Germany stands tall while pathetic FA and UK press still want us in Fifa

“Blatter has long clung to the comforting falsehood that the English media only reports all this because England lost out, but he should realise there is outrage here that the FA spent £21m of football money, and £3m public money from 12 hard-up local authorities, courting a corrupt Fifa.”

That paragraph, from the Guardian, is about as close as anyone in the British newspapers, or on radio or TV, has got to expressing the sort of feelings that Untold represents day after day.

And it is not just us.  All across football there are regular followers of the game who absolutely abhor both Fifa and the FA – and indeed the national governments that kowtow to those two corrupt bodies.

Only in Europe is the desperate urge to cling to Fifa’s coat tails resisted.  As our pathetic FA and even more pathetic press make noises but insist we can’t leave Fifa, Germany stands tall.

For the president of the German Football League Dr Reinhard Rauball has said that Uefa could  leave Fifa if Michael Garcia’s report into World Cup bidding is not published in full.

Dr Rauball said, “The result was a breakdown in communication, and it has shaken the foundations of Fifa in a way I’ve never experienced before.  As a solution, two things must happen. Not only must the decision of the ethics committee be published, but Mr Garcia’s bill of indictment too, so it becomes clear what the charges were and how they were judged.

He also required that the unpublished areas of the report should be published in full.  It is exactly the sort of requirement and threat that the world of football has been waiting for, and something that no one – neither press or FA nor government – in England is strong enough to demand.

So although the Independent starts with

“It sounds like the moment for England to boycott Fifa, don’t you think? World football’s governing body has managed a whitewash so breathtaking in its execution that it even managed to twirl the man hired to investigate it, to borrow a phrase from the lexicon of sportswriting’s dark arts.

“Even the rational people seem to abhor Sepp Blatter and his organisation so passionately that they would like to tell him where to stick his Qatar World Cup. They include David Gill, a man who would cross the street to avoid a rabble of journalists when he was Manchester United’s chief executive, but who virtually sought us out in Sao Paulo five months ago to express his disgust at Blatter’s preposterous claim that “racism” had inspired The Sunday Times to expose the alleged bribery which gifted Qatar the 2022 tournament.”

So is this the English press joining with Germany to demand real serious action?


No.  Not quite.  But there is still hope, and not just with the German led movement for Uefa to leave Fifa.

The British press have been utterly wrong footed by the German move, for just before it came out the Independent was still saying, “Forget all about a boycott, because it won’t work. Withdrawing from either the 2018 or 2022 World Cups – tournaments which have been awarded to equally dubious hosts – would cripple the Football Association financially. The FA desperately needs the revenue from qualifying games and World Cup merchandising to help subsidise the grass roots.”

And really there is the point.  There are many people, and not just those running Untold, who would like to see the FA go bankrupt, not least for its constant trotting around like a lapdog after Fifa, and for its appalling record on grass roots football.

Of course mentioning the way Sport England even went so far as to withdraw its funding from the FA is something you will only read about here these days, because the press can’t abide supporting evidence for a view they don’t hold.  But there still is a significant view that says, “get rid of the FA and pull out of Fifa.”

Yes, the moral stand would cost money and the media would moan about the split but the resultant reduction in internationals would be loved by almost everyone.

Yet the Independent says that no one would support a withdrawal (although if England withdrew  it would be the second time we have withdrawn – having pulled out in the 1920s and into the 30s over the issue of amateur players) because (it argues, totally losing the picture) we would be just seen as bad losers over our childish bid for the World Cup.

What arrant rubbish.  England would be part of a reformed European movement that would have a chance of having international football without corruption.

It would be nice if we could reform the FA on the way, with or without bankrupting it, although the bankrupting the FA would disassociate us from that organisations appalling record on grass roots football.

But the Independent favours “diligent investigation and journalistic endeavour” above serious action, as a way of bringing down Fifa, but in a world in which the journalists deliberately cover up the failings of the FA, taking FA press releases without question and calling it investigative journalism, this is not going to happen.

Remember Fifa runs a world in which they can’t do anything about Russia’s bid, they say, because Russia destroyed all its documents on its computers.   Fifa has just given every organisation that wants to be corrupt the way out for ever more.   “Do what you like, but just wipe the computers.”

The fact is that the British media are not the ones who are blowing the whistle on Fifa and the FA.  Far from it in fact, they are utterly dependent on the whole lunacy carrying on so that they can join in the four yearly junket and sell lots of advertising on the back of it.

What they should be doing is pointing out that going to an England game is putting money into the hands of corruption, both at the FA and Fifa level.

But still there is one other  hope beside action from Germany and Uefa,, because the FBI investigation into Fifa continues, and they will not be so readily swept aside as the British media hanging onto the coat tails of Fifa and the FA.   And Michael Garcia is still out there and still commentating.

CNN is reporting that FBI investigators are moving ahead with their probe, which “could result in charges against senior FIFA officials, the U.S. law enforcement officials said.”

This investigation has been running for three years, and is said to be now teaming up with the former U.S. prosecutor, Michael Garcia not backing down.   The FBI investigation has the benefit of having the help of a few Fifa officials who are seeking to clean up their act before the FBI chopper falls.

Indeed The New York Daily News, which unlike the British press, does not bend the knee to Fifa and the FA is getting quite excited about it all – and that is to our benefit.

Meanwhile the FA is rejecting criticisms in the released Fifa summary report saying that a £35,000 dinner for Caribbean officials had been specifically cleared by Fifa and that a part-time job found for an associate of Jack Warner’s was an unpaid work experience position.

So that’s all right then.

Although if I was in the FA and knew the FBI were on my track, I’d be packing the suitcase now.

Indeed the only issue left is who is the most corrupt.  The FA or Fifa?   Or was it the British Prime Minister who offered to work with Fifa to stage the World Cup in England if Qatar pulled out or was pushed out?

The FA are certainly implicated because their bid for the World Cup targeted  the block of Fifa executive votes apparently controlled by Warner and showered the bid team with “inappropriate requests” which were often accommodated, according to the report.  It may not be a corruption a fraction of the size of Fifa’s own activities, but it was still wrong.

And there is still more to come out.

Oh yes, this one will run and run and this time the result might not be a muddled whitewash.   And here’s a little prediction.  If Germany’s move to get Uefa out of Fifa, I bet you the British press will then hang on to its coat tails and claim it as their idea.

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19 Replies to “Germany stands tall while pathetic FA and UK press still want us in Fifa”

  1. The fact that the Russian and Qatar bids were probably more corrupt does not in any way lessen any corruption from the FA, but the English media are trying nonetheless to play down any possible wrong-doing from the FA.

    “But the FA, with the regrettable exception of the then FA boss, Lord Triesman, did cooperate. Its reward for exposing the detail of this inglorious episode in its history, which included raising £3m from hard-pressed local councils, is to be held up for criticism for inappropriate spending”, says The Guardian.
    Well, yes, don’t worry, it was only the boss of the FA that refused to cooperate, but other than that everything is hunky-dory.
    No mention of Jack Warner.

    From The Telegraph:
    “Nine [elsewhere they say 11] of the 22 ExCo officials who made the original controversial decision in Zurich on Dec 2, 2010, have since stood down, some because of allegations that they received bribes.

    “Eckert’s lite version of Garcia’s report admits certain unethical “occurrences” by bidders but says that “the effect of these occurrences on the bidding process as a whole were far from reaching any threshold that would require returning to the bidding process, let alone re-opening it”. Threshold? How can there be a threshold on corruption? There should be zero-tolerance on corruption, not some grey area where corruption is acceptable before the “threshold” is reached. The word “threshold” alone damns Fifa.”

    And then it descends into chest-thumping idiocy:
    “As the founding father of football, the FA has every right, however antiquated it may seem to some, to behave as a self-appointed moral guardian of the game.”

    Interestingly, Emirates is withdrawing its sponsorship of FIFA over this alleged corruption, and Qatar Airways is taking its place.

    Meanwhile, The Guardian puts up some laughable reasons why we should not have a TV referral system. Arguing for the sake of arguing, I believe:

  2. Surely a chance like this to strike the first blow at the corruption that is FIFA can’t be missed.
    UEFA’s secession would isolate Europe but would so weaken FIFA’s grip on the rest of the globe that it would never recover.
    Wake up British media! Join Untold. And FA (you will be next).

  3. “It is exactly the sort of requirement and threat that the world of football has been waiting for…..”
    100% agree that footballs needs to grow a pair, but I’ve read the article time after time and can’t see the ‘threat’ you talk about.

  4. Talk sport threatening to discuss the subject in the next half hour. But by the time that they have stopped bigging up the Scotland match and getting in their anecdotes , about 20 adverts we should get about a 5 minute conversation.

  5. Fair play to the Germans if they are serious about this, but I do wonder if they will be able to get support from the likes of Spain and Portugal, amongst others.
    The FA should be broken up, they are a national embarrassment.

  6. Looking around Google News a while ago, and largely ignoring popular UK, German and USA news sources on this issue. I ran across articles at Haaretz, ArabianBusiness (which is Qatar I believe), Financial Times (UK), Sidney Morning Herald, SBS, Bloombergview and the Wall Street Journal.

    Foreign Policy has an article about Equitorial Guinea being worse than FIFA for corruption.

  7. To me a lot of this is just big power politics played out on another stage. Why should we trust the USA any more than Qatar?

    Every country is willing to buy votes if it thinks it will get an advantage from it. The richer the country the more it can offer, and the more secretive it can be about doing it.

    As to Britain, the British parliament has an unelected upper house full of lords, many of them appointed by their rich friends, and others inheritors of wealth they never worked for. Isn’t there a whiff of corruption just in this very fact?

  8. I just hope that we are over the “threshold” now where the momentum for change has become unstoppable.

    To be fair to the British Media, the Sunday Times has probably dug up more dirt on FIFA than any other outlet in the world. The BBC’s panorama also put the boot in. At the time I was dismayed as I wanted to see a World Cup here in my lifetime.

    As noted in a previous thread, if the whole of UEFA pulls out, FIFA is finished. Nearly all the best players play in Europe, the lion’s share of sponsorship and TV money come from Europe etc.

    But I think it would only take 3 or so of the major powers to pull out and there would be serious difficulties.

    Let’s hope the FBI make some serious progress. Seems like the best bet right now.

  9. Pat – yes.

    Nothing is perfect – but the world will be a better place if FIFA is reformed. That doesn’t mean there aren’t myriad other affairs of humanity that could not be improved. But these are independent issues.

  10. Think you may be right Pete….the US …with the help of the FBI and other agencies tend to get their way if they really go for something these days. Not sure FIFA or their Swiss protection are a match for them. Expect quite a lot of friction between the US and Qatar and others over individuals if not the rulers on ISIS funding as well, not sure where this fits into football, but sure it does somewhere or it will at some time.

  11. I don’t think all of UEFA would pull out. If nothing else, Russia (and countries allied to Russia) would stay in. Yes, they are probably an insignificant part of UEFA.

    3: Germany, England, Spain
    4: Germany, England, France, Italy (or substitute one of France/Italy for Spain)


  12. Something has to happen. How can it be allowed for an entity to investigate themselves for corruption?

  13. I fear Gord is right, many smaller countries might see this as an opportunity to reach a finals and others as an opportunity to win it. While I grant that many fans of top PL clubs would not miss international football, the supporters of less successful clubs would (just look at the club names on the flag of St. George). The other body that likes the competition are the players, just listen to our Jack talk about being desperate to play in a meaningless friendly against Scotland on Tuesday, 4 days before our home game against United. I expect a fudge

  14. i dont understand the fuss

    world cups and olympics are usually given to developing nations so that sponsors and constructions firms and political lobbies make money…..

    …football must be the only industry where the people following it are in denial that it is an industry.

    we tend to judge things romantically…for the love of the game..etc …no such thing exists.

  15. I think the FA should stand up and announce an independent inquiry in to their world cup bid. If this report finds them guilty then those responsible should resign, the FA can then claim to be a clean organization. It should then put pressure other organisations in England to become open, the only way we as fans are going to see a clean game of football is by somebody taking a stand. It does not matter that England does not get the world cup for another 100 years or a European cup etc it does not matter that UEFA contrive to only allow 1 or 2 teams in to the Champions League.

    Once one footballing association takes a stand others will follow, and with the increased love of the game in the USA they will back clean associations you only have to look at how they run the NFL etc. The American media and public will not tolerate FIFA’s obvious back handed dealings.

    I know this is a dream and will never happen but it needs one of the big countries associations to stand up to this.

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