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The links between Uefa, Fifa, the Mafia and organised religion

The TRIADS OF WORLD FOOTBALL

Don McMahon

FIFA, and to a lesser extent EUFA, are often perceived as being mafia-like, totalitarian organizations.

It is no surprise that there are certain common elements to both bodies, as well a similarity to worldwide groups such as religious organisations  If you compare the characteristics below against those of religious and indeed criminal organisations, the similarities are stunning.

Now in this I might be accused of being anti-Church, or even of being the anti-Christ, but as far as I know, being a Football aficionado is not a sign of being the great Satan just yet. I will assume my candidacy for sainthood is still intact. So here is a comparative list of traits that football, criminal and religious groups seem to share;

They tend to be very macho and exclusive:  While the most rapid growth in FIFA is happening with the female soccer population, their relative influence in this male-dominated organisation is paltry in comparison to their numbers. The day we see a female FIFA Secretary General will be that same time we see a female Pope. Blatter is also know as being among the most sexist leaders of any world sport.

They thrive on secrecy and inbreeding: As Tony Attwood pointed out in a recent post on UA, Blatter and his dwarves have rigorously and brutally muffled any dissent and public criticism from FIFA’s employees or administrators. Such organisations cannot stand the light of day and in their  hideouts in Switzerland, they struggle with the truth.

There is a hierarchical, pyramid-like plutocracy firmly in place and jealously maintained there by their respective leadership: Blatter and his lieutenants are the King and Princes of world football and seem intent on keeping that way. those who stand against them are quickly dispatched to the netherworld of sports or banned altogether.

They wield enormous political, cultural and semi-legal power with very little oversight from national or international authorities due to their sporting/criminal or religious nature. In the case of the Mafia, the Triads and the organized religions for example – they don’t even pay taxes. The EU was obliged, on a number of occasions, to intervene to protect club and player rights and freedoms…..why were FIFA and EUFA simply spectators?

There is serious and ongoing corruption (as is the case of the Mafia) criminal tendencies evident in many of their dealings. One only has to follow their actions over the last few years to see that FIFA is almost certainly rotten to the core and Blatter is the most rotten of them all.

Indeed we could argue that if organized crime has infiltrated football as deeply as some claim, why is FIFA not investigated as fervently as organized crime is?

They have more members than the UN and almost as much monetary influence, but unlike the UN they are NOT restrained by their members democratically expressed wishes: FIFA and EUFA, like the Mafia and much of organized religion, permit little if any dissent and most certainly avoid any democratic limitations to their authority. Even the EU answers to its members but FIFA and EUFA seem too big to be questioned.

Their control is far-reaching and their ability to isolate or even expel/exterminate members and in some cases opponents is absolute, incontestable and fatal to any individual or member nation/adherent or follower.   While this power can be a good thing when faced with national political intervention in football, as Tony pointed out, when it comes to dictating aspects of international football (like friendlies and exhibition matches) they are far too powerful and intransigent.

Individual member states/followers or supporters fear and hate them at the same time but have little or  no alternative but to meekly accede to the dictates of the organisation,since the consequences of rebelling can be severe.  The FA is a perfect example of a gang of stuffed shirts whose self-interest and cowering submission to a foreign authority is hurting the interests of British football and the game in Britain.

Their hierarchy is ageing, of questionable moral and intellectual rigour and very traditionally close-minded.  While almost every other world sport is using modern technology and practical revisions to the laws of their sport, FIFA and EUFA have dragged their collective feet and only recently approved innovations that are long overdue, such as goal-line technology. While the Laws are regularly reviewed by FIFA, the process of change is glacial.

Their dealings both internally and with their members are anything but transparent and open.  When questioned by the press, media or indeed any football organisation having the temerity to raise difficult issues in public, FIFA and EUFA either come up with a rather moronic ¨explanation¨ or a wall of silence that muffles these contesting voices. A good example is their ¨stance¨on racism. Offending clubs, individuals and associations are regularly coddled and almost ignored by FIFA and EUFA, yet these same FIFA and EUFA defenders of the game pretend that a lacklustre campaign about ¨kicking racism out of Football¨ will actually do the trick!

They also seem to enjoy relative immunity from police, legal or moral scrutiny and  from the local and international political bodies. They are, in a very real sense , a law unto themselves with power well beyond their size or due: Considering that we supporters, through both individual ticket sales and club revenues, as well as League and National payments, directly or indirectly support for their regal lifestyles, and that in Europe, the Mafia and organized religion are coming under greater scrutiny…..why is it that the EU and other authorities seem to tread lightly when in these miscreants’ presence?

There is a formal rite of initiation, and in the case of FIFA and EUFA, there is an ¨allegiance¨ required of member nations, organisations and individuals and a strict code of see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.  This little boys clubhouse atmosphere, with its concomitant uniformity and facelessness, allows for little individual expression and grass-roots impact.

My point in all this is that FIFA and EUFA are almost totally unaccountable and responsible to their members. Even the Mafia and organized religion is eventually held accountable by its followers; but not our beloved leaders in FIFA and EUFA It is time for drastic changes and revolutionary remodelling of these antiquated and petrified organisations for the good of Football and its participants/supporters and organisers.

———————

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24 comments to The links between Uefa, Fifa, the Mafia and organised religion

  • ClockEndRider

    The most instructive thing I have ever seen about FIFA? At the last ceremony for the awarding of the world cups, at one point Mr Cameron was up on stage with Blather. Cameron stood behind a lectern with a name bar saying “United Kingdom”. Blather stood behind a lectern with a name bar saying “FIFA”.
    The symbolism is clear. FIFA is a sovereign state.
    Shocked me then, still shocks me now.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Great article Don.

    I only have two words for them: FICK FUFA!!!

  • soglorious

    Please, why can’t countries rebel or leave? I hate Blatter that’s as sure as hell. And please, don’t compare them with the church.lol. Though I’ll be waiting for that day of a female pope. Wait, am I dreaming?

  • nicky

    The most disturbing thing about FIFA is the fact that there has never been any real concerted attempt by the countries making up the Federation to expose the blatant( oops, I nearly wrote blatter!) corruption and put the body on to a fair and honest footing.
    It really speaks volumes about the will (or absense of will) of those who profess to yearn for morality but do little to bring it about.
    A few powerful national football associations need only agree to secede from FIFA and the edifice will begin to crumble.

  • Gf60

    Don…you and Andrew Jennings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Jennings both. Perhaps start with his book “Foul” (copies around at about 2 quid in UK) which is the forerunner of many later articles that dig even deeper into the murk that surrounds Septic Bladder and his cohorts. He puts out an infrequent news-letter but a good summary can be found at http://ttnewsflash.com/?p=24779.

    Totally agree with Walter. Fick fufa!

  • As I like to say, proscribtion for healthy football lies in criminal laws.

    Just like our attack needs Falcao, football needs Falcone.

  • Mike

    It’s even more annoying because it would only take a handful of FA’s (say England, Spain, Germany, Italy)to leave and start their own international tournaments and sell their own tv rights and FIFA would be in huge trouble. The fact is that if the English FA are anything to go by, they don’t have the ability to organise the proverbial drink in a brewery………..or maybe I’m wrong and Ferguson just hasn’t given his permission yet!!

  • Rufusstan

    Soglorious — I’d love that, right now the bottom line for countries would be what next?

    FIFA’s control of the game mean they could destroy the association of any nation that broke away, and the elite clubs of that nation can be put in the position of supporting their national association at the price of their own survival.

    Using the FA as an example: As soon as we walk away, FIFA both bans England from all international competition and bars all FIFA nations from playing any matches against us. That removes a huge proportion of the FA’s revenue overnight. They would still make money from the FA cup, but are barely breaking even as it is.

    Next, UEFA bans all English clubs from European competition, which drives a wedge between the clubs and the FA. On its own not enough to seriously harm the clubs, but I’d follow it up with sanctions on any non-English players playing in the English leagues — anyone playing in our league is barred from international competition.

    Additionally, I’d introduce a ban on any player that has been in England playing in any other FIFA sanctioned league, but suspend that one for a year; maybe 18 months, to give the punishment time to drive all foreign-born players out of the league.

    You’d weaken the league to the point where the TV money moved elsewhere, the big clubs scale back but maybe survive, and the smaller clubs go to the wall. There are people who would argue that all this is a good thing, no big money, English players, a step back to the old days. Perhaps, but it still has destroyed the structure here. (By the way, if UEFA wanted to twist the knife, they allow English players abroad, and so tempt the best with far better wages).

    The above is pretty extreme, but it is in FIFA’s interest to stamp on any rebellion, and get the revolting nations to crawl back, before other countries try to follow their lead.

    It could work, but you’d have to have a bunch of nations breaking away together with plans for their own competitions and the like already in place. I’m just not sure that sort of coup is feasible, especially as the administrators that would have to be behind it are the ones closest to FIFA in the first place.

  • GoonerPete

    Perhaps someone should send Blatter a horses head.

    He wants to be the mafia, let’s get all mafia on his arse

  • Domhuail

    Rufusstan…..absolutely right and frightening as well, because the lunatics are in control of the asylum but there are NO police or other forces to right that wrong. FIFA have absolute power and until the National Associations and referees get together with the BIG Clubs (where the real money is) and threaten to create their own Football Association, there will be no improvement. Even that might not do the trick but FIFa being a $$$ oriented operation, just might bend its knee when faced with a solid wall of FA’s and Big clubs threatening to create their own fiefdom.

  • Andrei

    @Domhuail “FIFA have absolute power and until the National Associations and referees get together with the BIG Clubs (where the real money is) and threaten to create their own Football Association, there will be no improvement.”

    Essentially your are asking to replace (or rather restore) one form of corruption with another. This reinforces my earlier point that this FIFA bashing is mostly about has-beens that feel left out in the new football world order crying wolf. Not surprisingly that British media is the most vocal in this recent anti-FIFA campaign that coincidentally started after UK and US lost their World Cup bids.

    Besides, UA has argued in many posts that majority of so called ‘BIG Clubs’ are nearly bankrupt. What ‘real money’ are your talking about here?

  • Adam

    You need the big five to stand up to FIFA, not only will Germany, Englnd,Spain, Italy and France scare the shit out of FIFA, 3 of these countries share borders wih Switzerland where FIFA is now based. Fifa does look to these countries when CAS gives a precedential verdict, and FIFA every eight years looks to one of these countries to host their World cup. This recently changed it was actually Englands turn if you check the tournament history, so something has changed at FIFA.

    I think Both FIFA and UEFA need to be relegated to tournament organisers only and another world organisation brought in above both FIFA & UEFA.

    Nice read Don.

  • Andrei

    @Adam I’m afraid Italy and Spain are not in financial position to scare anyone. The biggest football interests in England and France are owned outside of Western Europe and I don’t think these interests will play along. Germany will not be able to face FIFA alone.

  • Adam

    FIFA would not get away with putting a ban on a person plying their trade in England, they could not restrict a person’s ability to trade in that way.

    Although they seem to operate outside of the law, they are scared of the EU as they have absolute power, and this is why we may be seeing FIFA giving their tournaments to countries outside of the EU.

    FIFA are spreading their wings and running scared. As they know whats coming.

  • Adam

    Disagree with you Andrei. Fifa need Italy and Spain, Germany are the most consistent world cup side and the world cup was a French idea. FIFA needs these nations.

  • Adam

    People have to realise that the next time the World cup can be held in the EU is 2026 and that is still undecided. so something is happening? A new direction has been initiated by FIFA, and the losers are the EU.

    Yet no one has questioned this?

    No media outlet has picked up on this?

    Nothing has been mentioned as to how this has come about?

    All is not well in the offices of FIFA. I wouldn’t be suprised if they tried to moved themselves out of the EU.

    Another pointer for some is that if you follow the EU rulings on football then you may get an idea as to why and when EU countries are no longer being considered as tournament hosts. Since the EU took an interest in football and particularly FIFA the World cup has moved out of the EU.

    Not a coincidence.

  • Andrei

    @Adam FIFA is all about balance of power and everything they do is just a reflection of political maneuvering that happens behind the scenes. What we are witnessing is that emerging world economies flexing their financial muscles and getting more influence in different world bodies including FIFA. Before FIFA politics were dominated by developed countries and it was considered ‘fair and democratic’. You mentioned that “it was actually Englands turn if you check the tournament history…” to host World Cup tournament I guess that is pretty much a residual of the old football world order.

    Today with Western economies in decline established football powers England are not able dictate what FIFA does anymore and understandably they are not happy. Hence, ‘fix the corrupt FIFA’ campaign.

  • Adam

    Andrei, I have to disagree again.

    The economic situation you allude to is not evident in FIFA’s historical decision making. The biggest economy this tournament has visited was in 1994. If your looking for financial reasons then they would be individual.

    The past host nations have not all been super powerful economies, far from it.

    The usual method has been one tournament in Europe then another destination outside of Europe. this has changed although you could consider Russia partly European but not within the EU, this is the point I make, its a historical decision.

    No matter which way you look at this the World cup is the second tournament for international football quality, the European championship is the harder tournament to win.

    You remove the European sides and your left with a south American winner of the world cup.

    Something has happened between the European Union and FIFA. It’s not just financially motivated its political in nature or corrupt on an individual scale. By 2026 the World cup will not have been seen in the EU for 20 years. This is unprecedented, and whether you like it or not there is an old order to football within Europe and there would be no world tournament without the old order European sides, remember British countries never entered the first tournaments, but only started to participate after 1950 so to include England in this old order is not true.

    Along with the south Americans, the two continents have dominated this tournament, only four countries outside of these two continents have ever finished in the top four positions and have never reached a final.

    USA in 1930 3rd spot, Soviet Union 1966 4th spot, South Korea & Turkey 2002 4th & 3rd spots, and two of these nations could be partly considered European.

    To find a final without a European big five country in it you have to go back 35 years and even then Holland was in the final. In the history of the tournament there has only ever been two finals without a European side in it 1930 & 1950 whereas on the other hand we have had eight all European finals with big five European countries represented 17 times in the 19 finals. Out of the 38 finalists we have had so far, 25 have been European.

    If the European participants wanted to, they could put FIFA in their place. Why they haven’t is the real question?

  • Andrei

    @Adam I will post a longer answer later. Here is quick comment on one of your points.

    “If the European participants wanted to, they could put FIFA in their place. Why they haven’t is the real question?”

    Because in order to support EPL financial bubble Skysports needs new growth markets. EU is an old established market with diminishing returns.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Whether Europe hosts the World Cup or not is not the real question IMO or whether UEFA breaks away or not. It is rather if FIFA needs to reform its practices and how best to achieve it(if possible). Reform of FIFA would be possible if the South American and European football powers together deemed it desirable. Or, if the EU somehow forced UEFA to change its practices and did not allow it to participate in tournaments organized by a criminal or corrupt agency (read FIFA).

  • Domhuail

    Andrei….You are correct in stating that there is a paradigm shift in International football towards the so-called 3rd world nations and the Eurasian and Asian nations. However, the concern being expressed is not necessarily a simple ¨old boys¨ entitlement reaction. The complaints about FIFA are worldwide, as is the corruption and influence peddling (Europe, the Middle East, Asia and very likely in Latin America as well).
    British media is definitely not the most vocal in this recent criticism of FIFA and it most definitely did not start when the US and Britain lost their WC bids. It has been going on since Blatter ascended the throne and has increased in intensity from all sides because of FIFA’s and EUFA’s ongoing corruption, secrecy and obfuscation.

    The ‘real money’ I am talking about is the actual and potential revenue the Big Clubs can and do generate each year from media and ancillary sales as well as state-funding, bank and sugar-daddy/oilygarch investments and support, CL profits and awards, player sales, ticket income, and a few other sources less well publicized. This isn’t just about national pride or old world narcissism…its about power and money being controlled by a few corrupted individuals. Maybe replacing them with a new Association that is more representative, populist and closer to the Football Clubs might improve the future of the Game? FIFA and EUFA have become bigger than the Game and that needs to be reversed. Is a revamped FIFA, run by the real powers in Football, a better system…that is an open and valid debate!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Is messi bionic when it comes to injuries or is there something else going on?

  • Gunz

    @Mandy
    Barca have been giving Messi growth steroids from the age of nine, according to this article.

    http://70taknev.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/is-messi-benefitting-from-use-of.html

    Could be the reason why he seems to be unbreakable.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And we were all, oh so happy, in 1998 with the departure of Joao Havelange,the then devil incarnate , and awaited the promised arrival of a new messiah of football and the rebirth of the beautiful game .
    And like all the false prophets who came before him ,Sepp too has failed to take us on to the promised land .
    The lot of them should be canonised ! I take that to mean that we place them inside a canon and fire them with a bang to the stars ( as in option 3 below ) !

    [kan-uh-nahyz]
    verb (used with object), can·on·ized, can·on·iz·ing.
    1. Ecclesiastical . to place in the canon of saints.
    2. to glorify.
    3. to make canonical; place or include within a canon, especially of scriptural works: They canonized the Song of Solomon after much controversy.
    4. to consider or treat as sacrosanct or holy: They canonized his many verbal foibles and made them gospel.
    5. to sanction or approve authoritatively, especially ecclesiastically.