The score is 1-1 as far as Mohammed Bin Hammam is concerned in recent visits to Zurich but, in the deciding game, he is trailing with time running out in front of a hostile crowd.
In December, it was in the Swiss city that his homeland of Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup. Six months later, it was where Sepp Blatter was re-elected to become FIFA president unopposed after Bin Hammam withdrew from the race following allegations that he bribed members of the Caribbean Football Union in May. Now, that may lead his suspension as president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to become permanent when he appears before FIFA's Ethics Committee, on Friday.
If he is cleared, it would be a result more unlikely than the one staged by Qatar in December. The joy would be just as intense on a personal level but similarly wild celebrations in Doha are unlikely if rumours that the ruling family of Qatar wants a guilty verdict are to be believed. The logic goes that Bin Hammam's survival will only make his opponents more likely to look into the 2022 bidding process by way of revenge. It sounds a bit far-fetched, but in the world of FIFA stranger things have happened.
Bin Hammam probably wishes he had never left the comfortable surroundings of Kuala Lumpur to take on Blatter. When he made his first campaign speech back in March surrounded by friendly journalists and AFC staff, he had visions of becoming the most powerful man in world football. Now he is fighting to save his old job and he claimed on his personal blog earlier this week that it is not a fair fight.
"Why was the FIFA Ethics Committee in such a hurry to suspend me before the FIFA election took place, and then [his italics] begin to search for evidence to find if I am guilty or not?" he wrote. "Why have I not been treated in a similar way to others who, according to the Ethics Committee, received inducements? With just a few days to go before my hearing, there can be no doubt that there has been a campaign waged within certain quarters to ensure that I am seen to be guilty and eliminated from football in the court of public opinion, even before my hearing has started."
He has a point. The overwhelming expectation is that Bin Hammam will leave Zurich - some reports, denied by those close to him, have suggested that he will not attend at all - no longer part of the FIFA family.
It would be an ignoble end to a nine-year stint that has been largely successful for Asia, despite a governing style that has grated with some. He may have turned AFC House into his own personal domain, but his passion for Asian football is genuine. Those on the continent who are more concerned with the development of its football scene rather than trying to grab what power there is - and some do remain - will recognise his achievements.
Since he took the top job in the summer of 2002, the confederation has come a long way, with standards rising considerably in many countries, though it would take a lot more than a decade to see consistent improvements across the board. Whatever happens, the Qatari will be able to watch proudly from afar as his baby, the Asian Champions League, continues to grow; it is already unrecognisable from early editions in terms of professionalism, prestige and prize money. Also on the rise is outside investment in the continent's football scene. Bin Hammam not only made the AFC's motto 'The Future is Asia', he also helped make it true.
That will count for little in Zurich as Bin Hammam knows. Asia knows it too and talk switched from what will happen to the chief to the identity of his successor weeks ago. He knows better than anyone that Asian football politics are nothing if not pragmatic; even the president's biggest supporters showed little hesitation in voting for Blatter on June 1 once their man was out of the running.
If that election was a non-event, the one that is shaping up to find the next president of the AFC could more than make up for it. Sheikh Salman is the early front-runner. The president of the Bahraini FA, a Manchester United fan, came very close to defeating Bin Hammam, who is thought to have a soft spot for Chelsea, in 2009 in the election for the president's seat of FIFA's Executive Committee. After a bitter campaign, the Qatari's promise that he would step down as president if he lost the vote was almost put to the test, but he just squeezed through with 23 votes to 21.
Salman has been travelling around West Asia of late to try to bolster support. Two years ago, much of what he had came from the opposite end of the continent. The honorary - then in name only - president of the Korean FA, Chung Mong-Joon, was correctly identified by Bin Hammam as the man backing Salman with the Bahraini almost fading into the background as the big two traded barbs.
This time around, Salman has started out in his own backyard partly because the eastern side of the continent is not going to be as accommodating. After nine years of a leader from the western reaches, it is not only logic suggesting that it is time for a change. East Asia's problem is not just that it may put forward more than one candidate but also that, even if it doesn't, there is no guarantee that the region can unite behind a single runner.
The obvious candidate, sadly for obvious headline reasons not from Manchuria, is the acting chief Zhang Jilong. The Middle Kingdom has been getting its own domestic house in order and would be delighted to see their man occupying the top spot in Kuala Lumpur. Zhang has, appropriately, been keeping fairly quiet of late but that is set to change. China would have considerable support in its own backyard as it dominates the ten-member East Asian Football Federation with the exception of the two Koreas and Japan. North Korea will support the candidate who offers the best deal, but Japan would rather see a candidate from almost any other country than China, a country that it sees as a rival for influence in Asia. Japan's Kohzo Tashima may put his name forward but it is unlikely that he would get much support in his own region, never mind the west.
The question that is being asked in many Asian capitals regards the plans of Chung Mong-Joon. It could have been the South Korean who challenged Blatter - that was certainly the impression he gave in London last October when he and Bin Hammam, who had kissed and made up after 2009, openly presented a united front. It didn't do either much good. Chung lost his seat on AFC's Executive Committee in January, which cost him his place on FIFA's equivalent as well as his post of vice-president of the world governing body.
Chung, charismatic and high-profile, would immediately be a front-runner for the AFC job but sources close to the son of the founder of Hyundai say his chances of running are slim. The reasons are twofold. Firstly, unlike Bin Hammam, Chung has never been interested in Asia, one of the reasons he lost his seat on the AFC's Executive Committee a few months ago. His ambitions have always been national and global, not continental.
Secondly, even the possible prize of FIFA's top job would pale alongside his desire to become the president of South Korea. The next election will take place in December 2012 and Chung, until recently the chairman of the ruling party, has his eyes on the Blue House. The problem is Bin Hammam has more chance of being cleared in Zurich than Chung has of being cheered in Seoul in February 2013.
Giving up that dream to do something that he was never really interested in may be tough to do but it could be the last big job that Chung has a chance to get. At least it is a decision that Chung can make himself. For Bin Hammam, his fate will be decided by others.