FIFA Is Beyond Redemption – It Is Time For A Breakaway

by George_East on May 30, 2015

FIFA logoStraight out of the puffed up dictator handbook, Sepp Blatter’s response to the arrest of eighteen current and former FIFA officials on corruption charges was to blame American imperialism and its media lackeys.   What US Attorney General, Loretta Lynch (as any recent US AG had such a great start to the job – after the huge bank fines last week) described as ‘rampant, systemic and deep rooted corruption’ has been brushed aside as a conspiracy against the world football governing body by a newly re-elected Blatter.

In any functional organisation the scale of the charges leveled at FIFA officials would have led to the resignation of the man in charge. These are after all things that have happened on his watch. Not so with FIFA. Not only did Blatter not resign but he was comfortably re-elected, with an extraordinary 133 national football federations voting for him.

What this has indicated is that the problem with FIFA is not Blatter. Or rather Blatter is only a symptom of the problem. The real issue is that the whole rotten edifice of FIFA has become a self-interested cess pit. A licence for those involved to become rich given the huge sums involved in selling the lucrative television and sponsorship rights – becoming a member of FIFA is like becoming a certain kind of African dictator – a passport to plunder and personal enrichment. 133 votes – after the arrests! Think about that for a bit.

However, what FIFA’s endemic corruption and the voters who so readily rally around Blatter rely upon is the continued support of FIFA as an institution and membership of a small number of national FAs which make the World Cup the biggest tournament in the world and one which the world’s biggest companies want to sponsor and which attract huge global television audiences.   If you think about the countries that matter in international football are really very few, perhaps 7 European nations (Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Holland, Portugal and yes England) and 2 South American nations (Brazil and Argentina). If these countries withdrew from FIFA and set up a rival tournament, the rest of the world would inevitably follow as what is left would be a pale shadow, even with 200 other football federations. Even better if UEFA and CONMEBOL withdrew then FIFA would be dead and burred. Indeed as is the way with these things a threat to do so would probably be enough.

But even if the English FA find themselves on their own, they should go. Someone has to make a stand – if it means missing World Cups in Russia and Qatar, won under suspicious circumstances and in the latter with stadia built under slave labour conditions with nearly 1000 immigrant workers dying in the process to date, then so be it. The World Cup has got a great history and is part of the romance of every football fan’s growing up.   But it isn’t worth this – it isn’t worth continued association with an irredeemably corrupt governing body, led by a man who lords over it like a mafia boss considering himself to be untouchable.

So if no one is else with England they should resign and announce they are setting up their own tournament – if no one else joins them, then shame on the rest.

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John Stone May 30, 2015 at 8:02 pm

Agree. Enough’s enough and someone has to make a stand against this vainglorious autocrat. There would be a huge opportunity for UEFA to withdraw from the 2018 WC and run a beefed up European Championship with matches at the best stadia across the whole of Europe. Suspect if 18 was Qatar, this would have already been floated but with 18 being Russia it’s obviously more sensitive.

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Dan Stasi May 31, 2015 at 7:11 pm

“a beefed up European Championship with matches at the best stadia across the whole of Europe”

UEFA already has something similar its called The Champions League.

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