The first thing that is odd is that how can Sepp Blatter who became president in 1998 still be in charge after 16 years? That alone is a fundamental mistake and yet the 78 year old wants to run for another term. FIFA’s dealings with ISL was a tip of the iceberg that almost brought them down in 2001 when the marketing company went bust, thus leaving a big financial hole in the accounts of FIFA.
Several other allegations have been made against FIFA but each time they have managed to bat them away like a cricketer batting all day in an innings trying to save a test match from a losing position.
However the allegations as to how the World Cup were awarded to Qatar seem to be more serious and the World is hoping that it would force FIFA to reform. You will recall in a previous column I defended the award of the World Cup to Qatar in 2022 purely on a football basis. At the time I felt that the British Press are xenophobic and bordering on being racist, because they felt that a small country like Qatar should never be allowed to host the World Cup.
Unfortunately I now know differently due to other factors and circumstances, which have come to light, including the way immigrant workers are being treated in Qatar. Evidence uncovered by the British Press of bribery before the voting has also been damning. Some have suggested that the British press are bitter because they lost the 2018 bid to Russia. But that could not be further than the truth
Blatter then came out all guns blazing stating that they were being racist, especially towards the African members of FIFA. Not surprisingly CAF led by Issa Hayatou came out with a statement stating that FIFA has been very helpful towards African Football. … Really? Hayatou seems to be using the same template and has been in charge of African Football since 1986 without achieving much. He cannot even lay claim to achieving more spots for Africa at the World Cup because that was down to Blatter. So what exactly is his legacy to African Football after all these years? The state of the stadiums have not improved, medical facilities have not improve and please don’t get me started on the continuous tragedies at football grounds due to lack of proper crowd management.
Any luck with decent pensions and insurance of footballers in Africa? Please do me a favour. All the African delegates seem to be doing is preserving their own selfish gains from Blatter and FIFA without realizing that Blatter is using them like pimps sell prostitutes!
The sooner Blatter and Hayatou go the better. One solution to this would be for FIFA to have a four-year term and make a rule that no one can serve more than two terms. The same should apply to African football. Where someone stays that long in football there is bound to be corruption.
If FIFA is not transparent and accountable to anyone what chance does football in a continent like Africa or Asia stand?
Thank goodness that the sponsors have expressed concerns at the folly of FIFA. They may well be the savior of football and force the necessary reforms.