Much has been said and written about FIFA, world football’s governing body, and the re-election of their indefatigable leader Sepp Blatter. There is a distinct stench of corruption around the organisation and several executive members are being investigated by FIFA’s Ethics Committee. Blatter has managed to sail through the accusations and revelations, refusing to acknowledge the depth of the scandals or any culpability on his part. In large measure the supine members of FIFA have paid due deference to Blatter and all but a handful have supported his coronation.
There is an excellent comment piece by Duncan White contrasting Blatter with Manchester United legend Paul Scholes who retired from football this week. Henry Winter has also offered some advice for the English F.A. who led a lamentable last ditch effort to prevent Blatter’s coronation from going ahead. Marina Hyde has done a great job in reminding us of the favourable tax status enjoyed by FIFA.
I make just two comments about the English F.A.’s late conversion to the cause of fair play and anti-corruption. Firstly, they all kept their mouths firmly closed while England still had a chance of successfully bidding for the World Cup, with the Prime Minister and a future king travelling across the globe to pay homage in Blatter’s court. It should be remembered how the F.A. complained when BBC’s Panorama ran a documentary exposing bribery in FIFA for fear of it scuppering England’s chances of bagging the prize.
Secondly, just look at some of the characters the English F.A. have been happy to countenance running English football clubs. There is a fit and proper test applied by the F.A. but it seems to be nothing more than a brief check on whether prospective owners have the money or the ability to organise a leveraged buy out. The F.A. has gone through a steady stream of Chairman whose main quality is an ability mess up anything they turn their hands to, from the farce that was the construction of the new Wembley Stadium to the cack handed attempt to block Blatter’s enthronement.
The badge on the England football shirt is Three Lions. If you look closely in the background you might just see a few donkeys and I am not referring to Tony Adams.
A while back I blogged about a possible campaign to have a World Cup held in Antarctica in 2026. I am pleased to report there is further evidence to support the idea that FIFA is contemplating such a move and here’s the story.
The Cross: designs and reflections
7 hours ago