Thursday, 2 December 2010

FIFA: Footballs Cancer

How do we stop it? How can we grab FIFA by the throat and say enough is enough. This article, while timed to come out alongside the results for the host nations for 2018 and 2022 is not a response to who won. It’s a response to the tired predictable corruption that accompanied the process. We saw the Prime Minister of Britain debased himself by chatting up known crooks like Jack Warner, the most detestable man in football, an amazing achievement given that Blatter exists. Where does it end?

This is an organisation that has been found out repeatedly to be corrupt. Even with the latest revelations that have resulted in the suspension of Adamu and Temarii the response from FIFA has not been contrition. No, of course not. It has been to ask investigative journalists “how dare you?” The most depressing facet of the whole spectacle is that there doesn’t seem to be a way to break the stranglehold the Executive Committee (ExCo) have over football. Blatter was chosen by Havelange precisely because he wouldn’t expose the corruption of the previous President, given that he was complicit. It is foolish to think that when Blatter leaves office he will allow his successor to shine some light onto his crimes.

FTW has many faults. It has been known to be hypocritical and nowhere is this more obvious than today. Had England won the bid for the world cup the police would even now be asking why FTW was racing naked through the streets in an ecstatic haze. It is not difficult to imagine the drunken joy of Russians and the stone cold sober pleasure of Qataris about the news. Of course they’re happy, they should be. FTW was in South Africa for the last world cup and it was a phenomenal experience. An entire country celebrating football was something that will never be forgotten. This is not to criticise the choices of Russia and Qatar as hosts. FTW will leave it to others to do that.

No, this is to say that, whoever had won it would have been a victory of corruption. It is one thing to not have the best bid and lose. It is another to know that whether your bid is the best doesn’t actually matter. And that goes for every nation that bid, not just England. And the process looks set to go on. There seems no chance that the bids for 2026 and 2030 won’t be exactly the same. The best hope I can see to break FIFA’s stranglehold would be the withdrawal of Brazil or England or another footballing powerhouse. The loss of a genuine name like that would really rock the power structure in FIFA. But of course it won’t happen any time soon.

So the whole farce goes on. Within minutes of the results being announced someone tweeted “Cry havoc and let loose the dogs of investigative journalism.” Amen. Lets just hope that something may change one day.


  1. I think that leaving FIFA would be a bit much. I think it's better to pressure them while remaining in the organization. Part of the problem seems to be that no one wants to piss off FIFA while they want to bid for a world cup. We should leave that aside, I think, and try to get some changes to the way FIFA operates.

    Remember these are the same luddites that won't allow any technology in the game either. Not even something as simple as goal line technology.

  2. Agreed, this was written in a pit of despair/anger. However something has to change. Either FIFA needs radical alteration or a new organisation needs to emerge. ChangeFIFA on Twitter is trying to start grassmovement action. We don't know how but FIFA must be forced into changing.

    I won't even comment on the goal line technology debate, I could write another article here on that issue!

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