For what seems like the first time in the ongoing crisis surrounding Fifa, the wider implications for the reputation of football have been acknowledged.  Blatter's 'apology' though is too little, too late and will convince no-one.

If Blatter really was worrying about the reputation of football then his words and actions would have been very different from the outset.

Fifa's sponsors have only belatedly got their act together and demanded 'independent oversight' of reform. They could have wielded more power but obviously decided not to.

Added to this are the ongoing stories surrounding the apparent exploitation of labour in Qatar building the facilities for the 2022 World Cup.

Taken together, football needs to start rebuilding its reputation but all the indicators are that 2016 will be just as challenging as 2015 has been.