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.
Well, there will be one on May 29, 2015, and it seems pretty clear who the winner will be.
The bad part is that those who shriek “democracy”, “transparency” and shout for competing candidates, do nothing about it.
Enter football’s new old friend Greg Dyke. It is one thing to decry Blatter’s way of leading world football. And it is similarly easy to jump on the bandwagon but remain an onlooker.
The other day, a reporter proclaimed how “sources close to Garcia” stated that Qatar won’t be sanctioned. She then proceeded to criticise the fact that FIFA’s Task Force, which deals with the international calendar – and as such also with the mayhem Qatar 22 may or may not cause – was discussing possible dates for the Qatar World Cup “as if nothing had happened”. Drip, drip sarcasm. So, here we go then:
This publication has a solid track record of fiercely attacking racism in football and beyond and, once again, racism has reared its ugly head in England. And, most disappointingly, at the highest level of the game in terms of ‘mass’ influence. What would be wrong though, is to look at the Mackay case as a one-off, as a singular event that cries out for (meaningless) punishment in case the allegations are proven. Punishment that would be in line with the toothless fines FIFA and UEFA keep issuing in similar cases.
The World Cup is done and dusted. The revolution did not happen, football was televised. Rio remained unaffected by what the nay sayers had predicted to become a nightmare for FIFA. The social unrest prior to the World Cup proved to be against an apparently incompetent and corrupt government and not the governing body of world football. The schools and hospitals remain unbuilt. The roadways and other ways remain unfinished eye-sores, as they were before the Cup,
The thing with politicians is that it is in their nature to be opportunistic. When their popularity drops, their preparedness to talk out of their backside increases. Quite a simple equation, really.
Then there is that other phenomenon, best characterised by bandwagon-jumping. Once an issue appears to be safe to populate with general outcries of self-righteous babble, myriads of morons join the party and jump up and down like five-year-olds who have discovered the trampoline.
The Noam Chomsky quote appears to apply to all sorts of societies, businesses and people. One is tempted to add a variation of the theme and say: “For the hypocrites, crimes are those that others commit”. Far too many Brits have been claiming rather jingoistically, and for many years, that Britain could never compete with the massive corruption scandals that “those awful aliens” seem to specialise in.
Die Unken haben gerufen, und was ist geschehen? “The best world cup ever”, meinte ein ITV Sportskommentator. “Die besten Fussballspiele seit Jahrzehnten”, meinte ein anderer Kollege aus deutschen Landen. “Korruption aller Orten”, heisst es allerdings in einschlägigen Kreisen.
Die FIFA soll also nicht bloss Fussball organisieren, behüte! Sie soll sich um soziale Anliegen und um soziale Gerechtigkeit kümmern, soll das lösen, was korrupte Regierungen von links nach rechts offensichtlich nicht zu lösen vermögen.
Lewis Hamilton in Spain, Dani Alves the other week, now Kevin Constant of AC Milan v. Atalanta Bergamo – only a few people who suffered racist abuse by “fans” of Formula 1 and Football.
The list is of course much longer than the three names mentioned above, and it appears that some very sick pigs disguised as “fans” take particular joy in insulting those whose performance gives them fun and joy. One would have thought.