AS sure as one can be about death and taxes, one can also bank on the inevitable mix of sport and politics. As FIFA seemingly pulls itself apart over the on-off re-election of Brazilian president Joao Havelange, the Asian Football Confederation is being sucked into that same controversy. The end loser may be the AFC, whose key man, general-secretary Peter Velappan, is being touted as the one compromise candidate everybody can fall behind. Depending on whose version of the story you read, the main protagonists are Havelange himself, keen for another four-year term; existing Swiss FIFA general-secretary Sepp Blatter, who has his eye on Havelange's job and Sweden's UEFA president Lennart Johansson, who also has veiled ambitions to become world body president. All of this manoeuvring is concentrated on the office of the presidency, which is thought to be the real seat of future power. The first journalist to analyse in depth the turbulent atmosphere at FIFA House was the veteran soccer-watcher Sergio de Cesare of the Italian paper La Gazzetta dello Sport. His conclusion was that a compromise on candidates was the only way that allowed FIFA and UEFA to avoid a bust up; Havelange would be offered the post of honorary FIFA president, Blatter would be made president, while the post of general-secretary would go to Velappan, current general-secretary of the AFC. In this instance Velappan's attraction rests on two points: his neutral position on the swirling personal politics that surround Havelange's succession and the enormous political bloc votes he potentially controls not only through the 44-member AFC but also through long-term African allies CAF. But will Velappan take the job? He said this week that he ''had no plans to be a puppet sitting in Zurich'' if the real power was to lay upstairs in the president's office and not with the general-secretary. But it looks increasingly likely that if the European compromise-brokers can convince Velappan to move to Zurich, he will have an anointed successor ready to move into his old position at the AFC. This, by all media accounts, will be the head of the Football Association of Malaysia, Dato Paul Mony. Mony was put forward to be one of the FIFA general-secretary's co-ordinators at the upcoming World Cup which starts in June - a sure sign that his star is rising. Velappan, by the way, is FIFA's senior general co-ordinator. FORMER Saudi Arabian coach Dutchman Leo Beenhakker has delighted colleagues in the Netherlands national team by announcing that he will give them ''suitcases full of information'' to help them beat the Saudis in the first round of the World Cup which kicks off in June. ''Dick (Advocaat) will be the big winner of this farce,'' said Beenhakker, referring to current Dutch national coach Dick Advocaat. A Royal Dutch Football Association spokesman said gleefully: ''We don't know much about the Saudis. We've never played them before. We don't know their style nor their players.'' The Netherlands face Belgium, Morocco and Saudi Arabia in their group and the Saudis are the one side they have never played. The former Real Madrid and Ajax Amsterdam coach was sacked after five weeks on the job because of what was described as his ''inappropriate'' coaching style, which Beenhakker himself interpreted as criticism that he pushed the players too hard.