In this report about the opening days of the World Cup in Russia, Andreas Selliaas discusses the Saudi Arabian influence in international football, Gianni Infantino’s announcement of running for a new term as FIFA president and the ghost of Sepp Blatter.
While the US is still on top of a newly published ‘sports political power index’, it has lost ground compared to the two previous indexes. Countries outside the Western hemisphere like Russia, Japan and Argentina keep improving their positions.
In spite of a FIFA accreditation to cover the 2018 World Cup, German journalist Hajo Seppelt has been denied access to the host country, Russia. German officials are calling on both Russia and FIFA to act.
For the past year, Jan Jensen from the Danish daily Ekstra Bladet and I have tried to figure out how far back systematised and state-controlled doping in Russia has been going on. What we found is quite disturbing.