Please note: This post covers a couple of different topics but one of them is most definitely not Alex Morgan's bare ass. Or any other unclothed portion of her body. Really. In fact, the phrase "Alex Morgan's bare ass" will not be found anywhere below. So if you did a search for "Alex Morgan's bare ass" and landed here, please accept my apologies. Thanks.
THE BIG STICK:
The European Club Association, which consists of the 200 biggest football clubs on that continent, has decided to ignore an invitation from FIFA to meet in Switzerland next week to finalize an international calendar. FIFA had hoped to come to some agreements so that they could claim their dates through 2022.
ECA President Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has grown increasingly outspoken in his disdain for the leadership of FIFA President Sepp Blatter, going so far as to call the current administration "hopelessly corrupt", and his organization issued a statement explaining that the decision not to meet
"is a response to the discussions we held with FIFA over the last couple of weeks. The board decided that, until further notice, no ECA executive will participate in FIFA meetings."
Since the current FIFA calendar runs until 2015 there's obviously plenty of time for getting something done, but this decision could spell big trouble for Blatter at a time when he can least afford it.
Put simply, the ECA wants fewer international dates, and they want FIFA to pay for insurance to cover the loss of injured stars. And since those 200 clubs employ most of the players people pay to see, their absence would cost FIFA a ton of money.
As would, of course, cutting the number of games and/or shelling out big money for insurance policies covering the clubs for lost services.
For years now, Blatter's blithely delivered answer to the problem has been for the clubs to play fewer games. But as salaries have skyrocketed, they need their teams on the pitch more, not less, in order to pay the freight.
As we all know, Sepp Blatter stays in power by the simple expedient of money, both from direct FIFA subsidies and from providing the federations with the chance to turn big paydays.
And right now is a particularly bad time for him to have to try and explain how they're going to have to learn to get along with less.
But that's exactly what the ECA is telling him is going to happen, whether he likes it or not.
IGOR TURNS ON HIS MASTER:
Former Nancy Boy Michel Platini spends a good deal of time saying nice things about Sepp Blatter, assuring people that he's not really a fat, stupid and corrupt old bag of wind.
In return of course, Platini fully expects to take over Blatter's job in 2015, although there's already some grumbling about how it's time for a non-European administration in Zurich.
I can only point out that they should be careful what they wish for; if they think the ECA is uncooperative now they should wait and see how it goes when some useless bag of greed like Richard Texiera is trying t boss them around. Good luck with that.
Part of Blatter's new charm offensive has been his sudden embrace of goal line technology, a hot button topic which excites the fans but scares hell out of the clubs.
Yesterday, Platini gave a statement that demonstrates how much Sepp's protege has learned about playing the media game.
He led by proclaiming the absurd notion that "Blatter is clean", and followed it up by taking a big fat old whack at the whole GLT issue:
"When I introduce a camera to keep the goals under surveillance I also need one for the surveillance of offside. There are 10 offsides per game. But a goal like that of the English at the 2010 World Cup against Germany, which was wrongly not given, happens only once every few years."
He knows full well that Sepp is up against the wall at the moment and, in any case, it's the IFAB who has the final say in the issue.
But you have to wonder whether creating separation between himself and his old chum Sepp right now isn't a signal that Platini has an agenda as well and it would be very foolish to take him for granted.