Neo-Feudalism & FIFA

Wed, 30 June 2010

BBC Sport reports that FIFA “warns” Sarkozy:

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has warned France may be banned from international football if its government interferes in the running of the national side.

Blatter said he was sending a “clear and clean message” to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who criticised the team after a dismal World Cup campaign.

Sarkozy has pledged to personally lead an investigation into what went wrong.

But Blatter insisted the governing body would oppose “political interference, even if it is at presidential level.”

“Political interference” is used very loosely. It’s one thing to have political appointees or political favourites holding key positions in a national association, it’s another thing for a government to review the organization and efficiency of a national body to improve the country’s performance in that sport.

On the other hand, FIFA (like the IOC), has no qualms about insisting on particular laws being introduced in a country before it will allow it to be host.  So FIFA can interfere politically in a country.

International sports bodies such as FIFA, the IOC and the FIA, and the private companies that control them or through which they act, such as the Formula One Group, and formerly, ISL, are a law onto themselves.

We’re entering a new feudal age, with certain powerful international bodies and multinationals acting as feudal lords, and us fans/consumers enslaved as neo-serfs by our addiction to their products. ;)

The Nigerian President has sought to pre-empt FIFA by announcing that Nigeria will withdraw from international competition for 2 years.

Nigeria’s president has suspended his nation’s football team from international competition for two years after a poor showing at the World Cup.

Special presidential adviser Ima Niboro told reporters the decision by Goodluck Jonathan will “enable Nigeria to reorganise its football”.

The Nigerian Football Federation is to be dissolved and an interim board appointed, the BBC understands.

Of course, FIFA could respond by suspending Nigeria indefinitely.

Perhaps England should withdraw from international competition for 2 years while the government reorganizes the FA. ;)

In the same article:

The president also plans an audit of the country’s World Cup organising committee.

“If any financial misappropriation is discovered, all officials responsible will be held accountable,” Niboro added.

By FIFA’s loose definition, investigating officials of the national body for corruption, fraud or theft could amount to political interference.

Unfortunately, there is no international authority to audit FIFA.

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  1. The Nigerian President backs down.

    FIFA exercises the same kind of power and influence over footballing nations as the Vatican used to exercise over Catholic nations, and there are probably more footballing nations in the world than there are, or have ever been, Catholic nations.

  2. According to Sepp Blatter:

    “There is a political dimension to football too – how many heads of states have come to visit South Africa, and they all want to make sure they have the pictures taken in the stands. That’s the power of football.”

    And he thinks that’s a good thing.

  3. […] or neo-feudalism?  Perhaps they are the same […]

  4. […] I don’t blame referees as much as I do clueless administrators at the top levels of the game, clinging on to their positions for the sake of power and wealth. […]

  5. […] Neo-Feudalism & FIFA, posted on 30 June 2010 […]

  6. […] from Nigeria, the associations of Bosnia and Brunei have also been suspended. Also, the associations of Brunei […]

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