Blatter under pressure – again!Posted by George Cumming
The past few weeks have not been good for FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Firstly he became involved in the racism issues which involve two high profile Barclays Premier League players – Luis Suarez of Liverpool and England and Chelsea captain John Terry.
His suggestion that that racial discrimination could be settled with a handshake might have been non-controversial in most countries but in England, where these cases are still being investigated by the FA and feature prominently in the media, it lit a blue touch paper of outrage.
There is also the not insignificant matter of the ongoing resentment of FIFA in England following the failure of the England 2018 World Cup bid.
Blatter admitted his comments had caused a “serious incident” and that he had used “unfortunate words” which he “deeply regretted”.
He also said any players found guilty of racism on the pitch should be thrown out of the game.
“Zero tolerance,” he said. “This was a good lesson for me as well.”
Blatter will not resign because of his comments, no matter the demands of the FA and others in the English game but the most recent problem is much more serious.
Transparency International, a highly regarded corruption watchdog which was advising FIFA after a series of bribery and corruption scandals, has cut its ties with world football’s governing body.
An official of Transparency International said two of the key recommendations in a report it had produced had been ignored.
Firstly it said FIFA was paying an expert to oversee major reforms to how it is run and this would jeopardise his independence.
But perhaps more significantly the new investigative body would not re-examine any old allegations or scandals.
How can world football opinion be expected to ignore the basic reasons why such an investigation was necessary?
It is like saying there has been a murder but we are not going to investigate it. Instead we are going to install CCTV cameras to make sure it will not happen again.
FIFA was looking to Transparency International to give its investigation credibility but its decision not to take any further part totally undermines FIFA’s position.
Blatter is a supreme political operator who has remained at the helm of SS FIFA, as General Secretary and President for over 30 years.
He is under major pressure now, but who will call him to account?
Not most of the member associations who benefit from FIFA largesse through, for example, Goal Projects worth $4000,000 and a four yearly payment of
Not most of the FIFA Executive Committee who benefit from their First Class Travel, $500 per day allowances, $50.000 annual payment and a generous pension scheme.
Oh to have someone with the integrity and courage of the late FIFA Vice-President David Will to fearlessly face up to Blatter and challenge FIFA’s Governance – or lack of it!