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Change FIFA? Change The World

In reply to:

So what happens now, FIFA is rotten to the core, ….

Andrew Jennings has been saying that for years. Unfortunately, it is only after England, Australia and the USA fail in their bids to host the World Cup that the English-speaking world has followed suit.

In reply to:

… Sepp Blatter himself needs to go as well, he said he knew brown envelopes were doing the rounds, but he apparantly did not know they had changed hands, he should be booted for that alone, didnt John Higgins get suspended for a similar reason in that he knew money was changing hands and was himself offered cash which he turned down.


There is other evidence of Blatter himself being corrupt, especially in his earlier years as President. He is after all, a Joao Havelange protege, who was even more corrupt. What Blatter has done over the years is remove anyone who might threaten his position, and replaced them with his cronies.

The FIFA establishment will sweep any allegations against Blatter under the carpet and the Swiss authorities don’t want to upset the FIFA establishment.

In reply to:

So where does World Football go from here, I think FIFA should be shut down, scrapped and reformed with a different regime, I have noticed sections of the press saying England should pull out of FIFA for moral reasons, but who are we to preach to anybody, our own FA are not exactly squeaky clean themselves.

Going on the pull out of FIFA scenario, how can that be achieved, to be effective I would imagine we would need a few of the top 10 int’l teams to follow, along with major sponsors, I cannot think of many top teams who like us enough to put there int’l status on the line.

Would a massive vote of no confidence be enough to sort it all out.

Very few domestic football associations are in a position to stand up to the FIFA machinery. Apart from England and Scotland, perhaps Australia. And maybe Mali. 😉

Prince William has backed the Football Association and Scottish Football Association stance that a fair election cannot take place following allegations of corruption.

Blatter is the only candidate as his rival Mohammed bin Hammam is suspended.

But the FA and SFA have struggled to find support for their proposals.

Other associations from the United Kingdom, including the Football Association of Wales and Irish Football Association, appear unwilling to back their neighbours.

In order to suspend the elections on Wednesday, about 150 of the 208 nations must vote in support of the move, a scenario that FA chairman David Bernstein admitted was unlikely.

But despite already having decided to abstain from the voting process, Bernstein said the FA was duty bound to make a stance.

The more powerful countries dominate under the present structure, so they have no incentive to challenge the FIFA establishment. The smaller nations depend on the goodwill of Blatter and his cronies for whatever benefits they get from the system. The system of patronage is very powerful.

In reply to:

…. Who polices FIFA, I know Blatter is the head honcho, does he answer to himself or is there some authority above, can the ethics comm. overrule the blatter and the exec comm.

See above – “The FIFA establishment will sweep any allegations against Blatter under the carpet and the Swiss authorities don’t want to upset the FIFA establishment”. FIFA is established in Switzerland and is governed by Swiss law.

In reply to:

What would we need to do under a new regime to clean things up, at the end of the day, we need an international ethics team independent of FIFA.


As a private organisation established under Swiss law, FIFA is only answerable to its members (each country’s domestic FA) and Swiss law. By having a rule that governments cannot interfere with the running of its members, Blatter is able to ensure that his cronies are in power in the vast majority of FIFA’s members, so very few of them will vote against him.

Cronies such as Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer have kept CONCACAF in line for a long time. The falling out between Warner and Blazer could be the first major crack – or it might not.

Platini keeps UEFA largely in line. Africa and South America are easily bought. As matters stand, Asia is the only continent that might challenge Blatter, which is why he moved to replace South Korean Chung Mong-joon with Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan early this year. Bin Hammam dared to stand against Blatter, but has been destroyed by the FIFA machinery.

Damian Collins, Conservative MP for Folkestone & Hyde, is pushing for ChangeFIFA:

From Damian Collins MP and ChangeFIFA Directors:

We have been working with Damian Collins MP to set an agenda for FIFA reform which we have included below. We are asking members of parliaments and national assemblies to sign up to this agenda to demonstrate the growing concern about the leadership of FIFA. We will shortly be publishing the names of the first people who have signed up. If you would like to add your name in support please email Damian on damian@damiancollins.com

They’ll need a lot of weight behind them to shift FIFA.

In reply to:

…. I understand this can be a touchy subject at times and every man and his dog will have an opinion on this.

What do others think

As I said on Monday:

I hope not, but the more likely outcome:

(1) Blatter will be re-elected unopposed.
(2) Allegations against Blatter and his cronies will be swept under the carpet.
(3) Those who dare challenge Blatter will be destroyed, at least in the football world.
(4) Platini will continue in Blatter’s footsteps in four years’ time.
(5) Nothing will change.

Platini describes corruption as “small problems”. Blatter describes it as “some difficulties”, but not a crisis.

Anyone who thinks Platini is the solution is fooling themselves. Platini supports Blatter, knowing he will succeed Blatter. He may not be as corrupt as Blatter, but he’s not going to fundamentally change the system that brings him to power.

On the other hand, on 14 July 2008, I said:

I’m still banking on a major split in world football by 2012.

Ok, it might not be that soon, but if it does happen (assuming the world survives 2012 🙂 ), it’s not going to happen by challenging the FIFA establishment. The factors that might lead to a split will be the usual – money and power:

(1) The club v country debate is one about money – clubs pay players, countries use their services with minimal recompense, insufficient when top players are injured on international duty.
(2) The extent to which the wealth of football is concentrated in Europe, and the efforts of European clubs and leagues to develop markets outside of Europe.
(3) The distribution of wealth in European football, and how it is controlled – you have UEFA, ECA, EPFL, and the most powerful clubs and their owners.

For Platini, the move from UEFA to FIFA might be a logical step, as Europe becomes the real battleground – there is greater security of tenure as FIFA President than there is as UEFA President.

For the present, Bill Archer is reporting that AFC members are boycotting the FIFA Congress:

Today comes word that in fact a fair (though undetermined) number of them are refusing to participate in Wednesdays’ voting at all and ARE HEADED HOME, with one official who declined to be quoted by name saying:

“I can tell you that so far delegates from nine or 10 federations have gone home after arriving here.

“There is a deep sense of outrage amongst all of the delegates I have spoken to about the actions of the FIFA ethics committee. They have exceeded their mandate.”

It’s also known that several Asian members intend to stage a walkout from the meeting hall just prior to the balloting, which brings up an interesting idea which is making the rounds.

Since the agenda for the Congress has been officially established by the Syndicate – excuse me, I mean the Executive Committee – it would take 3/4 of the members voting to change it for FIFA to postpone the vote, which seems unlikely although ENGLANDS’ FA HAS JUST INTRODUCED AN OFFICIAL PROPOSAL to do just that.

However, it’s also possible – and slightly easier – to deny the Congress a quorum. The number making the rounds is 140 but I confess that I have no Earthly idea where that came from.

Let’s see if it happens.

FIFA’s sponsors express concern, but don’t expect any of them to withdraw their sponsorship:

“Let’s not forget the value of a relationship with FIFA, the value of a relationship with the World Cup and the Womens’ World Cup and everything that FIFA does around the world — from grass-roots football right up to international events,” ……..

Allegations like those haunting FIFA are more harmful to “values-driven” organizations like the International Olympic Committee, said Chris Welton, a sports marketing consultant whose former company was the marketing agency for the IOC when it was rocked by scandal.

It has to hit them where it hurts, in their pockets. I’d quite happily boycott all FIFA sponsors.

Visa have joined Adidas, Emirates and Coca-Cola in expressing concern. Anheuser-Busch have issued a statement, while McDonald’s Corp and Sony Corp have been silent.

Visa should have paid more attention to the experiences of rivals Mastercard before jumping into bed with FIFA:

‘Lying and deception and bad faith are standard operating procedure at FIFA.’ – Adam C. Silverstein, a lawyer for MasterCard in their successful action against FIFA, New York, December 1, 2006

Corruption is a global endemic, and FIFA’s conduct is merely symptomatic.   Before you can change FIFA, you need to change the world.

(Merger of three posts on Tony’s Non-League Forum – 1st, 2nd & 3rd}


2 thoughts on “Change FIFA? Change The World

  1. The voting:

    * The FA’s move at the Fifa Congress on Wednesday was defeated by 172 votes to 17. The Scottish FA was the only association to publicly back the FA.
    * Blatter was re-elected after receiving 186 of the 203 votes cast to remain in charge until 2015.

    One thing to come out of all of this:

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter has announced that World Cup host countries will in future be chosen by a vote of all the 208 member associations.

    Until now, Fifa’s 24-man executive committee has made the choice.

    But the controversy surrounding the decision to award Russia the 2018 tournament and Qatar the 2022 event has prompted a change.

    “I want to give more power to the national associations,” said Blatter, who was re-elected on Wednesday.

    More scope for corruption then. 😉

    FIFA’s operations remain as opaque as ever.

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