Tomorrow there is an election to appoint a new president of FIFA. There are two candidates, current president Sepp Blatter and “prince” Ali bin Hussein. Two days before the election Swiss police arrested some FIFA executives following investigations by US police into allegations of bribery and corruption related to FIFA activities.
Why is the legal action being taken now?
The marvellously-named Chuck Blazer, a former FIFA executive and a US citizen, who looks like an alcoholic, obese Santa Claus, has “assisted” the FBI to acquire evidence against his former FIFA colleagues, including gathering evidence while still an executive. Blazer’s motivation is, clearly, not a product of a moral desire to do the right thing; he has not been overwhelmed by a (united) passion to put integrity first. Blazer merely has some scores to settle. His bruised ego needs a massage.
The FBI are very willing to play along because a criminal case of such magnitude as this would be will generate huge income for the US legal system.
Look at me, I have an opinion
The reaction to the arrests and to the statement from the US attorney general Loretta Lynch, (Lynch statement), wherein she made a series of allegations presented as if they are facts, has been woefully predictable. Former footballer and current UEFA president Michel Platini asked Sepp Blatter to resign, seemingly forgetting that there is an election tomorrow, Tory MP and minister for culture John Whittingdale resurrected Joseph McCarthy and urged sponsors to withdraw their money from FIFA, and FA chairman Greg Dyke stated that he thinks the arrests will assist Ali bin Hussein’s chance of winning the election, despite Blatter’s continuing support throughout most of the world.
The British sports media have indulged in a circle jerk of frenzied supercilious pomposity, every ex-player who can persuade a broadcaster to offer him a fee for a bet on the horses has garbled out some incoherent drivel and Labour’s spokesperson for sport Chris Bryant said that he supports the possibility of fans and players being deprived of the opportunity of seeing England compete at the next two world cups.
All the commentary, sparked into life by allegations made the US police, conveniently sets aside the fact that there is an election tomorrow for FIFA president, it seeks to quash any note of the support Blatter has throughout south and central America, Asia and Africa, that is, most the world, it accepts the allegations made by an embittered egoist called Chuck Blazer via the FBI as statements of fact, and it fails to acknowledge that, with or without any inappropriate persuasion, Russia and Qatar would have won the votes to stage the world cups in 2018 and 2022 respectively.
The result of the election for the president of FIFA tomorrow is unlikely to be affected by the arrests and the associated melodramatic commentary. FIFA delegates who intended to vote for Blatter will do so and those who favoured bin Husein will vote for him. The film of black-clad agents with the letters FBI on their backs ransacking FIFA offices will have strengthened support for Blatter outside of the Euro/US-centric blinkered viewpoint.
Desperate calls for Blatter to resign, before or after being re-elected, from the European administrators is an admittance on their part that, despite their much greater football wealth, they cannot persuade most of the remainder of the world to vote how the Europeans would like. And, as European history will attest, if a European administrator fails at persuasion then he resorts to bullying, bypassing democracy and whingeing.
It was hysterically absurd to hear the Tory prime minister and his minions bleat on about FIFA’s “corruption” a day after the Tory government spewed out a queen’s speech that ignored rampant tax-evasion and targeted the weakest and poorest as well as denying justice and rights. Cameron asks Blatter to resign and step aside to allow a prince to assume command; Cameron, a cousin of the queen, will always favour royalty.
Bitter old men with big egos
The activities described by the allegations against the FIFA executives are normal procedure. If FIFA or any other sports administrative body doesn’t want to encourage a spot of bribery then why the hell have a bidding process? Such a process requires persuasion by one talentless over-ambitious egotistical fool to another talentless over-ambitious egotistical fool. It’s a silly game. Chuck Blazer didn’t want to play anymore so he told tales.
Blatter, Platini, Dyke, Blazer and the rest of the international football administrators are hewn from the same template. Nothing thrills them more than childish one-upmanship over another of their clan. Again, this is normal behaviour for an international sports administrative body.
And so on
Blatter will be re-elected and carry on doing things his way, Platini, Dyke and others will continue to remind everyone they exist by offering sporadic pseudo-passionate criticisms of FIFA, the US legal system will rake it in over several tedious years, politicians will point a finger at FIFA now and then to distract from their own inadequacies and filth, the privately-educated mob of so-called football journalists will ride bareback on their high horses, and so on.