Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Sepp Blatter conjured up a lot of bluster about the state of the game, in the wake of the Thierry Henry handball and the match fixing arrests.
His call for an extraordinary meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee promised some extraordinary decisions and was followed at the start of the week with the firm hint fundamental change was in the offing.
Visions of stricter punishment for divers, more power for referees to deal with the wrestling between opposing strikers and defenders at set pieces and a suggestion of extra officials to deal with the game’s more contentious moments hung deliciously in the air.
Blatter made one of his better analyses of the issues he felt were blighting the modern game in a question and answer session at the Soccerex business conference in Johannesburg on Monday, setting up the prospect that Wednesday’s extraordinary Executive Committee meeting would perhaps promise a lot more of the fair play FIFA is so quick to pontificate about.
Overseeing qualification for the World Cup via a blatant handball is unlikely to do much for the popularity of French coach Raymond Domenech, either at home or abroad (his Wikipedia page is currently saying some very nasty things about him, but it will doubtless be put back to its less offensive version soon).
The 57-year-old former defender, whose name is booed at every match, has never made any effort to make himself popular, but here are 10 reasons (or nearly 10) why football fans may want to reconsider their view: