SI.com's Grant Wahl rated football's most powerful figures under the header "Ranking the 10 most powerful people in global soccer." FIFA President Sepp Blatter was ranked first. Blatter, who has held his post since '98, has benefited because "the last two elections have had just one candidate: Sepp Blatter." Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore was ranked second. Scudamore "has overseen rampant growth in the past 14 years, with 212 countries and territories now broadcasting the world's most-watched domestic sports league." ManU Owners the Glazer family was third. While the Glazers "have drawn the ire of United fans," the results on the field "have been solid." Rated fourth is Man City Owner Sheikh Mansour from the United Arab Emirates. Mansour has "changed the balance of power in the English Premier League" since buying Man City in '08. The Qatari Royal Family, who funded the successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, is ranked fifth. Qatari money "is everywhere in world soccer these days, and almost all of it goes back to the royal family." Rounding out the top 10, "Corrupt Guy" is ranked sixth, a reference to match-fixers. Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is seventh. UEFA President Michel Platini is eighth. English footballer David Beckham is ninth while U.S. TV bosses were 10th (SI.com, 3/6).
Arsenal "will become the first" Premier League club to play in Vietnam during its preseason tour to Asia this summer, according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. A match against the Vietnamese national team will be staged in Hanoi on July 17 to "take advantage of the huge interest in English football." Arsenal says it has an "especially big following in the country" (DAILY MAIL, 3/5). REUTERS' Martin Petty reported the Vietnam Football Federation said that Arsenal "will spend three days promoting the club in the capital" from July 15-17 and will field a full-strength team against the national side at the My Dinh National Stadium on the final day (REUTERS, 3/6).
Portuguese top flight club Benfica has announced it will open six youth football academies in Mumbai, India (A BOLA, 3/6). ... Ligue 2 Le Mans club President Henri Legarda has informed the players and the staff that with the current financial situation of the club, "he was not able to pay their salaries for the month of February." The total amount in salaries is around €500,000 ($650,000). The club revealed debts of €7.5M ($9.7M) for last season (LE FIGARO, 3/6).