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Author: Mark

Celtic vs Benfica In The… Premier League International WHAT?

Yay! The Premier League International Cup is back. After the phoney war of the opening months of the season and the Champions and Europa League preliminaries, the season has really started. Mark Murphy defined the word intrepid and represented 200% as the football jamboree clicked into gear. “Are you the Celtic fan?” my friend Les was casually asked as four of us constituted the “late rush” to the Wycombe Wanderers turnstiles for “Celtic FC v S.L. Benfica” in this year’s Premier League International Cup (PLIC). The Aylesbury-based Raith Rovers fan (and surely there’s only one of them) was surprised...

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The Future Of FIFA – A Fuller Perspective

Fifa events moved quickly and, in certain individual cases, refreshingly downhill last week. New arrests were promised by United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch; although the journalists at her September 14th press update on Swiss/US Fifa investigations frustratingly failed to establish whether new people were to be called in for a chat, especially a gnomic Swiss septuagenarian whose name rhymes with ‘flatter.’ Then, on Thursday, Fifa Secretary-General Jerome Valcke, was suspended after allegations of his involvement in an aborted World Cup ticket scam. This was reportedly (and in rather more detail on mainland Europe than here) designed to top-up...

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FIFA Books – How They Stole The Game

First, a question. When did these events occur (a) 2008; (b) 2009; or (c) 2010?: Blatter left… for a secret visit to Qatar. There he met the ruler of the country, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifaal-Thani. Khalifaal-Thani has a reputation as a moderniser, a man anxious to open his country’s doors to western investment. His meeting with Blatter was not to discuss innovations. The subject on the agenda was as old as man. Power and how to acquire it. The solution had been around for a while too. Buy it. (Blatter) came away from the meeting with a wealthy backer....

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Blatter At The BBC – The Film Of The Book

After Fifa president Sepp Blatter’s interview with Dutch daily newspaper de Volksrant comes a 21-minute interview with BBC Sport’s Richard Conway, available on the Beeb’s website to gaze at in wonder. At the end an appropriately nauseating still of Blatter appears, a camp pursed-lips look of someone trying to smile and simultaneously hold in a fart. The smell induced by Blatter’s answers and occasional silences suggests he failed. The interview was meant to discuss Blatter’s legacy, to judge by how often Conway referenced the word. But if the “departing” Fifa president thought it would cover what he saw as...

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Blatter Blether In Double Dutch

If you thought Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore talked delusional shite in newspaper interviews… you’d be right. But even he can only watch and learn from the master, one Joseph S Blatter. Since the May 27th arrests of a number of his Fifa Executive Committee colleagues (you know, the committee over which HE presides), Blatter has largely limited comments to his and Fifa’s immediate future, having decided to “lay down my mandate at an extraordinary elective congress”… whatever that means. Last weekend, however, he spoke to Mark Miserius and Willem Feenstra of Dutch daily newspaper De Volksrant, an...

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