BBC BLOGS - Mihir Bose

Archives for May 2008

Chelsea's managerial search continues

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Mihir Bose | 17:44 UK time, Tuesday, 27 May 2008

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Guus Hiddink, Frank Rijkaard and Sven-Goran Eriksson, all of whom have been much touted in the media as candidates to be the next Chelsea manager, are no longer major contenders for the job as far as the club's hierarchy is concerned.

But Mark Hughes, Roberto Mancini and Felipe Scolari are among those being most actively looked at.

This follows a reappraisal by the powers-that-be at Stamford Bridge as to what they feel the new manager needs to do for the club.

The view is that Chelsea need to use the new appointment to make the club feel popular, if not loved, not merely by their own fans but by the public at large.

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Final proves Premier League class

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Mihir Bose | 11:53 UK time, Thursday, 22 May 2008

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Nobody in Moscow mentioned the 39th game, the now seemingly forgotten idea of taking Premier League matches outside England.

But in many ways the Champions League final was the 39th game, albeit a one-off and under Uefa auspices - and what a vivid demonstration of why the Premier League is so enthralling and watched by millions round the world.

I have now watched all three finals between teams from the same country: Real Madrid versus Valencia in Paris eight years ago was a Real celebration and too one-sided to be a great match; Juventus against AC Milan at Old Trafford in 2003 was so terrible that we could not wait for the penalties.

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Blatter backs off on quotas

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Mihir Bose | 09:30 UK time, Thursday, 22 May 2008

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Fifa president Sepp Blatter has confirmed to me that at the forthcoming Fifa Congress he will not ask the organisation to force clubs to field only five foreign players in their teams.

For months Blatter has been saying that the Congress, which will take place at the end of month in Sydney, would make it obligatory for club teams to field at least six home-grown players.

But following a meeting with the Uefa executive in Moscow on Wednesday morning, he told me that his plans had now changed.

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From Russia with love

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Mihir Bose | 18:24 UK time, Tuesday, 20 May 2008

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Judging by the hotels the two teams occupy in Moscow it is very clear that Chelsea are the home team and the club feels like it owns the place.

Chelsea are at the Ritz-Carlton, a few metres from Red Square and not far from where the Champions League trophy has been on display for the last few days.

The Chelsea players, in the unlikely event they felt like it, would only have to walk a few minutes to join the queues to see the trophy.

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Access granted?

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Mihir Bose | 10:43 UK time, Monday, 19 May 2008

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Uefa president Michel Platini has achieved something that, so far in the field of sport, has been the exclusive preserve of the International Olympic Committee.

That is to make a government accept that a sporting ticket or accreditation can act as a visa to enter the country, no further visa being required.

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Blatter to seek player cap backing

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Mihir Bose | 14:55 UK time, Friday, 16 May 2008

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Fifa president Sepp Blatter, head of world football's governing body, will not ask the Fifa Congress to approve the idea of having only five foreign players in club teams when it meets in Sydney later this month.

Well-informed sources close to Blatter have told me that he will instead ask the Congress to give him powers to try and negotiate such a deal.

Blatter's decision to back away from having a firm Fifa decision insisting club teams field only five foreign players could put on hold Fifa being at loggerheads with the European Union and the laws on free movement of people.

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English cricket marked by uncertainty

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Mihir Bose | 10:54 UK time, Friday, 16 May 2008

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While England are expected to easily defeat New Zealand in the Test series which started on Thursday, the attention is not so much on what is happening here as on India.

Traditionally by this time cricket would have ceased in most of the world, barring the odd Test series in West Indies, and all eyes would be on the English summer.

But this year the vast riches offered by India and the Indian Premier League have made the English summer seem more like a cricketing footnote.

Even New Zealand great Sir Richard Hadlee, previewing his country's series, concentrated on the IPL.

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How America is battling the drug cheats

Mihir Bose | 16:44 UK time, Tuesday, 6 May 2008

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On the walls of Victor Conte's conference room at the infamous Balco laboratory in San Francisco hangs a United States flag signed by men and women who were once the greatest athletes in the world.

The flag dates from the Sydney Olympics of 2000, when America's view of drug cheats was a lot different to now.

At that Olympics, Marion Jones's then husband, CJ Hunter, was shown to have failed a drugs test.

The revelation triggered rumours he was not alone, that there were, it was alleged, many more drug cheats in the American team.

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