FIFA seems to treat this kind of scrutiny with complete contempt. It needs to realise that it does not own world football; but is merely the governing body of the sport. It gives the impression of being full of a lot of hard faced old men who have grown rich from the game, and whose instinctive response to any crisis is to cover for each other.
It's been proposed that, since it's popular in Russian law, it's not the job of the Western world to change it. This is ridiculous on many levels. Firstly, a human rights violation is a human rights violation, regardless of whether anyone, majority or minority, elite or common, thinks it's a good thing.
I can never hear about football tragedies without thinking of the Shankly saying. Hillsborough, Bradford City, Heysel, the Accra Sports Stadium deaths in Ghana in 2001, the dozens killed during Egypt's Port Said stadium clashes in 2012. The list goes on and on. Or indeed the recent depressing news of two more deaths during construction work on the stadium that will host the opening ceremony for next year's World Cup finals in Brazil.
Win the World Cup in 2022? Is that it? Really? One refereeing decision, a couple of injuries or a Qatari version of Delhi belly can put paid to that in mins! Okay - there was a little bit more than that to it, but Greg Dyke's solution over simplified the matter at hand for me. English football is struggling because...
Like most people I have been appalled to read the recently published stories about the terrible conditions in which the builders and workers in Qatar who are constructing the infrastructure that will support the 2022 Fifa World Cup in that country, are being subjected to. It is shocking to hear about their lack of basic human rights and how so many have died working on projects there. The organisers in Qatar say that they share our concerns, as do Fifa, but they must show the world that they are clearly making a massive effort to stop these practices, and ensure the health and dignity of the workers.
What's the League Cup called now? I lost track somewhere between the Coca-Cola and Milk Cup eras. As for the Europa, which would you prefer - top four in the league or a tricky second leg in Elfsborg? Come to think of it (Wigan), which would YOU prefer - FA Cup winners, or staying in the Premiership?