The FA has just left the last chance saloon and is now more likely to be corrupt than Spectre

By Tony Attwood

“Spectre is less likely to be corrupt than Fifa.”

I love Marina Hyde’s phrase in the Guardian – not only because it is funny but also because it is true.
And that truth was to be found in the latest round of arrests that Walter covered on Untold yesterday.  For one of those arrests was Alfredo Hawit, the head of the North and Central American and Caribbean governing body.
Now imagine you were in charge of an organisation that had corruption issues that were being examined in public and in the courts.  One of your men had just gone to prison, and you needed a replacement.  What would be the first thing you would do?
I suggest that you might order that the replacement is whiter than white.  No trace of anything amiss.  Ever.

And what do we find?   Hawit succeeded Jeffrey Webb in May this year after Webb was arrested as part of the first US operation against Fifa.

Now it maybe that New Fifa actually did investigate Hawit and gave him a clean bill of health, and that just shows their incompetence.  But maybe also they just took the next man in the queue without any investigation as to his probity.  Or maybe there is no one in Fifa who is untouched.

So, it is interesting to see what Issa Hayatou, president of Fifa this week, had to say.  He said about Hawit and the process of selecting him, ”




I put the full stop in at the end, although he may not have used one.   He also said that fifa was not corrupt and that all the problems were down to a few naughty boys.

So, let’s take that as the possible truth.  That shows Fifa is incompetent at weeding them out.  Which means we have only two logical positions: Fifa is Corrupt or Fifa in incompetent.

No, hold that.  Maybe there are three: Fifa is corrupt and incompetent.

Hayatou, president of the Confederation of African Football, said “There are lots of people in Fifa for more than 20 or 30 years that have not been accused of anything.”  He has been in there for over 20 years.

The new president of Fifa could be Sheikh Salman – a member of the Bahraini royal family of whom the Guardian has said, and I quote exactly because I don’t want to end up like some of his subjects “has been personally accused by various human rights groups of heading up a committee which identified pro-democracy athletes, many of whom were tortured.”

Now the point is, the FA are still dealing with this organisation, which to my mind makes them co-conspirators.   If you deal with a crook, criminal and torturer by mistake, then you are probably just a bit silly.  But to do it, knowing what he is, that makes you a part of the crime.

Meanwhile back home there is no progress in trying to get the FA to give more tickets at the FA Cup final to the supporters of the teams actually playing in the FA Cup final, although you’d think that might be a priority.

Arsenal have been running the campaign, but they are being blocked by directors on the FA board who claim to be thinking about the “national game” and “amateur football”.   They get 25,000 tickets – and there is mounting evidence that each year a lot are returned to the FA along with around a quarter of the huge allocation that goes to FA councillors to give to their chums (probably in Fifa).

Curiously the FA has a “head of customer insight”, Ross Antrobus, who has done some research to see what we all think of the FA.  They found “a lot of indifference” to the FA.  Which is a shame, because it means Untold’s solo campaign to have the FA wound up and chucked in the Thames isn’t getting very far.

The vice-chair of the FA, Roger Burden, recently said in a letter to members of the FA, “It is clear many of the groups researched are not appreciating a lot of the work being done in support of referees, coaches and leagues. Martin Glenn told us he will be looking into the causes and checking to see if we can learn from those organisations that are perceived as doing better than us.”

If Martin Glenn asks me, I shall let him know what I think.

Around 100 people have been given notice to quit their jobs by the FA in the past three months as it desperately tries to get itself out of the financial hole into which it has dug itself.  If only they keep this process going then ultimately there will be no FA.

Which could be quite good.


12 Replies to “The FA has just left the last chance saloon and is now more likely to be corrupt than Spectre”

  1. I don’t think anyone in Fifa is clean, so whoever they appointed would be tainted too. Even the next person to replace Hawit, unless the person has never been involved with football.

  2. Lol. I actually thought the quote missing was a bit of Untold humour to imply that they didn’t say anything about it!

  3. Tony, don’t wait for Martin Glenn. Make sure your views are made known without being asked.

  4. Silly me for missing the joke.
    A bit like ‘Silent Stan’ at the AGM when he rose to address the audience and didn’t utter a word.

  5. You know for certain that once these executives, chairmen of this and that, all round sound eggs and pillars of the community, get arrested and grilled the deal-maker inside, fuelled by the sudden awareness that self-instinct demands survival, steps out, and looking for the deal to be made, replays all the tables they’ve sat at, remembers all the faces sitting at the table, remembers all the deals they’ve made face by face, all the lunches, all their contacts, all the details, and they think, enter a guilty, shop this chap, that chap.
    Their release, their appearance in court on the lowest possible charge, becomes instantly negotiable. Names against lesser charges. The next list of names are then processed and produce exactly the same results.
    Busy people busy climbing ladders now busy fleeing. Batches of the ladder will be done, rung by rung. On each rung they go downwards in the organisation rung by rung, and outwards at the tables in negotiation for lesser charges. Who can be shopped, and what does that mean for my jail sentence? Consequently, as it gets wider, it goes downwards on the ladders face by face, and then outwards again face by face, with each new face at each table opening onto another ladder, wider and wider still, each face shopping the next. The one certain thing in life – You can’t get on the ladder unless you’ve sat at the table. Busy people busy climbing.

    Consequently, what I want from Santa, is a game I can put in the computer which opens to show all the rungs of the ladder as it goes up to Sepp I-trust-you-with-my-life at the top, and out, on each rung, through each face at the table, into each of their separate rungs, and downwards, and then outwards, so I can go up and down the ladder, and out at every individual knowing damn well, sooner or later, at some series of interlocking, interfacing, table of negotiable faces I find, glowing in the spur of recognition, the ref’s list for Saturday afternoons.

  6. I suppose Silent Stan learnt from his countryman Custer whose only word when he made a stand was ‘ouch!’.

  7. Only prob with no FA is that presumably the Premier League and PGMOL would take over many of their duties.

    In that case, long live the FA!

    Don’t think the Gabriel/Costa incident would have been dealt with post-game the same way if PGMOL got to handle it. Well, given Dean’s non-demotion we know that’s true.

    As for Fifa, if there’s anyone clean anywhere remotely senior they can only have been…decoration or something, or at least they would have to be either remarkably oblivious or actually not so senior. Why would such a dirty organisation want anyone clean about? They’d be a nuisance and an unnecessary risk.

    Some were probably compromised incrementally, some not as bad as others, many would have gleefully got stuck in, but it’s abundantly clear now, provably, that corruption reigned to such an extent the idea is absurd they are fit to reform themselves.

  8. We now have a manager on record as saying that one player “could” have killed another one during a match. This has happened before I recall when Sir Friggenson accused the Swansea captain of trying to kill van Persie. Mark Halsey also stated publically that Robert Huth could have killed Callum Wilson by kicking the ball at his head from close range.

    The difference between the first and the latter 2 incidents is the method involved.

    Whether Ryan Bennnett “meant” to shove Alexis into the pit is neither proven or otherwise. That he pushed him close to the barriers is enough to determine if the danger to the Arsenal player made Bennett culpable.

    The same type of action last season, resulted in serious injury to Debuchy. Again, the opposition player Arnautovic, was seen “shoving” MD into the advertising hoardings. Again, the offending palyer is culpable of either rsking, or in this case, causing to serious injury an opposition player.

    So what are referees told? Well, apparently, nothing. In both cases involving Arsenal players Debuchy and Sanchez, the referee was John Moss. So disinterested was Mr Moss in the Debuchy incident that he didn’t (1) check that the player was OK and (2) stop the play so that he could receive attention. Only when Per Metersacker when to his stricken team mates did Mr Moss decide to stop play.

    In the incedent last weekend at Norwich, Moss again decided to take no actionagainst the player putting another player in danger.

    I happen to know of Ryan Bennett from his days at Grimsby, and whilst I don’t believe that he tried to shove Alexis down the concrete pit, I do think that he was culpable in risking serious injury by his actions.

    It’s time Mike Riley got a grasp of such incidents and instructed his officials accordingly. Otherwise, if a player does actuall get killed, it will be on Mike Riley’s head, because he is ultimately responsible for player Health and Safety during matches.

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