Croatia President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic wins the World Cup and shows the power of football diplomacy
The appearances by the Croatian president during the tournament had media across the world frantically looking up her Wikipedia page to discover photos of her wearing a bikini and learning she was formerly Croatia’s Minister for European Affairs, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador to the United States, and Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy at NATO.
UEFA dropped its investigation into allegations of racism by fans of Italian club Atalanta during a Europa League match against Borussia Dortmund in February.
Havelange, Blatter, Blazer, Valcke, Warner, Texeira, Platini… Franz Beckenbauer can now add his name to the list of The Untouchables who – it turns out – are in fact touchable by the law.
As FIFA implodes, more questions for Blatter and Platini. Oh, and some for Peter Hargitay and SBS TV’s Les Murray, too. Thanks.
There are not enough times you can write “criminal proceedings initiated against Sepp Blatter”. Of course there are questions about Blatter’s relationship with Platini and what the payment was actually for. Rule number one: follow the money. Rule number two: cross check the dates. Platini received the payment when he decided not to run against Blatter for FIFA president and instead endorsed Blatter’s reelection.
They scoured Munich – where thousands of refugees have arrived – and eventually found Mohsen. He was watching a Champions’ League game in a Munich café. Football can be ugly. Football can be corrupt. But sometimes, the actions of some people within the game demonstrate its power for good.
“People who are desperate then get more desperate, and sell their property, family land, houses, parents’ cars, to get on this team. But the agent says that we’re scheduled to play about 30 games so you will get the money back and more.”
Yet what was significant was who did not make it to Brussels. David Ginola, attempting to run against Blatter, was not in the house. Neither was Prince Ali Bin Hussein, a FIFA vice-president and an alternative to Blatter with some credibility even if commentators who should know better have dismissed him as “some Jordanian prince.”