Fifa see North Korea not as a warning but as a blueprint

By Walter Broeckx

If it wasn’t so sad, it sure would be funny.

We all know about Fifa and about how rotten and corrupt some of their members are. This is not invented by Untold; we only see how other people who have examined Fifa and their top dogs came to this conclusion.

It is no secret that Untold Arsenal doesn’t like Fifa. We never have and we never will. The fact that they take our players away and bring them back in different pieces leaving us to miss them for months and think of what might have been.

But Untold has always written against corruption. We don’t like the fact that FIFA can dictate any state in the world and tell them to change their laws for them. We don’t like the fact that FIFA doesn’t pay local taxes as you and I do.

But the more I see and read about Fifa is that they are making the North Korean leader look like a well educated and responsible chap. Ok I admit, Fifa as far as we know doesn’t put  people who have a different hair cut in jail…..not yet!

But we all remember, well those of you who were already with us 4 years ago how they ordered the South African government to throw a group of young Dutch girls in jail because they were wearing cloths in orange from the wrong company.  And the fact that the South African government did listen to Fifa is something that still baffles me.

They should have said to Blatter and his cronies: now look my friend in our free and democratic country people are allowed to dress like they want and as long as they are somehow decently dressed.  So we will not throw people in jail for wearing a dress that has a logo on it that you don’t like.

But they didn’t. They threw them in jail! I must say that the South African leaders lost a lot of credit in those days from me. They should have thrown Blatter and  his gang in jail. Not the girls.

Now you might think that well OK, as they have an agreement with the government of the state where they play the WC, and as that government has already gone flat on their belly and submitted their country to the ‘uber-rules’ of Fifa that is just a logical step. So when Fifa arrives at a certain country for the world cup, democracy goes out the door.

Whatever elected government hands over it power to the Fifa-junta when they get the world cup.  How ridiculous this is for me as a believer in democracy. Believe me I opened a fresh bottle of Pepsi (not a sponsor of Fifa)  to celebrate the fact that Belgium and Holland didn’t get the world cup in whatever year they participated in trying to bribe their way to organising the world cup.  The whole country felt down, I celebrated.  You English are not alone in having missed the world cup. Be happy!

But the Fifa-junta is not satisfied with taking over the government in Brazil. OH NO! They will only be satisfied when they have taken over the whole world.  They will dictate not only what people in Brazil who attend matches are allowed to dress. No they search the whole world to see if there is nothing to be seen that they don’t want you to see.

Today the news came out in Belgium and Holland about this. In Belgium on the Flemish TV channels we use also Dutch pundits. We do this because we speak the same language, just with a little difference in pronunciation.  In Belgium when we use Dutch pundits we find most of the time Johan Boskamp and Jan Mulder. Two Dutch players who have played a big part of their career in Belgium and indeed Johan Boskamp found Belgium so nice that he still lives here as far as I know. Johan Boskamp also managed Stoke for one season in 2005-06. I know…., I know…

Now Boskamp is used as a pundit in Belgium and in Holland. Because well he is a colourful person who always laughs and has his own way of saying things. You hate him or you love him and most people like him for his sunny character and funny one liners. I’m not a big fan to be honest when he is used in CL matches as he is a Barcelona supporter and doesn’t hide it. But better an honest biased pundit then a lying pundit I think.

Now this Boskamp is sponsored by a sports clothing company. Jako. As they don’t sponsor Fifa I will repeat the name. JAKO. Just to annoy Fifa.  So when he comes on TV he wears shirts or t-shirts with Jako on it in a visible way. Something that is allowed in Belgium and Holland by the way. And as a good salesman he will mention them if it can.  He did this when being a pundit on the weekly show about football in Belgium.

But now he sits in the shows as a pundit of the world cup and the Belgian TV company VRT was called by Fifa as they had noticed that a non-fifa sponsor was visible in the show. And that was against the Fifa rules.

So the VRT called Boskamp and told him that he should wear another shirt when he came to the TV studio.  Boskamp said he didn’t have other shirts apart from  the ones from his sponsor and so went to the TV studios in his regular JAKO shirt. So in the WC show on Sporza they didn’t take any more close ups of him so the name was rather invisible.

Later that evening when he went to the Dutch TV studios to have his say over there in their world cup show,  he came up in his sponsored shirt but the name of the sponsor was made invisible with tape.

So the dictators from Fifa are not just satisfied with the fact that they will tell the people what to wear in Brazil or South Africa. No they look at each little spot on the globe and look for wrong names and then tell the people in those countries that they should remove that from their TV shows.

At least the North Korean dictator only uses his power in his own country (as far as I know) and doesn’t tell the world that we all should have the same hair cut.

I think Johan Boskamp is lucky that he wasn’t thrown in jail yet for wearing the wrong cloths on TV. I think Blatter and his gang will have thought about it and considered the option….

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34 Replies to “Fifa see North Korea not as a warning but as a blueprint”

  1. The sales of Bavaria beer absolutely rocketed after this (ambush marketing) incident, but not in North Korea of course.

  2. I just wanted to ad that the use of the for Fufa forbidden sponsors in this article is just my bad character showing up and to ‘amuse fifa’. 😉 I don’t get any benefit from mentioning them myself.
    But I still do have a Jako referee outfit somewhere in my closet. And I do drink Pepsi. So if they feel free to thank me for mentioning them… LOL 🙂

  3. I can’t think why, but I remember this quite well. Around 40 very attractive young models were used to illegally “ambush advertise” Bavaria beer, a Dutch brew, and didn’t they look fantastic. The cameras couldn’t resist them and neither could FIFA & local police who detained, questioned, threatened & released them. I think a well known British football personality was responsible for getting them into the stadium with his ticket allowance, and don’t tell me that they didn’t know what they were doing.

  4. You’re an idiot. You may not like FIFA but they own the rights and in a free society have the right to protect them. You, me or anyone else do not have the right to encroach on them for any reason. Those TV shows, stadiums etc are in violation of legally binding contracts. I don’t disagree FIFA are corrupt but this doesn’t prove any wrong-doing. If you have a problem with copyright law move to a country that doesn’t use them or fight the system, not a corporation that abides by them.

  5. and yes I do have a problem with the possibility of Fifa dictating me what to wear.

    And once again in trying to protect their own sponsors they have reached the opposite effect. I never had seen the name of that company on his shirt and he has been a pundit for many many years. But now the whole of Belgium and Holland suddenly knows that it is Jako.

  6. Hi Walter.

    Why pick on North Korea? Don’t you think you’re rather following the line of the mass media? Maybe the people in North Korea think they could do a lot worse than have their particular government. The couple of eye witness reports I have read from visits to that country (as opposed to the phrase mongering and propaganda) lead me to believe this could be so.

    If the media lies about Arsenal and about refereeing, why not about North Korea too?

  7. @Pat, I suggest you read Nothing To Envy by Barbara Demick and then you may stop defending the North Korean government. Better still, go and live there and you may find you dislike totalitarian regimes.

  8. Fifa is scum and Sept blatter is an old worm who isn’t liked by anyone and should of never had the job in the first place, Fifa are a waste of time, They don’t improve nothing, Football is made better by the Fans, Players, Clubs and Sponsors and not by Fifa, Fifa is not to be trusted, They need to dissolve it and start again, The woman should of never allowed to be put in jail, They have the right to wear what they desire, The dont have a contract with Fifa…..Fifa might have cause but they don’t have the right to do so imo anyways.

  9. Pat,
    Yes I could have picked other totalitarian regimes. There are still more than enough out there…
    But North Korea is the most known of them for the moment. And I really have no intention to find out if life is like they say it is over there…

  10. @ Paul – YOU are an idiot. And I presume your understanding and/or comments regarding “property” in the legal sense are more or less medival.

    Maybe you subscribe to the notion that people that hunt the king’s deer should be hanged…

    There is a huge difference, both legal and rational, between someone who made an effort to obtain proprietary rights and someone who just used violence to obtain them.

    Copyright laws, similar to patent laws, seek to balance between two interests: (a) making ideas and other intangible resources avaliable to everyone; (b) keeping the financial incentive to be creative.

    That’s why those rights have time limits. You want a smart guy who spends 10 years developing new medicine to be able to make money, since otherwise he’ll go and use his brains elsewhere. However, you don’t want him to have eternal power over his invention, thus you limit his right (in this case, patent) by 25 years. Same way you limit a work of art by 50 years. But the main idea is that we want as many things as possible (which are intangibles; not limited resources) to be open to public use.

    Fifa didn’t invest JACK SHIT. Fifa is like some old monrach, who owns everything due to some divine bullshit right. That’s why Walter is spot on with the comparison to N. Korea, where the ruler is revered as a king. Fifa should never be allowed to enjoy the same protection of their propietary rights as someone who invested efforts in obtaining them. They decided that they have the rights, and they do whatever the fuck they want. The fact that countries are so afraid to be “expelled” from Fifa is, in my opinion, nonsense. It only takes 3-4 of the world’s leading footballing nations to tell Fifa – “fuck off”, to be rid of their tyranny.

  11. Robbie Earle was the pundit whose ticket allocation apparently went to those Dutch girls. Earle was an ITV pundit. He was actually very decent, and articulate, unlike most of them people. He declared some kind of innocence. He got sacked. Earle has Black skin. Surely that has nowt to do with it??? Earle wasn’t quite as anti Arsenal as most of the other pundits are. If Earle got such a massive ticket allocation for WC2010, surely other pundits get the same, or more. What do they do with their allocation, and why so many tickets to pundits anyway?

    Just the fact that FUFA is involved means………

    Walter, I have sinned. Despite agreeing with everything you say about that little charity organisation, and that you wouldn’t be wasting time watching all the bollocks, and despite me taking the view that I wouldn’t bother watching, I have been.

    Of course I suffer for my indiscretion. I’m watching refs do their usual thing, but worse, the same old pundits and a few new ones, are there to completely ruins my experience with their lying and twisting.

    Just imagine – in the game between Spain and Holland, I couldn’t find one person – post game, who pointed out that Costa cheated to get the penalty for the opening goal in that match. They show the footage in slow motion, then simply lie about what everybody can see. WTF!

    And that’s just the start.

    I made my bed. Serves me right! Self flagellation begins.

  12. 16. Save for official Club merchandise and/or other football related clothing worn in good faith, you shall not bring into, use, wear or display within the Ground any sponsorship, promotional or marketing materials.

    (from: “Ground Regulations 2014-2015”, found on under “terms and conditions” for ticket purchase)

  13. @ Omerta – “other football related clothing worn in good faith” means that you can practically wear anything you want. Which is the opposite of what Fifa do.

  14. @TommieGun

    it says “football related”: this obviously means the (club-)shirts the visiting fans wear, and that’s even subject to “good faith”.
    it also says : “you shall not (…) wear (…) any sponsorship, promotional or marketing materials”

    so, no, you cannot wear anything you want. and it’s all subject to rule no 1:
    1. Permission to enter or to remain within the Ground (notwithstanding possession of any ticket) is at the absolute discretion of the Club, each other Club Group Company, any police officer or any authorised steward.

    if they don’t like your Virgin Airlines t-shirt, they are well within their rights to throw you out/deny you access, ticket or no ticket.

    I couldn’t get in the Vatican wearing shorts.
    And you can find “no shirt, no service”-signs in tacky gift-shops I think.

  15. Hi Omerta

    It doesn’t mean you can’t wear Virgin t-shirts. What the statement means is if you actively do those things which you are not allowed to do.

    You can wear a Totts jersey and they have no right to throw you out. They might withhold you for your safety, but that’s another point.

    As for the Vatican, that is a place of worship. The shorts restriction is a means of respect as you would do/show in other palces of worship. Again, a different thing altogether.

    You could well say the girls were guilty of the first point above i.e. deem to be actively marketing. You can argue for FIFA as a group of beautiful girls with competitor t-shirts do appear to be active marketing.

    But wearing a t-shirt as a pundit is crossing the line, unless he actively mentions the brand. I don’t know as I don’t watch Belgian TV.

  16. At least Fifa could have given Johan Boskamp a “correct” shirt. But then, their fat bellies would have missed a lunch.

  17. Omerta,
    as far as I know the TV studios from the VRT are not owned by fifa. So inside the TV studio one should be able to wear what one wants.

  18. Walter,

    I’ve been reading this blog and your contributions to it for many years now, so I don’t want to argue with you too much…but:
    as far I as know, the rights to “air” anything, being a television production like “game of Thrones” or a football match, involves contracts.

    In Holland, where I live, we always hear about the NOS “securing the rights to air the World Cup”, or Champions League, or whatever.
    We are always happy when it doesn’t fall into the hands of the commercial television stations.

    But we do get the notion, that these things are being televised “under contract”.

    The World Cup is FIFA’s thing. I hate FIFA as much as the next guy…..but it’s theirs to sell. And they can put anything they want into the contract before selling it. And this would include some protection for their own sponsors, I think. That just makes sense.

    So even if you like to think that the VRT are independent, intelligent journalists that have nothing to do with Jonathan Pearce or what have you not, and they can do whatever they want inside their own tv studios, they are still bound by the contract they signed in the first place to “air” the whole event.

    If they are breaching that contract by wearing the wrong clothes, then that’s just that. In breach of contract. And FIFA have every right to call them about it.

    Do I like that ? No ! Not one bit ! But that isn’t the issue here.

  19. I love this blog but when it comes to Fifa, I think bloggers here lose all perspective. This example about South Africa and the shirts is ridiculous, infact in a normal situation she would have been arrested anyway for transgressing the rules of the competition. Infact this ruling was publicised and there was no reason these dutch people deliberately, attempted to transgress the rules whilst knowing it was illegal. If you have a gripe with Fifa, strike, march, or protest in your own country don’t use my country for your protests.

    The irony about Fifa is whilst we say its corrupt, it is nowhere near as corrupt as the governments, the media, corporate interests around the world that we see nowhere near as much coverage about.

    The North Korea comparisons are in poor taste especially since this isn’t a political blog, in-fact from my perspective western leaders who promote war and kill thousands of people are more of a stain on the world than the North Koreans, but nobody ever makes comparisons like that about Obama, Bush, or Blair, Cameron, Sarkozy on this blog even though according to millions of people they are also murderers.

    This isn’t a political blog so I don’t understand why people insist on making it one, attacking the Qatar bid whilst not attacking the German bid which was even worse in its irregularities or corruption is at least a little bit hypocritical.

  20. I’m sorry Walter, but I have to agree with the comment above by swing. The comparison to non-western countries and their ‘corruption’ is getting a bit old and is not just in poor taste, it also demeaning. There are those of us with a little memory of history that understand why certain countries are better of at present than others and that has very little to do with football. Fifa is not the boogie man, they are an organisation that runs football. Not perfect, not free of corruption. Incidentally, whatever North Korea’s government does or does not do according to the same type of media pundits who claim Arsenal are dirty cheats when we know that is not true – how many wars of aggression have they started in comparison to certain peace loving western democracies.

  21. Swing,
    I disagree with you saying that Fifa is as corrupt as the governments, media, corporate interests.
    Yes they are corrupt as everything is corrupt. But if my government is corrupt I get the chance to vote against them in the next elections. Now Fifa directly involves my life as a football lover. But there is no way I can vote against Blatter.

    As far as I know no government in my country (and we have a few) dictates me what I can wear or not. If they would you can be sure I would be wearing “forbidden’ cloths.

    Media corruption in my country is rather fine. Not perfect but we still do have a media that from time to time dares to stand up against some things. Not that I always agree with them but we are not yet in a complete English situation. But I see signs that they will move in that direction. But our media in general is more or less reliable. For as long as it lasts…

    Corporate interests… I think fifa is part of it 😉

    BTW: Bosmans was wearing a shirt without advertising yesterday I noticed. I specially checked it. I really had expected that Boskamp would stick up his middle finger to Fifa on this. But well he will get good money from the VRT to come to the studio as a pundit and he will not risk that money. But I would have come half naked to the studio and sit there with my chest bare. 😉

    So the powerful (and rich) run the world…and the small fish have to do what the big shark say or get eaten…which will happen anyway.

  22. Reading some comments back I seem to notice a complete submission to whatever Fifa dictates. Because it is Fifa that dictates all those rules to the countries that want to host the world cup.
    I think it is a bloody shame for every country for not saying to Fifa: we have our laws and you accept the voted laws in our country or go somewhere else with your world cup. That is how it should be.
    But now Fifa dictates the rules, refuses to pay taxes, wants the right to throw people in jail at their own will, …

    No free country should ever accept that an outside organisation will take over their country and on their rules and conditions.

  23. And adding to that a lot of what Untold does is going in against the total submission one sees when it comes to football.
    The media, the FA, all and everyone completely submits themselves to the PGMOL. Untold stands up against them.
    The media, the FA’s, the countries and their governments, TV companies completely submits themselves to whatever Fifa dictates. Untold not.
    So in a way we do what we usually do.

  24. Yes Walter, the sharks rule, unfortunately that is the way of the world.

    ‘I think it is a bloody shame for every country for not saying to Fifa: we have our laws and you accept the voted laws in our country or go somewhere else with your world cup.’

    This is exactly the case, every country has a right to say stuff you Fifa, take your world cup somewhere else but they never do. Why should that be Fifa’s fault.

  25. From your editorial standpoint, I get your point, Untold goes against this total submission, which is the way it should, I just disagree on some minor points.

  26. imagine FIFA doing a UEFA and awarding world cup 2030 to 50 countries ( just a random extrapolation) like uefa does for euro 2020, they will very soon form an empire 🙂 and blatter will be a monarch

  27. Just watching the Aus v Hol game and yet again a poor ref. The penalty was ball to hand. This ploy of lifting the ball past a player so that it hits the arms is so wrong. I hope Holland turn it on and destroy the Aussie cheats.

  28. @menace
    What on earth makes you think the player was trying to kick that ball at his hand rather than cross it in? He didn’t lift the ball he fired it across the box and it happened to hit the dutch players hand.

    The referee made a mistake so you call the Australian team cheats and want them to get beaten by a team including the biggest cheat in world football (ie Robben)?


  29. hmz, this panned out almost exactly as I expected…
    ok, well, back to readership it is for me then

  30. Off topic, but. Few lessons learned with England
    1/ Gibbs should have been there but I am slightly glad for arsenal centric reasons he wasn’t
    2/ wilshere should have played more, but see above for reasons to be cheerful
    3/ England punch massively below their weight, one of the richest FAs going look to be on a par on international level with Costa Rica or Honduras….how does that fit with KPIs and bonus payments?
    4 / who are the medical staff looking after Suarez, and Ivan, can you sign them up

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