FIFA and Trust
The FIFA World Cup 2018 host selection process is hotting up, and the host will be chosen shortly. The Sunday Times newspaper uncovered an expectation of bribery for the executives votes, and two executives have been suspended.
Today (4th November), the BBC reported that the English bid for the World Cup was endangered because of the actions of the press. Well of course! Whcih organisation likes to have its name dragged through the mire? But the question is - who is at fault? FIFA, or the press for uncovering the fraud?
The FIFA President, Sepp Blatter has been one of the loudest voices in world football for many years, but has als been one of the dictators of the destruction of trust within football - though not alone.
You have to question an organisation that is set up in Swtitzerland - a country that until relatively recently allowed bribes to be tax deductible! The world power in football and the most powerful region - Europe (via UEFA) are both within miles of each other in the central European country.
Add to this, the power given to third world executives, from countries where bribery is a normal business practice, and you have a recipe for disaster. Is the right country getting the tournament for the right reasons, or because they greased the right palms?
And is this good for football - already seen as a self-centred, greedy sport full of unsporting participants who dive, try to get opponents booked and sent off and many of whom earn obscene wages.
I for one, support the bid for the 2018 World Cup to 'come home' to England, but not at any cost. If unethical and untrustworthy behaviour is the only way to get the World Cup, then I would push for FIFA to be disbanded and a new organisation to be set up in its place, with stricter regulation.
Otherwise, let's scrap the World Cup - the top footballers are paid by the clubs, many of which have very few national/local players. The absentees for international matches show that footballers do not value the national team as much as their paymasters.
So if we stick to the club championships, and keep international tournaments local, we can limit the bribery and corruption. This is not what I want to see, nothing binds the nation better than the World Cup, but if it is just about who can pay the most money, it is no longer sport, so why bother?
So England's bid is endanger because the English press uncovered this corruption! This shows that FIFA executives are running scared - two have been suspended, but who many others are worried that they will be exposed next?
Football must regain the trust of the billions of supporters worldwide, and as the ruling body, FIFA has a responsibility to make the organisation of football as clean and ethical as possible.