By Tony Attwood
“FIFA is one of the most discredited organisations in the world
with serial allegations of corruption plaguing almost its every
move off-the-field in terms of management and governance.”
I think most of us can agree with that. So when I then read that, “Football players and fans who are concerned with how world football’s governing body, FIFA, is run have been invited to join a peoples’ campaign for a new FIFA,” I thought, hey, this could be the break through.
But oh, what’s this? It’s actually a con by FA and Fifa insiders. It’s a conference organised by the same old same old gang, the left-overs from previous scams and stitch ups, presenting the same old Fifa in a new hat with, well basically, this bunch in charge instead of the old bunch.
Top of the revisionist tree is Fifa Presidential candidate, Jerome Champagne; the man who led the technical inspection team for the 2018/2022 World Cup Bids. So he’s the guy who saw where the world up will be played in 40 degrees and said, sure thing, and who felt that the slave labour and feudalism were beyond his remit to comment upon. “I was just in the technical team,” he said. “Just following orders,” was probably his next line.
Talking to CCN World Sport Champagne said, “Blatter is not corrupt,” and you can’t get fairer than that in terms of being clear with whom you identify. It’s a shame the headline writer trying to whip up some enthusiasm for the conference for the new fifa wasn’t told about that. Further into his comments to CNN’s World Sport he said, “I’m not here to defend Blatter but I want him to be a responsible candidate and an efficient president.”
He added that Blatter is, “The FIFA president, according to the constitution of FIFA, he’s not a dictator,”
Next up in the new Fifa is Harold Alfred Mayne-Nicholls Secul, also a FIFA official part of the old team
Then we have the former Chairman of the England Bid and the English FA, Lord David Triesman. The man who at least in part is responsible for the destruction of grass roots football in England, and the fact that the FA is in such a financial mess.
And as you may recall he’s a man with a history. For example on 16 May 2010, the Mail on Sunday revealed that a civil servant, Melissa Jacobs, had taped Triesman in a restaurant talking about bribery of referees in the 2010 world cup. Triesman said on the recording, “There’s some evidence that the Spanish football authorities are trying to identify the referees … and pay them.” He then was said to be resigning from the FA and England’s 2018 bid – but as far as I can see he carried on and in an effort to redeem himself gave luxury handbags to the wives of all 24 members of Fifa’s voting panel.
It’s a shame he didn’t come out with the knowledge that he had so we could have seen just how widespread match fixing was.
Of course where there is a free lunch on offer (as the launch of a new fifa to replace the old fifa will see) there will be British MPs. “People have had enough,” said British MP, Damian Collins. “I speak to amateur and professional players, fans, and mums and dads whose children play and love the game. It has reached the stage where FIFA is a laughing stock. We all love the game. But we all detest how it’s run.”
And yes, I’d agree, which is why it is a shame that Collins also said that the “Brussels Summit” which is in effect a rally to support Champagne, “is the first vital step in making a new Fifa a reality.
“We don’t intend to talk about what is wrong with Fifa, as we all know what’s wrong. The experience since the Presidential election in 2011 – when we were promised things would change – shows that Fifa is incapable of reforming itself. But we also know that Fifa’s problems go much further back than that.”
But Fifa doesn’t need to reform itself. Champagne has said so.
And then laughably the MP said, “We want to see football governed by people who make decisions and take action in a transparent manner, and who are held accountable in the best interests of the sport and civil society.” Like Triesman for example.
The reality is Fifa is so utterly corrupt that anyone who has been part of it and has not resigned, making clear statements about the corruption, is suspect.
The reality of the England bid is that it was a total farce, and wasted a huge amount of money on a campaign that could never be won – money that could have gone into grassroots football in England. Anyone associated with it is suspect.
The reality is that the FA is a grossly incompetent organisation, that is so inept that even when it is given huge sums of money by Sports England, to spend on grass roots football, its incompetence is so overwhelming that it fails to do anything, has the money taken away again, and as an excuse blames the weather. Anyone associated with it is suspect.
The reality of international football is that it takes, takes and takes again from the clubs that provides the players, and returns the players injured. (Mr Wenger once compared them to dodgy second hand car salesmen which seems just about right).
What we need is for international football to be taken back to a much more basic level, playing just occasional matches at the end of each season, leaving the real football to the clubs. Yes we do need Fifa to be wound up, but not to be replaced by old timers who have already screwed up big time, and wanna be’s who are supportive of the current regime.
There is still the hope that the American FBI examination of Fifa and its rampant corruption will blow the whole thing apart and get most of the gang long prison sentences. That could help.
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