Monday, 9 September 2013

When does football grow a pair and tell Sepp Blatter to go and boil his silly head?

“Blatter admits Qatar World Cup 'mistake' after confirming FIFA always knew summer tournament would be impossible”
Mail Online headline, 9th. September
To be honest, I'm still not quite convinced that FIFA's decision to award the staging of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, an Arab country with an average Summer temperature of 106º F, isn't an April Fool's joke that hasn't simply got a bit out of hand (like the one about Barack Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize about three hours after becoming president). But I've concluded that too many people would be have to be in on the hoax for it not to be true.

We all known that sports governing bodies contain some of the most incompetent people on the planet. Nothing else would account for the failure to introduce goal-line technology in football until now or the decision to introduce a system of selecting Test Match umpires that left the recent Ashes series scarred by some of the worst umpiring decisions ever seen in the sport, despite the use of DRM technology – or, for that matter, the idiocy that has led to two Ashes series being played with only a three-month break between them. But  the all-time dumbest decision by any governing body in any field of human activity whatsoever has to be the "you really had me there" one involving Quatar.

Now it emerges - from his own lips - that Sepp Blatter, the Keystone-Cop-in-Chief in charge of FIFA's collection of bureaucratic berks, knew all along that it was a bad idea. He has now demanded that the tournament takes place in November, one-third of the way through the domestic football season in countries like England, Spain, Italy and Germany, whose league matches are screened around the world, thereby fuelling the global frenzy surrounding soccer. The reason Blister hasn’t suggested holding the tournament in January/February is that it would clash with the Winter Olympics. (Mind you, given the precendent set by FIFA, perhaps the organisers of that event are also planning to hold it in an Arab country in the middle of summer.)

What arguments has Sadd Tosser – sorry, Sepp Blatter – adduced in support of his proposal to disrupt football in this grotesque fashion? Well, it’s all to do with colonial guilt, apparently:
The World Cup is Fifa's biggest, if not only, global event. Who are we, the Europeans, to demand that this event has to cater to the needs of 800million Europeans above all?  
I think it is high time that Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world anymore, and that some former European imperial powers can no longer impress their will onto others in far away places. 
We must accept that football has moved away from being a European and South American sport - it has become the world sport that billions of fans are excitedly following every week, everywhere in the world.
I rather suspect that the vast majority of the billions of fans who excitedly follow football every week think you’re a humungous twat for awarding football’s premier international competition to a country in which it can’t be staged at the time when it’s due to take place.

And what is all this bullshit about "imperial powers" wanting to "impress their will" on a world they no longer "rule"? When did this turn into an issue of post-colonial reparations? I rather thought this was a sporting contest designed to identify the best national football team in the world rather than yet another opportunity for posturing Euro-lefties to spread their poisonous message of egalitarianism.

I know – why don’t we wait a few decades until the Middle East has managed to  produce a number of national football teams capable of competing without embarrassing themselves in our own Isthmian League Premier Division (level 7 of the English football league system), then check that there’s a single Arab country which football fans could visit without worrying about dying of heat-stroke, being murdered by terrorists, or being arrested for drinking, swearing, not wearing the right clothes, being gay or – horror of horrors – not being in possession of a penis, and which has the requisite number of football stadiums with a roof and an effective air-conditioning system, and enough reasonably-priced hotels that offer a level of accommodation noticeably superior to that provided by the average Turkish prison – and then let’s think about holding the World Cup there!

Come to think of it, I wonder how many millions of football fans around the globe would really rather like to see Sepp incarcerated in a distinctly below-average Turkish prison. And, if, as is widely expected, the European Clubs’ Association actually backs Bladder’s proposal at their meeting in Geneva tomorrow, I’m sure the Turks could be persuaded to find room for everyone who votes “yes” at that gathering – and the stinkiest, most dirt-ridden cell of the lot should be reserved for Greg Dyke, the new English Football Association chairman, who is also reported to favour rescheduling the tournament - no doubt in the pathetically mistaken belief that this will somehow help England win it.


  1. "We all known that sports governing bodies contain some of the most incompetent
    people on the planet."

    Spot on.

    We had our own version of Sepp Blatter in England . His name was Dr Harold Thompson and he was chairmen of the FA from 1976. He was an autocratic, self-important little shit of the first order who plotted against Sir Alf Ramsey after England failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup and managed to get him ignominiously fired. [Watch out, Woy!] He also plotted against Brian Clough and was reponsible for blocking his path to becoming the England manager. What a glorious record the FA have had since. He once told Ramsey that he thought the England players should stand up whenever he entered the changing-room.

    These dodgy bureacrats don't care about the game, the players or the spectators. It's all about their "amour-propre" and, in many cases, their venality and it infects the governing bodies - national as well as international - of other sports

  2. I am sorry to be a bore, but the way international sports bodies in particular and any international political organisation in general is governed has always exercised me so your post touched a raw nerve.

    The main criteria for leadership in both spheres seems to be: 1] come from countries that basically don't matter; 2] be ineffectual and 3] talk complete bollocks. Why does the Secretary General of NATO [ Anders Fogh Rasmusson] come from Denmark? It is strongly rumoured that his successor will be a Roumanian! Why is Barrosso [ Portugal, for God's sake] allowed his periodic rants with impunity and why is he always doing his Nye Bevan impersonation? What does Rumpoy do all day? Why doesn't Wankie Boon speak English? [Re the UN, this interference by Raquel Rolnik, an official from Brazil, in Britain's internal affairs is very eccentric. Will Boon punish this Gorgon?]

    Anyway, to return to the governance of international sports and its world of Presidential hotel suites and and brown envellopes - do you recall those shady characters from the past like Joao de Havelange [FIFA], Lennart Johannsen [UEFA] and Antonio Samaranch [IOC]? Two examples from the past [the 1970s] which show their attitudes towards players have basically not changed..

    When Welsh rugby union teams went on overseas tours officials from the Welsh RUF and their wives flew first class while the players went steerage. Also in the 70s the Australian Cricket Board were fond of arranging tours to the sub-continent and South Africa often directly back-to-back [highly lucrative]. The players were paid a pittance [if a match was rained off they were sometimes asked to extend and play an additional match for no additional fee] and the ACB were miserly when it came to accommodation and diet. The result was that many players returned with hepatitis or dysentery . Don Bradman was the chairman and you can add him to the above list. Enter Kerry Packer...

    OK, players are now hugely paid and pampered, but in terms of football the Qatar WC proposal shows that the basic interests of the players [health and security] are still a low priority fo r the administrators. There are darker forces at work.

    Rant over. Sorry, blogmeister. I promise to give it a rest and stay off the air for a while and stop using your comments facility as a therapy session.

  3. Don't apologise - always nice to hear from somebody even angrier than I am about something. Reading a Rod Laver autobiography recently, I enjoyed his horror stories about the sheer awfulness of playing in the Australian Open following the introduction of Open Tennis - although it was one of the "slams" may players skipped it because because it was so badly organised. And of course the international tennis authorities - our of sheer cowardice - allowed the likes of McEnroe, Connors and Nastase to behave like pigs for years before summoning the courage to deal with problem (they eventually defaulted McEnroe from a major for behaving like a total arse. And they've caved in to shrill demands to give women players equal pay for very little work and for boring everyone to tears.

    I presume that giving people from irrelevant countries control of major international organisations started as a way of preventing either the US or the USSR from being seen as controlling things during the Cold War, and is now an example of socialistic "all shall have prizes" egalitarianism and cultural relativism at work - i.e. just because you're bigger, richer, better armed and have actually made a serious contribution to world peace, prosperity and culture doesn't mean you deserve a bigger say in how the world is run than, as in the case of the UN, the likes of Ghama, Burma or Egypt (I'm actually relaxed about South Korea - smart, har-working, rich and armed). As for the EU - as you point out, what the hell are we doing having to take orders from meaningless little pimples from Portugal and Belgium??????