Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’, also displayed in this week’s cartoon (or, at least a variation of it), best qualifies the goings-on in FIFA, where the top floor stays lit up, even late at night these days.
Ever since the Korean Grandee, Chung Mong-joon (lovingly called MJ by his friends) announced his candidacy for the post of FIFA President, he has been doing what he has done best in the past: throw stuff at people. Whilst “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” was his motto in May of 2009 when he supported Sheikh Salman of Bahrain against Mohamed Bin Hammam, his target, this time, have been broadsides against his former ally and ExCo candidate of 2009 whom he then fervently supported.
For those who like to think before they foam at their keyboard, the editorial reprinted here from the Trinidad Daily Express raises some important, generally forgotten, issues. Jack Warner may be a crook, he may be a bad man but this editorial points out where much of the media have been going wrong. It suggests a lot of physicians in and around the world of football need to start with healing themselves, or at least a health check.
While FIFA continue to battle with snitches that cut deals to save their own backsides (literally yet metastatically, one hears), and after the movie-style orchestrated group-arrests have slowly lost their Zurich lustre, a New FIFA future is nowhere to be detected – as yet.
News that FIFA president Sepp ‘despot’ Blatter and Jerome ‘not me’ Valcke have lawyered up in the US with a couple of the most aggressive rottweilers available comes as no real surprise. Or does it? And does the fact that this is actually news tell us a bit more than perhaps the news leaker had intended.
If only the crooked bankers, as the criminal individuals they are, had caused so much excitement in the corridors of the EU.
When CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb addressed his constituent federations for the first time at the confederation’s annual congress in the Bahamas last week, his speech was all about business, reflection on their progress to date, and setting goals for the next four year cycle. It was about setting the agenda and outlining the challenges. Three hours later, having been elected unopposed for a second term as president, he gave quite a different speech.
On Monday Insideworldfootball ran a story titled ‘Whistle blown on FIFA whistleblower fraudster Mersiades’. The story was a pick-up from German public broadcaster ZDF’s interview with discredited Australian whistleblower Bonita Mersiades.
To re-cap the important part of the story: Mersiades, one of the FIFA whistleblowers in the FIFA World Cup bid investigation, has Australian court convictions for defrauding an Australian government department that employed her.
Before anybody starts throwing stones, let me clarify: there is no racism in English football only. But there is racism in England as a whole.
In October 2013, the Daily Telegraph wrote this headline and leader:
“Madcap proposals by Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini to increase World Cup finalists to 40 just do not add up – Sport’s top men claim that world Cup finals should be open to more nations but it is just another political football being kicked about by the hierarchy”
The paper continued to say:
“Under the madcap World Cup expansion plans dreamed up by Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini,
The mountain has given birth to three mice. What started out as a solid promise to “dismantle the FIFA monster”, has taken on the characteristics of playground posturing and classroom semantics.
It’s a bit like “The weakest link”. An arrogant presenter and a few clueless candidates (in this case five or so rather ‘ugly’ people; after all, politics are Hollywood for Ugly People, aren’t they?). The camera is rolling on a new presidential election, and the most likely outcome looks likely to be: “I told you so”.
There’s good money in ethics, really good money. More than you can get for crawling up the greasy pole to a position on FIFA’s executive committee if you are clever. And when you think you have trousered enough of it, you can time your exit with maximum effect, champion the high ground (doubtless standing on your own wallet stuffed full of other people’s cash/stash/development grants) and leave with a fantastic reputation.
Blatter-must-go, Blatter-must-go, Blatter-must-go – scream it long and loud enough and even supposedly intelligent people will forget why they think he must go while firmly putting themselves in the vanguard of political activism – perhaps even use their influence to write silly letters for a cheap soundbite, willingly published by the land of Murdochia. Come on Greg, we had so much higher hopes for you.
So, the ECA came up with a brilliant suggestion: the 2022 World Cup should be held in May of that year. Because in May it ain’t that hot yet, they say … A good idea on the face of it.