Anyone with the vaguest interest in football cannot have escaped yesterday’s news of the arrest of seven top FIFA officials on a multitude of corruption charges. For the vast majority of football fans the arrests were a shock, not because of the revelations but for the fact that it had actually happened. For years, FIFA has been the subject of many accusations of corruption, with the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals being the highest profile.

The organisation’s president, Sepp Blatter, has always managed to keep himself distanced from any alleged wrongdoing and continued to be supported by a large majority of members. However, yesterday’s arrests has to see him fall from grace. He has tried to spin the situation by saying that, although this is not good for football, it is good for FIFA that these alleged misdemeanours have been brought into the open so that they can be acted upon. He has tried to distance himself from the men that have been arrested but, and this is a big but, he has a big problem.
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On Friday 22 May I received a surprise invite to Arsenal’s FA Cup media┬áday on 27 May at the club’s training ground. I didn’t need too much time to consider whether or not I would be attending! This is my story of the day.

The itinerary stated that the first event would be Arsene Wenger’s press conference at 9am. I arrived about 20 minutes before this and was pleased to see some familiar faces in Tim Stillman and Goonerholic. Shortly after, Dave Seager and Darren Berry (a fellow warbler on the Arsenal unofficial 2015 FA Cup final song) turned up to form a quintet of bloggers.

Someone to talk to during the quiet moments

Someone to talk to during the quiet moments

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