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Well offside

Six years ago I read a book called ‘Foul!’ by a man named Andrew Jennings, a  journalist on a mission to expose the shady dealings of FIFA, football’s notorious world governing body. Staggeringly, that title now appears to be out of print, but I expect to see it reappearing on the shelves very soon, after this morning’s events in Switzerland.

International football is a multi-million pound industry that has fallen into the hands of rogues. The cell doors in Zurich had barely clanged shut this morning, before FIFA’s Communications Director was on camera claiming bizarrely that it was a good day for his organisation, and that its congress and presidential election would go ahead as planned.

If that happens, the time has come surely for those with integrity in the sport to take action. FIFA’s main commercial sponsors should send a swift, clear message that they will pull out if the present regime is continued in office. The European federation, which is and always will be the financial engine room of the game,  should back this up with a warning that they will withdraw from FIFA, and set up a rival administration. If they did that they would be joined very quickly by the South Americans, and probably Asia also.

The beautiful game is a corrupt laughing stock. It can’t go on.

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