Federation Internationale de Football Association is corrupt. Its President is a 79 year old man who seems to have forgotten that corruption is a crime and that by condoning it, he is as bad as the ones doing the dirty work. And around all of this, world football, the so called “beautiful game” is trying function. But how much longer can F.I.F.A. keep this charade up for.
What a disturbing sight it must have been to F.I.F.A. officials trying to play down the biggest emergency in its history to see journalists at a press conference not asking a single to their faces about the Under 20 World Cup currently being hosted in New Zealand. All they wanted to know about was Sepp Blatter and the corruption scandal that blew to the surface like the Japanese volcano that erupted today – highly explosive, destructive to all in its reach, causing alarm among many. So, what is going to happen, as opposed to what SHOULD happen?
The what should happen can be answered simply and bluntly. F.I.F.A. needs a clean out of all executives and other senior officials who think bribery is somehow okay. Nationalities, roles and seniority are immaterial. If entire boards end up quitting, then so be it. But F.I.F.A. staff, board members and the public at large should not forget what it was set up to be – the governance of football around the world, the organization that would be responsible for world cups and other fixtures.
I think a memorandum of understanding between different nations such as Japan (2002 World Cup co-hosted with South Korea) with a clear carrot and wooden spoon is necessary. If nations deliberately refuse to tackle corruption, one can therefore wonder what sort of secret agreement or other questionable conduct is being carried out.
The what is going to happen is perhaps a little bit more different. It stems at first from the understanding that F.I.F.A. member nations standards of conduct that need to be upheld at all times. They need to be aware that they and their neighbours are welcome to be member nations, but also that the far right which has a harder view on market economics than I am ever likely to apprceciate and the far left need to reach a common ground. Is this an organization that is really for the poor nations of the world whose children form small crowds around a T.V. when a match is on? Or is it just for the wealthy ones with heaps of time, money and resources to throw This scandal has the potential to jail quite a few more individuals who have developed secondary activities that risk causing global damage to the organization.
No one said it would be easy. Mr Blatter is an old hard bitten warrior who thinks he is invincible. Conspiracies exist to prevent the toppling of him because it is apparently – if one believes Vladimir Putin – an American plan to sow chaos in the game. And yet the sport faces some potential existential crises based on a loss of confidence in Mr Blatter, sustaining growth in the worlds most popular sport that if left to fester quietly like cancer tumours and whether or not Qatar is fit to host the 2022 World Cup. Mr Blatter is going to fight, but it may end up being to his detriment as much as that of F.I.F.A. at large.
The questions at media conferences about the U20 World Cup are by no means finished yet!