Friday, December 03, 2010

Fifa and the World Cup Bid: a Proposal

Sepp Blatter: Le Parrain du FootballImage by blogcpolitic via Flickr
As an Englishman and a football fan, I find myself not terribly disappointed that we lost the bid for the 2018 world cup. I know that millions are.

For me, I long ago lost confidence in Fifa, which I see as a corrupt and unaccountable organisation, wedded to global capitalism and rife with cronyism. I find Sepp Blatter an unpleasant man with dictatorial tendencies and, frankly, I think the game of football is better served the less he is involved with it. A Fifa tournament taking place in the mafia state of Russia seems tragically appropriate.

Nonetheless, I do see an alternative.

We're not terribly good at this sort of thing in England, with our strong instincts to appear as the nice guys, but would the interests of the game be served if we withdrew from Fifa and put on our own world tournament - at a time and place of our choosing?

Mr Blatter would rant and rage and threaten unimaginable consequences over such a move but, in reality, would be powerless to stop it. This is the man who this week described Britain's free media as "evil" following the Panorama broadcast alleging corruption within Fifa.

There is a difference between football the sport and Fifa the organisation. They can be separated. Those of us who enjoy the game do not belong to Fifa. Sepp Blater has no authority over us. He doesn't own the sport - just the contracts with Emirates, Visa and Coca Cola.

We're free to do what we like with the beautiful game. The men in suits can get stuffed.

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Tom Foster said...

I like it Al - be interesting to see how next few months pan out

Al Shaw said...

It does seem problematic when a small group effectively controls access to such a vast activity, which should be democratically owned and managed.