by Walter Broeckx
As we have yet another international break in front of us I just wanted to take on two international matters and talk about my beloved friends from FIFA.
Yesterday in my paper it was said that Fifa has suspended Nigeria because Fifa thinks that the political regime in Nigeria is interfering with the Nigerian FA. And if there is one thing that Fifa cannot stand it is that a governement is interfering with the way a local FA is being organised. I must say a very valid point at first sight. I just wished we had some Nigerian internationals in our team for the moment as that mean they could have some extra rest.
According to Fifa the governement in Nigeria had decided that no teams would go down for some reason. Maybe the favourite team of some politician was going down? Also the fact that board members of the Nigerian Fa have to come over to the governement to explain why something was done or not done is something that Fifa can not allow.
So Fifa wants football as far from the politics as possible. And again I think this is a point of view that can be defended. We dont want the result of a football match being dependable to the likening of a president or king. But is this the same in every case for Fifa?
Because, “Greenland can not become a member of Fifa” according to Fifa president Sepp Blatter.
Greenland has some 53 clubs and some 5.102 football players and it had hoped to become a member of Fifa. The president of the Greenland Football Association mr. Kleeman has said that football is the most popular sport on Greenland and that it is their biggest wish to become a member of Fifa and be able to play qualifying games for European championships and world cups.
But Fifa president Blatter has said in a radio interview that this will not be possible. And he even gave a reason for not allowing Greenland in to Fifa. He said: “According to our admission rules you should be an independent state, recognised by the international community, meaning the United Nations and then you can become a member of Fifa.
And for the moment Greenland is not an independent country. It still is a part of Denmark. It has a large autonomy but the Danish government is till in charge of foreign affairs, security and financial policy.
Well those rules are clear enough one could say and bad luck for Greenland. But is the reason that Blatter is giving the real reason? Let us just examine what Blatter has said.
You have to be a country recognised by the international community, the United Nations organisation.
But when I take the list of members of the UN, I cannot find the name of let us say the Faroe Islands.
And yet I can remember the Faroe Islands playing games to qualify for European competitions and world cups. In the official Uefa ranking they stand at 50. And in the Fifa world ranking they occupy with pride spot 138 of the 207 Fifa members. And if we take a closer look at the Faroer Islands we can see that they are a part of Denmark with also some autonomy but also the Danish government is still very much in charge over there. And isn’t it a bit strange that there are only 192 countries who are member of UN and Fifa has 207 members?
So it is very strange that the Faroe Islands could become and stay a member and Greenland cannot become a member. Both have their own competition, both are not a member of the UN, both are part of Denmark. Still one is allowed and the other has the door slammed in their face.
If we take the rule for admission to Fifa, according to Blatter serious then even one could wonder how it is possible that the home countries are still a Fifa member. I could be wrong on this as I am not from the UK but as far as I know it is the UK that is a member of EC and UN. Not England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. They all have their areas where they have some competence in making their own laws and rules but when it comes to foreign affairs, security and financial policy I still had the impression that it is the government in London that is making up the rules. Am I walking on thin ice now and has there been a chance lately that I don’t know of?
So in fact the home countries shouldn’t be allowed anymore as separate members if what Blatter is saying is the rule. But because of the one example I already gave it is clear that what Blatter is saying is not that straightforward as he pretends it to be.
I could think of two reasons why Blatter don’t want Greenland as a member. One could be that Greenland should pay more money to become a member. I don’t know on which account they should make the payment but a good reader will maybe understand what I mean. Maybe Greenland should ask Jack Warner, Fifa Vice president a bit more information. ( just check the name Jack Warner vice president of Fifa on the internet together with the word corruption)
But I think that maybe the refusal has more to do with revenge. We all have seen on some occasions how Fifa and their leaders have sometimes reacted like real dictators and are not afraid of some financial wrongdoing. (again just check the name Jack Warner vice president of Fifa on the internet together with the word corruption) And like any real dictator they want that things go like they want them to go. And if you don’t act as they want you to do and listen to them you will get in some kind of trouble.
And yes Greenland committed a terrible crime against Fifa. (Not listening to dictators is a terrible crime in their eyes) It happened in 2001 as the Greenland national team played a landmark fixture against a Tibet XI in Denmark. The Chinese government was against it and also Fifa did all what they could to prevent the game to take place. The Greenlanders and the Greenland FA came under great POLITICAL pressure but they didn’t give in and played the game against Tibet. Standing up against dictators like Fifa, this is something that will not be forgotten by most dictators. And they will get back on you when they can. It’s like elephants, they never forget.
Now they finally could and the Greenland football federation is paying the price for that game in 2001. And the reason Blatter is giving the world are just another set of lies from Fifa, if you ask me.
And the fact that the Greenland FA has shown they will not track back for any political pressure, something that Fifa should like, is coming back on the head of the Greenland Fa and their football players. Ah, well this is FUFA you know…
And lets just keep our fingers crossed for the next 5 days and hope we get no more casualties…
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