It’s widely believed that a culture of corruption permeates the entire FIFA organisation starting at the top with president Sepp Blatter. Gary Lineker recently gave his views on the issue and Michael Laverty looks into the matter further here.
FIFA, the world governing body of football, is a deeply compromised organisation that does not act in the interests of the game. It follows other agendas, this can be seen in the sale of the 2022 World Cup to the highest bidder and the recent decision to award an undeserving Lionel Messi the Golden Ball at the World Cup in Brazil.
Former England striker and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has expressed his views openly on the corruption within FIFA.
“It makes you feel sick, the whole FIFA thing, the corruption at the top level is nauseating. Sepp Blatter has run it like a dictatorship for so long and he comes out with so much nonsense.”
Lineker’s comments will be echoed by many fans concerned about the direction FIFA is taking the game. In relation to the decision to award Qatar the World Cup the English striker was equally damning.
“It is ludicrous. I am not against it [the World Cup] going to different parts of the world, but you’d have thought they might have known it would be very hot in summer [in Qatar].”
In the decision to bring the World Cup to the middle east, FIFA have shown a complete disregard for the club, their main stakeholders. The Qatari climate dictates that the tournament will probably have to be held in winter to avoid the unmerciful summer heat, disrupting the European club season.
With investigations under way, members among the 24 person FIFA committee have resigned in disgrace, as the corrupt Zurich based organisation try to cover up their extensive misdeeds. In relation to England’s repeated failed bids for the World Cup, Lineker opined that despite the unfair and corrupt bidding procedure, England should continue to play it straight even if it means they continue to be overlooked.
“We should stand up for what is right and if that means never hosting the World Cup again, fine. The only way it might change is for the clean countries to turn around and say ‘we are not taking part in your tournaments’. But I can’t see it happening. There is too much at stake.”
This is clearly an unacceptable situation but unfortunately Lineker is right. FIFA are run by the French, yet football originated from England. England being the home of football, should surely have a say in where the biggest tournament of the sport is held, or failing that, decide to have every tournament in England despite the impact it may have at promoting the game world wide.
Russia is next up to host the World Cup and one must really question how FIFA are allowing this considering the current political situation. Recently six players refused to return to Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk due to the ongoing stand off between Russia and Ukraine. With players feeling threatened for their own safety a full four years before the World Cup, it is grossly irresponsible to stage a global event in this troubled part of the world.
Ultimately it is the fans who suffer from FIFA’s ridiculous diktats, to take a small example, the decision to change traditional strip colours of Spain and Brazil at the World Cup to suit HD television broadcasts shows a complete disregard for the views of supporters.
Where will all the madness end?
Lineker’s suggestion of clean countries boycotting the World Cup could force real reform but as he conceded such a bold move is unlikely given the stakes involved . In the absence of firm action from its members the misrule of the governing body is set to continue to the detriment of the game.
Michael Laverty, Pundit Arena.