..oh yes you are, Sepp, you conniving, dissembling, manipulative, morally bankrupt crook.
One of the most appropriate definitions of a bazaar is “a permanent merchandising area, marketplace, or street of shops where goods and services are exchanged or sold”
During a week of jawdropping arrogance by the Godfather of football, Blatter astonished the world by reacting to some very pertinent questions about the suspended executives, allegations of bribery, incriminating emails from the FIFA general secretary and more by shouting at the assembled press conference that “We are not in a bazaar here, we are in FIFA house” His use of the phrase “FIFA House” turned my stomach, implying it was some cathedral or similar holy place of worship. What he was actually saying was: please feed me only the planted easy questions and I will ignore any tough ones.
Blatter’s powerbase ( and many of his executive cronies) is ironically based on the apparent democracy of the organisation. The cold fact is that each football association has one equal vote, so Germany with a population of 90 million has as much clout as Anguilla, a coral island in the Caribbean, with a population of 8000 and some goats.
Most importantly though is that each association has it’s individual officials and they will need to attend all the various congresses, meetings, piss ups and pub morning drives that FIFA wants to organise. Consequently, some guy whose ordinary level of ambition would be running a small fishing tackle shop in American Samoa, for example, gets to fly first class and stay in all the best hotels, is guaranteed the best seats at the World Cup (and the Olympics). All he needs to do is keep his mouth shut, support Sepp Blatter and Jack Warner ( the suspended CONCANAF president) and feign amnesia about any brown envelopes stuffed with Swiss Francs that get pushed under his hotel room door.
Even if they were not being bribed directly, they are still in line for plenty of kick backs and “fact finding trips” from sponsors, countries seeking the awarding of tournaments, TV rights, travel concessions and not forgetting the opportunity to access thousands of tickets for major football tournaments.
The whistleblowing American FIFA General Secretary, Chuck Blazer, has been threatened with the sack after he encouraged the 25 Caribbean football associations to hand back any money from the suspended Bin Hamman given as bribes to influence the presidential vote. Here is the telling thing: five of the associations said they REJECTED the offer of $40,000 another fourteen said that they did NOT RECEIVE an offer of a bribe. The lack of consistency says two things: firstly Jack Warner didnt have time to tell them what to say and secondly the offer was made. The full story is here in the Telegraph.
The whole of FIFA is corrupt and it is incredible that they have been allowed to get away with so much for so long. One very interesting web site is here, called transparency in Sport and is the output of the journalist, Andrew Jennings. I suppose it will only ever change when they get some real football people on the executive…or will it?