Tuesday, 3 June 2014

FIFA Corruption "Shock"!

My goodness... so a multi-billion dollar corporation run by a cabal of elderly men whose votes can bestow ridiculous fortune upon applicants is susceptible to some "inducement" here and there. Who'd have thunk it? Like its ugly sister, the IOC — another body that regards itself as untouchably supranational — FIFA is as bent as bent can be and has been so for decades.

With no disrespect intended to the Brazilian hosts of the impending jamboree, the time to register a protest is NOW, refusing to allow one's national team to participate. But that's never going to happen, is it? And for the all the high-mindedness about investigation and reform, we all know that the inevitable whitewash of FIFA will result in any punitive action being token.

A boycott of Qatar 2022 (which won't happen either) could, potentially, yield a rather tasty prospect — a rogue, breakaway summer tournament, perhaps a more compact competition of 16 teams. But... nope... so petrified are the member associations of being blackballed by Blatter Inc. — even still —that they'll all kowtow eventually.

The biggest losers here will be England. With FIFA unable to disassociate a free press from the will of a government, and, by extension, its FA, the recent Sunday Times uncoverings will be seen merely as a case of sour grapes for failing to win the 2018 bid. In my mind there is no coincidence between the British press' last anti-FIFA rumblings and the denial of Frank Lampard's goal against Germany in South Africa (at a crucial point in the game, remember, when England were on the up). So brace yourself for that dodgy Suarez dive/handball and penalty to Uruguay.

You think FIFA can't determine what goes on on the pitch? 1978: Argentina 6 Peru 0, anyone? (One from any number of historic "arrangements".) As Gabriele Marcotti put it four years ago with regard to England: "And you wonder why results go against you?"

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