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August 2021

If the FA had any moral sense it would leave Fifa now; and the government would apologise too

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By Tony Attwood

As you’ll know by now the man who got elected to being top dog in Fifa in the same way the Colonel Gaddafi was elected in Libya (one man one vote, there’s no one else to vote for) has proclaimed how the football world should act and think in relation to the evil of racism.

Racist abuse should be settled with a handshake.  Oh yes, no problem then.

This the man, and this is the organisation, that England has for years tried to cosy up to.   I don’t think I have ever said anything positive about Mr Ferdinand on this site before, but he got it dead right saying Blatter was “so condescending it’s almost laughable” noting that Fifa’s reaction to criticism was to think they could “clear up the Blatter comments with a pic of him posing with a black man”.

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The fact that the ‘black man’ (Tokyo Sexwale) has impeccable credentials in the fight against racism is neither here nor there.  Fifa is corrupt, and Blatter is at best utterly unaware of what happens in football, or is himself a racist.  How do you explain his CNN comment, “There is no racism.”

So far the call in England has been for Blatter to resign, but we know he won’t do that.  The corruption of Fifa is so deep, and he is so central to it, that he won’t ever go.

The real fact however is that by remaining in Fifa the FA is condoning Blatter.  The old argument that “we are in it, so we can reform it – we can’t do anything from outside” is rubbish.  We can’t do anything inside, and being part of Fifa is to condone the way it is run and the attitudes that come from the top down which suggest that homosexuals should not go to the world cup in Qatar – and that’s ok – and that women should wear tighter shorts to encourage men to watch women’s football.

Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, made the obvious point, saying Blatter “has no understanding of what racism is, the ideology behind it, the damage it causes and how it subjugates one group of people as inferior. Enlightened leadership at this level is needed.  Minor matters on the field often can be resolved with a handshake. Racism is not a minor matter. Kick It Out has no truck with the notion that racism can be dismissed and trivialised in this way.”

But we face an even bigger problem in England.  For not only have we been part of Fifa, we know now that we are on the edge of Fifa, laughed at, ignored, pushed aside.  Everyone commenting on the Fifa issue has said that Blatter should go, but they know he won’t, and yet none will face the issue, “so what do we do next?”
Certainly the government in England won’t act, for the simple reason that their ministers acted on behalf of Fifa and against the independent broadcaster, the BBC, when the FA and government were trying to make out that Blatter was their friend.
We now know that Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary, personally put pressure on the BBC director general Mark Thompson, to get it to ditch a Panorama programme about Fifa bribery and corruption prior to the vote for the 2018 world cup.  When the BBC bravely told the government where to go there was much criticism of the Corporation from the government, and the fanatical right wing media in Britain, who claimed that the BBC was damaging our bid.
Fortunately not everyone bends the knee in England, and the BBC broadcast “Fifa’s dirty secrets” without government interference.  That can happen because the UK remains a democracy, a concept utterly alien to Fifa.

David Cameron, the British Prime Minister described the decision to broadcast the programme as a mistake, and spoke endlessly about how the BBC should show responsibility.  Now once again we see what he was trying to do – to bow down to Blatter, a homophobic woman hating racist.

What we clearly should do, in my view (and of course maybe it is just my view) is have England pull out of Fifa today, and say to the rest of the world – if you support Blatter, his views, and his organisation, stay in Fifa in order to show that support.  If not, withdraw, and meet with us to set up a new body that can organise international football on a non-racist, non-sexist, non-homophobic basis.

I doubt they will do it – and as a result I ask myself why not?   Probably because of vested interested.  For those in the FA there is too much to lose.   And that just shows where the limit of their moral stance is.


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16 comments to If the FA had any moral sense it would leave Fifa now; and the government would apologise too

  • T2T

    Sorry, I disagree. Yes, racism should be kicked out from any place. However, for me, the physical assaults on the fields are much worse.

    Many of the actions by players on the field would result in jail time if it happened anywhere but on the pitch; Rooney’s behaviour a few weeks ago, the attacks on Ramsey, Diaby, Eduardo, etc.

    Is it worse to be called a black a**, than just an a** …? To me, no – they are both unacceptable and adding an adjective doesn’t really make it any worse.

  • The FA would never leave FIFA, think of how much money they’d lose by being a footballing pariah.
    I’ve been wondering if it would be possible to trick Mr Blatter into denying the Jewish Holocaust, as this is a specific crime in quite a few jurisdictions and he has a track record of saying mind numbingly stupid things. In fact in Switzerland it carries a prison sentence of up to three years and/or a fine.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    The concept of Moral sense, Blatter having common sense and FIFA are oxymorons without a shred of doubt. The FA doing the right thing is also a classic oxymoron. They WILL do the convenient thing or take the path of least resistance. As has often been pointed out by true Football illuminati, the FA are a bunch of old farts in jackets and ties.
    The likelihood of them dropping out of FIFA is on par with the likelihood of Septic Blatterfull being transparent and authentically attacking corruption in his organization….just NOT going to happen. The FA know on which side their bread is buttered, as do all the National Associations, if they know what is good for them,according to Blatter.

  • WalterBroeckx

    sorry to go off topic but you could have advertised this a bit bigger Tony.

    Loved it, the talking heads I mean.

    Now off to read the article. boom, first, second, boom or whatever 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    When money is involved principles go overboard. That’s just the way it is on the top of things.
    The FA or no other football federation will leave Fifa. You will need to have a lot of big countries doing it at the same time to force him out and start a new federation.

    Or like Woolwich Peripatetic said the only way to get rid of Blatter would be if he would be so stupid to deny the holocaust and even then he would get away wit it.

    The only thing wen can hope for is that he can’t live for ever. Nobody can… So one day he should be gone.

  • Mandy dodd

    Anyone see a pic of sepp with his arm around a black guy on the FIFA website? Horrible, cringeworthy I know.
    Just intrigued by the guys name–The-man-centre-footballs-racism-storm.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    Tokyo sex whale? Not sure what image that brings to mind?

  • Gooner Gal

    A racist comment is a racist comment and has nothing to do with either harshness or heat of the moment. Suarez was deliberately referencing Evra’s colour of skin in order to antagonise him. It was conscious, targetted and repeated and not an act of passion as Septic has decided. I also think that if John Terry really didn’t have any malice behind the comments he reportedly made to Anton Ferdinand then he should of held his hands up and apologised a long time ago, instead of denying it. It’s a shame that so many people are willing to excuse the behaviour of footballers, who are able to say and do anything as long as they perform well on the pitch.

  • Anne

    @Gooner Gal:

    Suarez is just a nasty piece of work all around, whichever way you look at it….

    I first knew I didn’t like him after his WC handball for Uruguay against Ghana… While I don’t really fault him for the handball itself, I do fault him for the way that he was gloating about it in the media afterwards, bragging that “the ‘hand of god’ belongs to me now.” I mean, really…What kind of person would take pride in that? (or the original “hand of god” for that matter?)

    But the real clincher was last year at Ajax, when he got that huge suspension for BITING AN OPPOSING PLAYER. I mean, seriously. Biting?! Talk about actions that “would result in jail time if it happened anywhere but on the pitch…”

    Just in case you missed it at the time, here’s that video of Mr. Suarez demonstrating his FINEST form:

    And apparently he’s a racist as well. All I can say is just damn… Kenny Dalglish really gave Liverpool fans something to be proud of when he signed this guy…

  • Odhis KenyanGunner

    Suarez claims he was only repeating what he heard Evra’s teammates call him. Sort of like how Black Americans call each other ‘n*gger’ lovingly, but it becomes a colossal issue of riotous propotions when a Caucasian calls them that. So lets not be so rabid at condemning wholesome. Even Evra himself (and every true Gooner would agree to this) is not an angel! As for Septic Bladder, am not siding with him at all, but watching that clip again, in my personal opinion (and u can crucify me if u wish), it seems to me his greatest undoing was his choice of words and his structuring of phrases, otherwise the gist of it wasn’t as venomous and as malicious as it is now potrayed world over, with this wholesale baying for blood. Not all of us are eloquent, and English isnt even his strong point. Granted, racism is a very touchy issue yes, but sometimes all of us at one time and/or another, if we r to be totally honest, we have said some nasty ‘politically incorrect’ things in the heat of the moment. It happens to the best of us out here.

  • Shard

    I’m actually not sure about this one. I mean, are these comments by Blatter really the reason most people want him to go? I’ll be honest and say I want him gone because he’s a corrupt ringleader of money making bureaucrats who live the 5 star life, all the while ruining football. Not because of what he said.

    Racism being such a sensitive issue, it’s easy to screw up what you say (as I may be about to). And yes, sometimes, because you are exposed to racist (or discriminatory) words and expressions, it is possible for them to slip out without meaning it.

    What is racism? Is it the belief that one race is superior to another? In that case, the words “fucking black cunt” don’t really indicate that belief. It’s just a mention of someone’s physical characteristic. I guess my problem with people being quick to shout racism is that that itself involves a recognition of race. I don’t see colour or caste or religion or anything of the sort when I see people. So I guess that means I’m not very sensitive to such issues either. Like I said, calling someone a fucking black cunt doesn’t necessarily indicate an attitude of racial superiority. Does that mean it’s ok to say it? No. There are rules within a society and a part of the role of footballers being in the public eye, is to live by and promote those rules. You cross a line, you get punished for it. Simple.

    So this is not a defense of Suarez or Terry, nor indeed of Blatter’s comments. I’m just saying that racism and what actually constitutes a racist comment is probably a bit more complicated than this.

  • Chowdhury

    @Tony, read the post at
    Is the “car park” truly the only thing that you are concerned about in this game? what leaves for “Phil Dowd” then? 🙂

    I’ll wait for the ref preview for confirmation, but something tells me that we have been due for some “Dowd” moment. I hope I’m wrong.

  • Laundryender

    Sadly the FA has no moral stance, 1 visit to Wembley will confirm this, last year at CC Final, queued 25 mins for a pee, but got a pint of beer in 30 seconds, and I watched the game from a cramped seat with no leg room, and joined a queue about a mile long for the tube home.

    FA and morals are two words that don’t mix.

    Words that do are

    FA and incompetent
    FA and spineless
    FA and antiquated

  • Laundryender

    On another note

    It is nice to see so many people in Football agreeing with Arsene Wenger that if you are insulted you do not simply shake hands. Take note please Alan Pardew, Mark Hughes, Clive Allen.

  • Micko

    Very good.

  • bob

    Kudos, Tony,
    Great article.
    A new world is possible: Wouldst that Blatter and Barton would leave or we leave them. Two B’s or not two B’s, that is the question.

  • bob

    “fucking black cunt” is racist, homophobic, xenophobic comment, and to normalize it, get used to it, accept it, is a brick in the road toward treating others as subhuman and the road, under the wrong or right government or media regime is the road to hell.