By Tony Attwood
- Why are so many sports administrators corrupt or incompetent or both?
- Wholesale mega corruption in football (part 2)
In recent articles (linked above), I have been trying to show what has happened to world sport, by briefly suggesting that there are difficulties within the committees and organisations running the Olympics, the World Cup, the appeals procedure for world sport, and so on.
It’s a theme we have looked at before – and indeed if you go to our home page and scan down you’ll see two headlines: “The slavery files & the FA” and The FA and the corruption files” which gather together just a few of the stories in those areas that we have run over the years.
The point that has been made is that these problems go back to the takeover of the organisations by people who we really might not think are the best qualified. We’ve also touched on how Fifa appears to have ambitions to set up a pan-African cup, which it runs directly, having already removed from CAF (which runs African football) the officials and representatives it doesn’t like, replacing them with its own nominees.
Which raises the question, why is so little publicity given to this issue and why are so few objections made to the obvious failures of the organisations that run world sport?
Such commentary is happening to some degree as we pointed out in the article in 2015 Switzerland take a greater interest in Fifa – at last while in another series we noted that the Swiss have been trying to work out how a group people from one small canton in the country came to be running world football while at the same time allowing Fifa to set itself up above national and international law.
One might also ask why the FA was allowed to continue its work after its gross and appalling failure in the child sex abuse scandals which ran on for years and years and destroyed so many lives, without its taking a blind bit of notice. (See for example Enquiry into child abuse by employees at football clubs is yet again being hampered by the FA).
And we haven’t even got to the question of the link between football and modern slavery. Six of our articles on this are highlighted on the indexes to past themes on our home page, but you particularly might like to note British media universally continues to support modern slavery. (You might also be interested in this document.)
So, back to the question. Why does the media not object, to the way these huge international bodies work? Why do they not take up the thought that something is fundamentally wrong with sport from the top of the top international bodies down to some small football clubs that allowed child sex abuse to fester for year after year within their clubs?
Certainly, we know how this is achieved – it is through the process of Gaslighting, which I have highlighted at some length before. I’ll put the index to our series on that topic at the end of this piece, but in essence, it is a process in which one simply doesn’t allow certain topics to be discussed at all.
But why do we have Gaslighting? Gaslighting explains the process by which the media refuses to allow certain questions to be asked, but it doesn’t explain why the media does this.
The answer I suspect is twofold.
One is the cosy relationship that can build up between the media and everyone from individual players to clubs to international organisations. Clubs control media facilities that the media use to cover a match. If you go to Arsenal you will see the media section in the lower tier of the west stand; the media have their own entrances their own facilities etc. Take that section out of Arsenal Stadium and we could get another 2000 fans in. OK there is no need for that at the moment but there could be if current progress continues.
The other is that sport is an easy thing to cover in the media. It takes place at designated times in designated locations. So if sports make it nice and easy for the media to cover the sport, why should the media bite the hands that feed it?
Compare covering football in general with unearthing a scandal or covering a war. There is no comparison – it is the cheapest and simplest way of filling what we used to call “column inches”.
And really that’s it. The media is not set up to question the people running football at any level because a) the media likes the simple life of just covering matches and b) the journalists covering sport are nothing like the journalists who cover international politics or warzones. Football journalists see the unmitigated chaos of the final of the Euros at Wembley and write simplistic stories about hooligans and drugs and alcohol because they are simply not used to asking the question “why was the FA so inept that it couldn’t organise one single match properly?”
Now if I am right in saying that is why the media never really gets to grips with the chaos and corruption in football, then there is little chance of anyone doing so in the future. By now it is far too inbred.
But let me finish with another thought that no one seems to have contemplated yet. This piece is about why we let bit international bodies continue to run world sport for their own benefit. Just recently a group of clubs sought to break that control by setting up their own Super League. And the media and fans rose up to denounce that league that would have finally broken away from the control of the existing corrupt bodies.
It’s a funny ol’ game.