Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The beautiful game’s ugly side exposed

David Nugent in Editorial, General Soccer News 27 May 2015

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Seven FIFA officials have been arrested in Zurich ahead of Friday's presidential election

Seven FIFA officials have been arrested in Zurich ahead of Friday’s presidential election. FIFA’s current President, Sepp Blatter, was not among the people arrested.

Earlier today seven FIFA officials were arrested on suspicion of corruption by Swiss police working in conjunction with the US government.

The arrests were made as 209 members of FIFA gathered in Zurich for the FIFA congress and the presidential elections on Friday.

Money

Quite simply football is one of the biggest businesses in the world today. Everybody connected with football seems to have their hand in the cookie jar.

The players, clubs and officials earn small fortunes from the industry, as do some of the suits higher up the food chain.

As in the world of national and international politics, corruption is rife at the top of the world’s game and these arrests are probably just the tip of the iceberg.

The officials arrested are allegedly being accused of brides and kick-backs, but there are far more top ranking officials skimming money off the top of the beautiful game.

When money is involved, people get greedy and the ugly side of them rises to the top. Any moral fibre they once had seems to disappear behind the crisp- notes they are being handed.

Example

An example of how money has a major effect on the world game seems to be the choice of venue for the next two World Cup finals. Russia will host the World Cup in 2018 and Qatar will host the competition in 2022.

There was lots of controversy about their selections as hosts for a number of reasons. The arrests today could put into question if those two countries retain their rights to host the competition. There has already been an investigation into corruption over the award to Qatar.

The latest arrests will only increase the question marks about the Middle East country hosting the event.

Change

Current FIFA president Sepp Blatter is not believed to be involved in the latest controversy, but his position is being threatened by Jordan’s Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein in an election due to be held on Friday.

To be honest the quicker Blatter is out of his current position the better. The Swiss veteran has been involved in a number of controversial issues during his reign as FIFA president and comes across as incompetent at times.

He may not be part of the current corruption scandal, but he has allowed what looks like widespread corruption in his organisation, which for me suggests he is incompetent, or even worse is actually involved in the wrongdoing.

If he is not part of the solution he is part of the problem. Now is a good time for FIFA to enjoy a fresh start and begin to create a stronger and better organisation.

This is the governing body of the world’s biggest sport and it seems that on regular occasions high ranking officials get caught-up in these sorts of scandals.

It seems that Sepp Blatter is not capable of moving the game forward, yet he is clear favourite to secure a fifth term as FIFA president. My question would be how?

His only challenger Prince Ali Bin Hussein seems to have run an honest campaign and his representatives have even claimed wrongdoing on the behalf of one individual who was reported to have offered to deliver 47 votes for the Prince in the election, no doubt in exchange for recompense.

The certain individual was not believed to have been part of FIFA and was a third-party, but it shows how outside influences can have an effect on major figures in the world game, which should not be the case.

Immovable

These latest arrests should just be the start of FIFA attempting to clean-up its organisation. Unfortunately while Sepp Blatter is in charge of FIFA I do not think anything will change.

If any other major business was run like FIFA its boss would have been fired a long time ago. Instead the people within the organisation keep re-electing Blatter and preventing football’s governing body to move forward.

Unsavoury

These arrests may just be the start of a major investigation into FIFA and its officials and will no doubt uncover some more unsavoury facts. FIFA in true FIFA fashion have declared that Friday’s presidential election will go ahead despite the arrests.

Whatever happens in the election, FIFA really needs to get its house in order, because the loss of money from the game through corruption and kick-backs will only damage the game worldwide and they are supposed to be the ones who protect it.

At the moment they are doing a very poor job and if they continue to do such a poor job then it will be to the detriment of football worldwide.

Can FIFA clean up its act after latest controversy?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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