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Jim Blatter

Thirty-three years ago, James Callaghan, then our Prime Minister, returned from somewhere hot to a Britain in the grip of industrial chaos. Alighting from his aircraft he beamed at the waiting media and said ‘Crisis? What crisis?’ It remains one of the stupidest things that any politician has ever done, and it sealed his fate at the ensuing general election.

Whatever else he may or may not be, Josep S Blatter is a politician, so it was eerie to hear him say much the same thing at his confrontational press conference last night. He isn’t going to suffer the same immediate fate as Sunny Jim, for the simple reason that he doesn’t have an opponent in tomorrow’s election for the presidency of FIFA, but such blindness to reality must surely mean that his days are numbered. The people who are now lined up against him are not going to go away, and they now include national governments. Ominously two of football’s biggest backers, CocaCola and Adidas, have begun to growl their disapproval in the background, and if they move to demand that Blatter stands down he really will be cooked. The sooner the better.

The thing I hate most about the self-aggrandising little bastard is that he has no right to present himself as the face of football. Alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Paul Scholes, Luka Modric, and Xavi Hernandez, he’s the AntiChrist. There is a role for FIFA, but not in its current form, and not with him or any of his lackeys involved in any way.


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