt to host the 2018 finals.

World football’s governing body is in turmoil following the arrests last month of 14 officials and executives, including seven high-powered FIFA members in Zurich, as part of a £100million corruption probe by the FBI.

Wrongdoing has been emphatically denied by Russia and Qatar, which won the 2018 and 2022 bids. Amid the chaos, Sepp Blatter, who has not been implicated in the scandal, was re-elected FIFA president only to step down five days later.

Robertson believes the organisation needs a huge overhaul.

“We should not host the World Cup, or any FIFA tournament until the organisation is successfully reformed,” he said.

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Sepp Blatter’s Fifa ‘children’ will continue his work

Posted June 3, 2015

London Evening Standard

One of the great ironies of Sepp Blatter’s spectacular fall is that it is the authorities of the country he worked so hard to convert to football that have brought about his downfall.

Blatter was central to the organisation of the 1994 World Cup in the USA and is believed to have voted for them to host the 2022 tournament, while he appeared as shocked as the rest of us when the Gulf state won the right to host the biggest sporting event on the planet.

What Blatter did not realise until last Wednesday, when Swiss police acting on behalf of the US authorities arrested seven FIFA officials, was that the entire bidding process which led to Russia and Qatar winning their respective  bids had released forces he could not control.

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Uefa warms up substitute: a rival cup

Posted May 31, 2015
Sunday Times

EUROPEAN football’s governing body, Uefa. could consider promoting a rival competition to Fifa’s World Cup as part of an overall plan to break ties with Sepp Blatter’s organisation.

Officials led by Michel Platini, Uefa’s president, will meet this weekend in Berlin where their showpiece event, the Champions League Final between Barcelona and Juventus, takes place.

Platini, the former French star player who became a Fifa power broker, failed to persuade Blatter to step down when the two men met in Zurich on Thursday. He now says that all options are open and this includes Uefa leaving Fifa.

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/focus/article1562858.ece

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