Sepp Blatter accuses Fifa critics of “discrimination and racism”

By Sir Hardly Anyone

Our Man On The Spot.

If you ask me this Fufa sponsorship lark is a bit of a pesky business, not least when you simply start asking the question: who the fifa sponsors the fufa WC?

Read the press, and you will be told that “Sony, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa and Hyundai/Kia” are the sponsors who have expressed concern.

But are they sponsors?  Well, yes.  And as so often happens with Fufa affairs, no.

Fufa has sponsors and partners just like most of us have, well…   In my case, CDs and books, and cups of coffee, and pens (I have lots of pens, quite a few down the sofa) and football programmes, and…

[Enough!  Back to the plot.  Ed].

The partners (not the sponsors mark you, the partners) are

  • Coca Cola
  • Adidas
  • Hyundai
  • Emirates
  • Sony
  • Visa

The WC sponsors are not, as you might think if you are a native English speaker, toilets, but

  • Budweiser
  • Castrol
  • Continental
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • McDonald’s
  • Moy Park
  • OI
  • Yingli

So just from my perspective, this is a list of people whose products I shall now avoid.  It won’t change my life much, although before I thought of this I did buy a Budweister at a bar I went to at the weekend.  Never again.

So lots of these firms are now expressing surprise that something nasty might be going on in terms of Fufa.  Something naughty in the Qatar region.   Only Emirates doesn’t object.  Not really a surprise.

But it is tough going on these sponsors.  Adidas has just renewed its sponsorship until 2030.  They said: “The negative tenor of the public debate around Fifa at the moment is neither good for football nor for Fifa and its partners.”

Which is by and large putting it mildly.

Personally I don’t like Visa – and I didn’t like them at the Olympics either because where ever it spreads its largesse it insists that as part of its sponsorship only its card can be used in any of the grounds and surrounding area.  No Visa?  No buy.

As for Coke, a spokesman said: “Anything that detracts from the mission and ideals of the Fifa World Cup is a concern to us, but we are confident that Fifa is taking these allegations very seriously and is investigating them thoroughly through the investigatory chamber of the Fifa ethics committee,” which either shows a total lack of knowledge of how Fufa behaves, or is treating the populace at large with utter contempt.

And you know what these people are saying in private?

“Once the games start, it will all be forgotten.”

Of course that is what they desperately want because this little bunch of squirmy bugs has spent £900m over four years on being part of the WC.

They don’t want us to think about corruption at the WC any more than they want us to remember that Brazil has spent $11bn on hosting the games.  Money that could have transformed the public services in Brazil.

Just like how on a smaller scale England spent over £20m bidding to host the wretched thing – money that could have been spent on new pitches for non-professionals.

And all this is before we get to the fact that Qatar runs a slave labour system.  But then Fufa doesn’t do human rights.

Or ethics.

Or openness.

Or laws.

So what does Fufa make of this?

Now you will need to be sitting down for this bit.  And gripping the side of the chair.


Really ready?

I’m asking because even by Fufa standards this is a bit of a shocker.

Sepp Blatter has said the allegations of corruption are due to “discrimination and racism” among the world governing body’s critics.   The comments, he said, “really makes me sad.”

Oh dear.

The fact is we have all known what Fufa is for years and years.  Sponsors suddenly getting agitated because a tiny fraction of what Fufa is and does is coming out, doesn’t impress me, and I doubt that it impresses too many people.

But let’s end on a different note.  How about this headline from the Independent:

The referees England will want to avoid in Brazil

After four years of ignoring Untold, and pretending that everything is ok in English refereeing, the paper then suggests that some FOREIGN refs are dodgy because they are… well, foreign.

Mind you the paper doesn’t just go in for standard pro-English stereotypes.  Foreigners by and large are pretty ill-educated folk, as you can see from this extract.

“Japanese official Yuichi Nishimura caused such dismay in a game refereed in the Congo that fans went looking for post-match vengeance. Unfortunately, a lack of racial understanding from the Congolese saw supporters get their revenge by vandalising Chinese restaurants after the game.”

Here’s a thought Mr Independent.   Is “Japanese” a race?  I think not, any more than “British” is a race.  Or “American”.  It is a nationality.   Pesky thing these words, but still, I’m sure as a journalist you’ll get the hang of them.  One day.

But then, if only everyone was English, then we would know what’s what.  British = good and pure.  Rest of the world – dodgy foreign folk.   And actually some of those Scots are a bit strange.  And the Welsh with that funny language they speak.  As for those Northern Irish….

Recent posts

23 Replies to “Sepp Blatter accuses Fifa critics of “discrimination and racism””

  1. @Sir Hardly,
    Just to let you know that your story of the Jap referee in the Congo, nearly caused a serious mishap between me and a tankard of Budweiser.
    Readers be warned 😉

  2. Well – now it’s totally ON topic !

    This stuff is great – check it out, HBO’s John Oliver ripping into FIFA.

    Like all organizations coming from Switzerland (UN, Olympic Committee, etc.) Fifa is a lame excuse for corruption coupled with arrogance and sense of untouchableness.

    I think some countries should just quit Fifa. Easy.

  3. “But then Fufa doesn’t do human rights.”

    Does the EU? Does the UK?

    Qatar’s trade statistics
    European Union, with 9.9% of the total exports and 27.2% of the imports.  
    Within the European Union, United Kingdom was the major partner country in 2013, reporting exports 
    of QR 14.0 billion and imports of QR 4.9 billion.

    (that equals over 2b pounds and 800m pounds)

    So, if it is ok for nations such as the UK to have economic transactions with a country that has ‘slave labour’ then why is it not for FIFA?

    Going by the logic that countries such as Brazil, Qatar or South Africa should not be hosting the world cup because they are ‘poor’ or because they aren’t democracies effectively acts as a trade barrier and makes the hosting of tournaments an exclusive western (or northern) world activity. Doesn’t make for much of a world cup then.

    Whether the World Cup is held in Qatar or in the UK, FIFA will still be corrupt. That doesn’t change. The UK will still carry on business with Qatar. That won’t change. But heaven forbid a 3rd world country gets to host a football tourney and everyone loses their minds about how bad things are there and how corruption is to blame for them getting the world Cup, or how those governments are so corrupt that they can’t decide how to run their country and spend their money.

    I hate to say it, but despite his obvious bias and attempts at deflection in saying that, Sepp Blatter isn’t entirely wrong.

  4. none
    June 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Excellent article. We should send it to everyone we know.

  5. Shard,
    would the world be a worse place if there would be no world cup?
    This might the idea to write an article about it to see what would change in football…

  6. Funny how some “serious” media “suddenly” discover that there might be a problem with referees. 🙂

  7. FIFA seems to be just another of those organisations that are owned(have been taken over, have been coerced) by those who profess to control the world, and their main agenda is to gain money, money, money in any way possible, usually to the detriment of everyone else.

    I am glad that more and more their true colours are being revealed, but will it do any good?

    Some of us could probably list the corporations that need to be shut down right now, but yet they seem to prosper from year to year because of their despicable and insidious practices.

    On that level they make their own laws it seems.

  8. Cannot help wondering if we are on the eve of the biggest fixing extravaganza the sport has yet known…..and FIFA will be leading the way

  9. Can’t help thinking all the fuss is because the USA didn’t get the World Cup. Maybe they hope if there’s enough fuss they’ll still get it. Even though they’ve had it before.

    I saw an interview with Michel Platini. He is the only person who has freely stated that he voted for Qatar; most people have kept secret who they voted for. He said he voted for Qatar because he did not see why an Arab country should not host the World Cup. This is surely a legitimate point of view, whether you agree with Qatar’s political system or not.

    I feel pretty confident that bribery and blandishments of various kinds goes on from all quarters before all these big events. Some people just manage to hide it better than others.

  10. @Pat

    I don’t think the USA was ever a top contender to get the World Cup…nor was England but Qatar’s bid was so loony as to defy all sanity. Yet, they won with a huge majority…bizarre! Platini saying that an Arab state deserves to host is legitimate but to pretend that heat was not going to be an issue in the summer was an Emperor has no clothes moment.

  11. The accusation of racism was made by the African FAs about the British media. And I believe that it is in fact correct. Thee is some smell of colonialism about some of the reporting.
    The Torygraph have all repeated that most of the. FIFA corruption took place in Africa. bin Hamman spending. Fortune buying African votes.
    The problem is that Only 3 out of 22 FIFA voting representatives are from Africa. So in view of the number of representatives that have voted for Qatar. The people who have most likely been bought are Europe (France, Germany, Russia, Spain). Most likely a block vote deal made in exchange for voting Russia 2018.
    Before England complains, they should remember that they made such deal in order to get Euro 96. In exchange they were supposed to vote for Germany 2006. When they tried to renegate on the deal, they were told in no uncertain terms that Germany would use all it’s influence to kill any chance for Euro or World Cup for a British nations.
    Talking about corruption, let’s not talk about the 2012 Olympic games where VAT was forgotten from the official financial candidacy papers. No mention as well of the bribes (and there is no other words for it) given by Tony Blair in behind closed door meetings with voting representatives of the IOC. I remind readers that according to both the IOC Charter and the British legal system such meetings were banned and deemed inappropriate.
    I understand that some African representatives are fed up with the hypocrisy of the British media.
    I am not denying the corruption within. FIFA, but let’s not be blind to the fact that when the wind is in their favour, The United Kingdom uses the same weapon of illegally bribing officials.

  12. @ Valentin

    As an outsider, and especially an Arsenal fan, I find that both the British football media and FIFA to be nauseating. It is hilarious and outrageous, though, that Blatter uses the bent British media to justify his impressively corrupt regime.

  13. TommieGun,
    Thanks for the link.
    Very hilarious and very pathetic because it is no exaggeration!

    FIFA certainly need a strong dose of probity and accountability to …whom?
    A serious sponsorship crisis, especially for the Qatar game, may be a good wake up call and a place to start.

    “Racism”, that was what Blatter accused those against the Qatar hosting scam of. Well, when you lose the argument or run out of excuses, find a bad name to call the antagonists.

  14. It appears that even Blatter has grasped that you can kill any argument through the simple expedient of applying the epithet “racist” to whomever happens to be disagreeing with you.
    It appears that what we reap, we sow……who’d have thunk it?

  15. Walter

    Probably not, but I doubt it’ll be a better place either. That was my point. The world is a horrible place regardless of who hosts the World Cup. Conversely, it is also a beautiful place regardless of all that. It just depends what you want to focus on. And the English speaking media at least, has used the excuse of sporting tournaments to highlight the worst in any country that is hosting it, using the idealistic cover of only caring about the issue of corruption, or of concern for the poor etc. It is economic warfare through other means.

    No one cares about Brazil’s transport woes. Nobody cares about the labour laws in Qatar as long as the business they do is favourable to the economic interests of the established order. But when not, then the moral high horse cavalry comes out and decries everything in those countries as a means of discrediting and harming them. I believe the term used is non-trade barriers.

    I could give you examples of how seemingly very benign and caring policies have destroyed populations. Such as anti child labour propaganda. On the face of it, no one can argue for it. And yet, those controls are used to make the lives of the children worse. It’s just business.

    Fifa is corrupt. World sports bodies function through money/influence. It is the norm. The decision going for Qatar or Russia doesn’t change that either way. But that is what it reads as for some because the media creates that image.

  16. According to BBC Blatter has been told to step down next year, but why next year, why not now?

  17. Gregg Dyke. David Gill. And one Dutch official. That’s who said Blatter should step down. Not really a majority of anything. The English FA be playing with fire by rocking the boat so fervently. Let’s see who else says anything. And…these allegations just before Brazil host the world cup. How do think this is really viewed outside of Britain?

  18. There was an article in the news a week or so ago, where UEFA suggested that Blatter not stand for re-election. I’m guessing this was Platini, maybe it was someone else.

    If you want to search, I believe I posted a link to the news article I seen, but I can’t remember where I posted it on Untold.

  19. Well i did a quick search of the internet.
    BBC sport and Sky sports websites are carrying the Blatter out story.

    But Bild, L equip and Marca are not carrying it at present, as far as I can see and given I was going on pictures and looking for the name Blatter. If this is any way accurate what does it mean if only English speaking media are carrying the Blatter story?

    I am sure Walter and others with access to other European language newspapers would be able to see if what I found is accurate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *