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What’s up, Doc?

Yesterday’s news from FIFA made me smile, if only for a second or two before I gave way to anger. Just when you think there are no other strokes that organisation could possibly pull, it surprises you yet again. A few weeks before the election at which the incumbent president is facing a genuine challenger, that opponent, Mohamed bin Hammam, has been accused of bribery. Charges have been laid which associate him with the notorious Jack Warner, whose greatest achievement in life seems to have been staying out of jail, if you read some of the stories that are told of his goings-on in his Caribbean fiefdom.  Who is their accuser? That’s where it gets even stranger; the whistle-blower is a character named Chuck Blazer, executive vice-president of the US Soccer Federation and a member of the FIFA executive for the last fifteen years, even though there is no evidence of hm ever having kicked a ball in his life, which has been running for a couple of months longer than my own. For my money, Mr Blazer is a poster boy for everything that is wrong about football’s global governing body. If you wonder why I feel that way, take a look at  <<http://chuckblazer.blogspot.com/>&gt;  and you’ll begin to get a flavour. Then read Andrew Jennings’ FIFA expose ‘Foul!’. You’ll find that for years, Chuck has been a loyal acolyte of the afore-mentioned Mr Warner. So why has he turned on him now, and why has he tied bin Hammam to him in his accusations?

You’ll forgive me if I doubt that moral outrage or altruism came into it. You’ll forgive me if I ask who stands to benefit most from these accusations, true or false, given their timing. Step  forward Josep S Blatter, president of FIFA for far too long already, and intent on another four year term. Read what you will into the farce; I know I have.

There’s only one proper course of action that I can see. The English FA has indicated already that it finds neither candidate acceptable. Its solution? It’s the one you’d expect from that bumbling, weaselly body; it proposes to stick its head in the sand, by abstaining in the vote. Enough of that nonsense. It’s time for the nations who should control football, those whose domestic leagues and international teams generate its finances, the Europeans and to a lesser extent the South Americans, to stand up and save the game from these scoundrels. They should demand the cancellation of the election, and insist on a root and branch reform of the entire FIFA structure, beginning with the appointment of a new interim president, someone of the stature of Franz Beckenbauer or Bobby Charlton, to oversee the cleansing of the stables.  They should back these demands with the threat of breaking away and setting up an alternative body, let’s call it the International Football Conference, to administer the game among its members and to run its own global and regional club and international competitions.

Can they do so? Yes they can! Will they do so? No they won’t! Why not? Because integrity and courage vanished from world football long ago.

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