Soccerstoriesbook's Blog


FOUR MORE YEARS OF NON-TRANSPARENCY

Weeks of intrigue, finger-pointing and threats came to an anticlimactic conclusion as Sepp Blatter, running unopposed, was re-elected to a fourth four-year term as FIFA president by a 186-17 vote in Zurich during the world soccer governing body’s 61st Congress.

Blatter’s path was cleared three days earlier when his only challenger, Asian confederation chief Mohamed bin Hammam, was suspended from soccer activities in the wake of an accusation by CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer that he had attempted to buy the votes of Caribbean officials at $40,000 apiece. 

The collateral damage included the suspension of CONCACAF president Jack Warner on bribery charges, the firing of Blazer by Warner’s interim successor and his subsequent reinstatement, and the ostracism of the English F.A., whose bid to postpone Blatter’s “coronation” until suitable opposition could be found was soundly quashed, 172-17.  Adding to the turmoil was a call by the head of the German federation, Theo Zwanziger, for a probe into how Bin Hammam’s Qatar defeated the U.S. in December in the bid to host the 2022 World Cup.  [June 1]

Comment:   Don’t look for anything to change over the next four years.  (Also, American dreamers, don’t look for a re-vote on who will host the ’22 World Cup, which the U.S. originally lost, 13-4.)   Blatter, momentarily jostled, is back in the saddle, and there will now be the patching of the cracks, not a razing of the foundation.   One only has to go back to Blatter’s first re-election campaign, which came on the heels of the infamous ISL collaspse, to recall how the FIFA boss, through his rhetoric, managed to drive the word “transparency” into the ground.  Hollow now as it was back then.

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