“Its democracy Sepp, but not as we know it.” FIFA update.

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.


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.

18 Replies to ““Its democracy Sepp, but not as we know it.” FIFA update.”

  1. I stopped watching international football in the late 80’s. I can vividly remember the night of July 4th 1990 when England played West Germany in the WC Semi-Final watching the Rolling Stones kick ass at Wembley Stadium. What a glorious evening. I find international football inferior to the club game in just about every aspect but for some reason the tribal visciousness that international allegiances inspire seem to hold people in thrall. Oh well, to each their own. I hate international breaks and think ALL WC and EC qualifying, and all international friendlies, should be held in the summer and that the club season should be uninterrupted. Fat chance of that happening. I also think that national teams should pay the clubs for the use of contracted players, but FIFA would fight one with every bit of their energy.

    Long live club football. Down with the World Cup.

  2. I guess the question that must be asked, Tony, is whether FIFA IS Sepp Blatter or whether, if he goes, it can be changed for the better?

    I still think international football should be celebrated. So many folks don’t support a team which will win something, but the whole country can get behind the national team. In places like Croatia, in particular, it was Goran plus the soccer team that glued the place together when the nation was reborn….could be the same in Serbia too, right now……I wouldn’t want that to die per se just because the EPL/ECL elite want to rule the world……

    My take is that FIFA needs reform: fundamentally, the problem with it is that it is like a masonic lodge. It is unaccountable, yet rules the world. The whole electoral system needs total change.

    The second thing is that pricing has got totally out of control for the World Cup. I know folks a bit older than me who went to Germany as students to watch. No chance of that any more. It’s lost touch with its fanbase, whilst thinking it does so much good. It may do, I won’t judge that, but tournaments are now glorified Expos.

    But I do think that England has the chance, if selected, to try and change that a bit. For all the Olympics’ detractors, the project is being completed by thousands of UK firms and I hope that as many tickets as possible end up in UK hands. 35-50% would be healthy, wouldn’t it?

    I still think that it’s possible to host a good World Cup here, but if you or others think not, then it’d be a good thing to read your reasons why…..

  3. I very much disliked the WC allready as we will only suffer from the injury’s when the new season starts and from the fatigue that our playes will have.
    So I spit on the WC, I spit on Sepp Blobber, I spit on Fifa.

    And after reading all this I really, really dislike all of those dictators. yuk.

    off topic: Cech is out with what looks like a severe injury.

  4. I was under the impression that Wenger’s ‘tapping up’ comments applied to his time before Arsenal?

    Nonetheless the disgrace that is FIFA should have been subject to a steward’s inquiry a long, long time ago. I suspect it is too late now.

    The question is where/who would it come from? The obscenely corrupt, power-mad guardians of the game have no one to answer to but their corrupt peers.

    I can’t see that removing Sepp will make a difference. The whole barrel is full of rotten apples I’m afraid.

    As Lincoln put it “These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people”.

    In other news Chelsea finally suffer an important injury can’t see Czech playing again this season. Anyone know is Hillario any cop?

    Plus they had a penalty turned down. The shoe is on the other foot for once.

    Tony – did you get my e-mails? Sorry if you’ve just been busy but I know they haven’t always reached you in the past.

  5. Id just like to say that Celtic claiming the refs are bent is absolultey ridiculous. The Refs are bent make no mistake, but are forever on the Old Firms side.

    They are trying to influence the game on Sunday. Celtic laggin g so many points behind cant possibly be cos the 1st half of the season most of the Strachans left over players didnt want to play for Mowbary and the latter half they cant have possibly being playing bad cos of a massive overhaul of playing staff, mostly in defence. No it has to be cos the refs are cheating them.

    This is audacity on a grand scale, but this is the team that kicked up a fuss about Eduardo diving, when most of there players are well versed in conning referees.

    Im a Hearts fan btw before any tims get snippy and think Im a Rangers fan.

  6. It’s a damn disgrace that Blatter can stand for election again. Even the US President only gets 2 terms to stitch up the rest of the world.
    Of course, we could all do something about it by boycotting the world cup – either by not going over there, or turning off the telly, or not buying crap world cup merchandise. We could also stop buying McDonalds and Mars bars and Carlsberg lager (well, maybe not the larger). If we hit these organisations where it hurts most – in the pocket – that is the only way to get at them. But they have us all over a barrel and we will lap it up this summer like we always do (what’s the betting on England being knocked out in the Quarter finals again??)

  7. Can’t recalled when.

    But there was one incidents a few years back (at Old Trafford??) where half-way thru’ a match, there was a power outage, resulting in the match being abandoned.

    If the score had stand, Asian betting syndicates would have lost billions of dollars.

    Make oyu wonder if those ruthless Asian betting syndicates had made in-routes into England, enticing players and officials?

    Remember, we are talking billions, not millions.

    E.g. my personal during World Cup 1998, there was a bookmaker will links as far away as to Far East (suspicion only not proven fact), refusing to accept my bet (don’t ask, I too had received a tip-off) on France, but will only accept bets on Brazil, who was then hot-favorite to win it.
    When I tried to place my bet -US$1,000 – with the “office betting pool”, they too refused to take my bet as they smelled a rat too as I am known to bet on a “sure thing” only.

    Well, the rest is history. But a nice conspiracy theory isn’t it?

    When professional football is a multi-billion dollar industry, my feeling is that the recent Eastern European betting syndicate scandal is just a tip of the iceberg.

    What we don’t see is like the British Civil Service 11th Commandment:
    “Thou shall not get caught”.

  8. Tony, this is a superb article (as are the other two posted today).

    Thanks again for your investigative reporting. I wonder why I have never heard about this. It’s all lost in the hype and build-up, I guess.

    Sepp Blatter is a football imperialist of the worst kind! 88p-per-hour in return for 2 tickets!!! Are you kidding me? It’s slave labor of the worst kind. Cecil Rhodes and DeBeers probably did no worse…

    Cheers, Tony.

  9. I certainly remember the power outage at Wimbledon when they were in the top league. Maybe the electrics at Plough Lane were less sophisticated than at Old T

  10. The Mail online have a nice feature today about Arsenal in Community with pics of some of the players in 80s fancy dress.
    But they had to ruin it with shoddy, badly researched, and biased reporting.

    The article starts:
    “How Arsenal fans wish they could turn the clock back to a time when they won things regularly.
    Well in a bid to raise the spirits of a bygone era, three current Gunners have done just that.
    As part of the club’s celebrations of 25 years of community work, Emmanuel Eboue, Andrey Ashavin and Nicklas Bendtner have donned some very questionable outfits and wigs from the 1980s.”

    So let’s go back to 1985. A time we won things regularly? Not my memory. It was six years after Sunderland’s cup winning goal against Man U and 14 years after the double 1971 ie 1 trophy in 14 years.
    It is rubbish reporting and more drip-feeding of the anti-Wenger propaganda that tries to suggest he is doing a worse job than his predecessors.
    I have already replied to the feature. Deluge the site with some real facts, fellow gooners – link is below.

  11. Hi Tony

    The power outage at Wimbledon (actually Selhurst Park) wasn’t too bad for us. We were playing rubbish. Wen we went back there we won 1-0 (Manninger was inspired) and it was a crucial game on our title-surging run.

  12. Will somebody set up an anti Blatter facebook site……the man must be stopped from continuing his one-man campaign

  13. @ Paul C. I was at that Rolling Stones concert that same evening. I recall a guy in front of me had an old mini-tv with a huge aerial beaming the game in live to the Wembley Stadium pitch. Modern technology running wild!

  14. 2002 World Cup: I was sat at a hotel bar in Washington DC in May 2002, being fed beer by a Brazilian barman.

    He told me with absolute confidence that Brazil would win the World Cup. When I asked him why he said ‘the French mafia arranged for France to win in 1998, so they will be knocked out in the 1st round and Brazil will win.’

    He said a lot more, all of which came true.

    Since then, I wondered about World Cups……..thought about St Etienne 1998.

    I think if you look carefully at many sports you’ll see some examples of odds which seem impossible. A 1/5 horse loses to a 100-1 shot. Goals being scored in the last minute/extra time of halfs at football. Quite often. Tipsters websites predicting a top 6 team in a football league to concede 5 goals away from home, it duly happening. Teams with hot streaks and losing streaks. You can’t say anything’s happening without seeing the colour of the money, but it does make you wonder…….

  15. Sol Camplell was outstanding in that game in St.Etienne.

    He has had an interesting career.

    I think there was a Guardian piece that implies that Sol’s claim for his non-existent bonus’ at Portsmouth helped unravel the ‘mystery’ as to what was going on down there.
    I assume, such a lucrative ‘deal’ is what drew him to the South coast, and not abroad in the first place.


  16. FIFA wants S$400million from Singapore, a place with a population of 5 million (abt US$285m) for 64 matches because Singapore is “rich”. That’s US$57 per person. I am not watching the World Cup this year.

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