Despite heavy allegations against him and nine FIFA members arrested for racketeering and fraud earlier in the week, Sepp Blatter won the FIFA presidential election and will serve for a fifth consecutive term. Friday’s results is a tragedy, as Blatter will serve for another four years as the most powerful man in soccer.
By now, most of you have heard about the FIFA scandal and the FBI investigation. There’s no doubt that FIFA is a corrupt organization that needs cleaning up. You could compare the largest soccer association in the world to the mob.
And Blatter is the Godfather.
He can deny all he wants about not having a part in or knowing about any of the wrongdoings that the nine FIFA delegates have done, but there’s no way that you can go almost two decades as the president of FIFA without knowing that some shady business was going on. And even if we give Blatter the benefit of the doubt and believe him when he says he didn’t know what was going on, that would just be proof that he’s incompetent.
Blatter has run FIFA for 17 years, and it’s time for a change. It’s time for FIFA to clean house and start fresh. But Blatter’s victory on Friday shows us that not much has changed. Prince Ali would have been a much better candidate for the job. Hell, I would do a better job than Blatter. Giving the World Cup to Russia and Qatar should have been major warning signs that something shady was going on.
Blatter will be investigated as well, and if they come up with any proof that he had knowledge or participated in these mob-like activities, he should step down as president. David Gill from the English Football Association recused himself from FIFA’s executive committee right after Blatter’s win, and UEFA president Michel Platini has spoken about UEFA boycotting the World Cup.
Platini was a strong supporter of Prince Ali and said after the vote that “I am proud that UEFA has defended and supported a movement for change at FIFA, change which in my opinion is crucial if this organization is to regain its credibility.”
I would love for UEFA to break free from FIFA and start a new association for world soccer. I want soccer fans from all over the world to unite and show that it’s not ok for FIFA to be run like the mafia and sell the World Cup to the countries with the deepest pockets. I hope the FBI can find all the guilty people inside FIFA and punish them hard. We need soccer to be as pure as possible, despite all the money that is at stake.
Prince Ali only got 73 votes against Blatter’s 133. That vote was supposed to force a second round of voting, as you need a two-third majority, but Prince Ali admitted defeat and withdrew.
Jack Warner, former CONCACAF president, was one of the men charged in the indictment handed down by the U.S. federal court. He said in a brief statement that “If I have been thieving Fifa money for 30 years, who gave me the money? How come he is not charged?”
That’s a clear shot at Blatter, and I agree that Blatter cannot have gone all this time without knowing what was going on behind closed doors. Any leader of a company or organization would be out on his or hers ass if something like this came out. It’s amazing how Blatter still ended up getting so many votes despite the turbulence inside FIFA. But that’s another indication that we need some serious changes.
Please Mr. Blatter, do us all a favor and just resign. If you have any respect and love left for soccer, it’s the right thing to do.