FIFA seem to be able to do as they please to anyone now, when they want something they just go out and get it from all corners of the earth, this in my opinion was magnified during the recent World Cup by what can be only put down to greed and a power hungry organisation!
For starters they pushed South Africa out of the way and basically ruled the country for a month. They installed mysterious “FIFA courts” most places you went you were greeted by large signs proclaiming the “FIFA World Cup Courts”, directing you to the courtrooms which were, in theory, specially established to deal swiftly with anyone besmirching the good name of the football tournament.
In fact what seemed to happen was FIFA just being able to drain as much money as possible from whomever they crossed tracks with. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were just places for you to go and write a check directly to Sepp Blatter, the FIFA President. Reports were sprouting from all over the place of Fifa suing for ridiculous things like having “FIFA World Cup” written on your body!
The choice was to remove it or else.
This is the first World Cup where I noticed that FIFA was now a brand rather than the governing body that they are, everything had FIFA all over it, it wouldn’t surprise me if the country was reformed into the FIFA symbol to be seem from space. A profit of around 2 billion pounds was made by the international governing body of football but more appallingly it was tax free. I find it disturbing that they can control a government and just, in effect, ignore the law.
Another example of them wielding power over governments was apparent after the World Cup. The Nigerian government withdrew their national team from competition for two years, Sepp rocked up, said no and it was done and dusted the Nigerian team were immediately reinstated?
I can’t of course bypass the man Sepp Blatter, his presidency is controversial around the world, generally disliked across Europe but loved in Africa! Granted it was great to give Africa the World Cup and I think it was the best place for it to happen, it was fully embraced as a month long party for the continent and it was fantastic to see Ghana reach new heights. Underneath this new found popularity for Blatter, there has always been things that annoy me and things he shouldn’t do as president.
Of course there have been alleged allegations of corruption centered around Blatter and FIFA and this does not sit well with me for a start, especially as FIFA then went to court against its own president, and he’s still there?
More controversy came in 2006 after the infamous match between Portugal and the Netherlands, which saw referee Valentin Ivanov issuing a record 16 yellow cards and four red cards. Blatter lambasted the officiating, and said that Ivanov should have given himself a yellow card for his poor performance as a referee. He later regretted his words and officially apologise to Ivanov. This point is another I loathe, managers and other professionals are crucified for ripping in to referees and are regularly handed fines and touchline bans.
So how can the ‘Head of Football’ do this? Crazy! And of course I don’t need to delve into the ‘technology debate’.
Naturally, there are some good things that Blatter and FIFA are trying to do in football. The introduction of the six plus five rule in my opinion is a good start to tackling the influx of foreign players especially in England. Along with this he is also calling for foreign owner rule, with regards to club football again.
I agree with Blatter, that the English Premier League, however high the standard, is a problem in the game as the national team seem to have realized. FIFA do run a tight ship in some areas, they clearly have had a huge impact in Africa and the development of the game there has been influenced by FIFA no end.
Finally, there is the incident that makes it all worth it, when at a recent award ceremony where the organizers grabbed Blatter’s full name from Wikipedia, the world’s most reliable source, where it read Joseph Sepp Bellend Blatter.