Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Politics is a dirty business. Always has been; always will be. Everyone accept that, but even the term “dirty politics” is an understatement for what’s going on in FIFA right now. This is because the people running have gone MAD. Not MAD as in crazy but MAD as in “Mutually Assured Destruction”.

FIFA runs the world of football, the world’s most popular sport, and as such the president of FIFA is world famous and very powerful. Sepp Blatter has been the president of FIFA for decades and the problem started when Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar threw his hat into the ring for the FIFA presidential elections. Unlike previous attempts by other candidates, bin Hammam had a very good chance of beating Blatter for the presidency.

That is until a wave of corruption allegations engulfed bin Hammam and his supporter Jack Warner, the head of the Caribbean, North and Central American federation (CONCACAF). Both were provisionally suspended by an ethics committee that took only hours to come to the decision despite not having come to a decision on whether they were guilty of corruption. Basically the duo were suspended pending the “investigation” to the allegations. This was just days before the presidential election for FIFA.

Furious, Jack Warner then decided that he’s not going down alone. He revealed emails showing that Blatter and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke are also guilty of bribery and corruption. One of his emails showed Valcke saying that bin Hammam might have been thinking that “you can buy FIFA as they bought the WC (World Cup).” Qatar, who surprised the world by getting the right to host the 2022 World Cup, swiftly denied Valcke’s claim and have threaten legal action against Valcke. Valcke himself is now trying to backpedal on the issue but the damage has already been done. Even in a best case scenario, Blatter and his followers are incompetent or had turned a blind eye to the corruption within FIFA.

In the face of FIFA’s worst scandal in its 107-year history, only one thing is clear; no one is going to come out of this smelling like roses. It is “Mutually Assured Destruction” at its finest and the big casualty of all these politics is unfortunately the beautiful game itself.

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