Sepp Blatter wants to keep going as the top man in football. He has stated he had many more things he still wants to do.
Football should be afraid – very afraid.
At this moment a lot of the stuff that we’ve debated over the past two years are now moving away from just being solely found in blogs and bars, and are becoming mainstream. Just today Celtic voiced their formal worries about the way refs in Scotland are bent. A few days before Arsene Wenger himself spoke of such matters and revealed that people had tried to nobble Arsenal players.
Slowly the word is spreading. Football in the UK is corrupt.
In fact, two years ago talk about bent refs, fixed games, and football in the UK crumbling under a debt mountain was never debated by the dinosaur mainstream media. Now it is commonplace.
And in the midst of this total meltdown Blatter looks like getting re-elected to the top job in football.
Sepp Blatter portrays himself as the great educator, the great social and cultural mover, bringing hope to millions where politicians have failed. His is the beacon of social justice in this world of poverty and inequality.
It is his world cup, and yet the benefits FIFA brings to South Africa are 2 tickets to matches for those who work on the stadia at 88p an hour. When the workers struck for better wages and conditions FIFA looked on as hundreds were sacked for having such temerity. (And as a person who has himself been on strike over disgraceful management decisions I stand with the work force on this one. I have no idea if the strike was valid or not, but the right to strike without being sacked is one that we should all have in our contracts.)
Workers salaries then went down by another 5% while the directors of the project gave themselves a 41% pay rise to compensate for inflation, and as bonuses, which says something.
FIFA of course were then worried, so they took action against the evil beings who threaten our enjoyment of the world cup. They sued a keyring salesmen and a lollipop maker for using the words “World Cup” on products. “They tried to take advantage of the FIFA World Cup™,” said the official FIFA press release. “This is a major victory.”
Of course this is was most essential as FIFA announced a £120m profit from the sale of merchandise ahead of the world cup.
And it is important to show such profit when you have Jack Warner by your side. When Jack was asked about his activities and the millions of allegations against him Jack said to the journalists who asked, “No foreigner, particularly a white foreigner, will come to my country and harass me.”
So racial relations are high on the agenda then.
But still, the show must go on, and for that it needs IT. So the IT contract went to Satyam, and Satyam’s founder admitted £660m worth of fraud. “Satyam share Fifa’s ideals,” said Sepp Blatter. That’s fairly clear.
And it is important that FIFA is seen as an open and cleanly pro-democratic organisation. As Mohamed bin Hammam said when accused of buying votes as he tries to oppose Sepp, “I will cut the heads off anyone who stands in my way.” He later said, “I have full democracy and transparency in the way I act.”
Democracy, but not quite as I have learned about it.
So it is important that the FA, supporting England in this world cup, and supporting England’s bid for a later world cup, acts appropriately. It has done deals with McDonalds, Mars and Carlsbert for £82m. That fits well with the image of football and fitness. And it says not a single, solitary word against Blatter or football. Far from it. It applies to hold the world cup in England.
We have a choice in football. We can stand by FIFA and support the world cup as an institution, or we can see it as something that exploits poor workers and enriches the already mega rich.
THIS EVENING’S RUMOURS
I have quite a few, but none match the outrageousness of the actual behaviour of FIFA and its top brass. Sorry. So here’s some other stories…
EPL owes more money than the rest of Euro football combined.
Should the top clubs from smaller countries move into Euro Leagues?
Vote now for the biggest prat in English football. The polls are still open.
Arsenal win the league: the start of the new golden era.
The England captain we signed from Kettering Town.
Why did Arsenal move to Highbury, and not somewhere else?
Arsenal in 1910 – the first edition of this book has almost sold out. We will be publishing a second edition shortly, but if you want one of the First Edition copies, you should order now. It is Arsenal in 1910, the complete story as a novel.
- The stupidest thing said about Arsenal this week
- WSL North London Derby – reflections on the game at the Emirates
- Arsenal have not got the youngest team in the PL. Or have they?
- Arsenal are the most fouled team in the Premier League. Why?
- Partey setback, AFC man hauled off, new C Ronaldo signing, Arteta desperate