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Our Crack Tongue & Groove

fifacomment.jpg The Fifa-isation of everything

One of the most surprising things we’ve learned about Fifa recently is the fact that they have an ethics committee. An ethics committee! Fifa! It’s like finding out that Roy “Chubby” Brown employs someone to remove offensive material from his stand-up routine. But their wicked ways are surely just a foretaste of scandals to come…

Because of the fast moving nature of the revelations regarding Fifa, I have put off writing about them in the past. I’m worried that when this article goes to print, it will be rendered meaningless because their soon to be disposed boss, Sepp Blatter, will have pulled together a coalition of the “unwilling to go quietly”, and declared war on America. Still, it’s now or never.

Everyone has always known that Fifa is dodgier than a half-time pork pie, but the metaphorical towel around Blatter’s waist should have finally been snagged in his metaphorical shower door – leaving him fully exposed - when he stood in front of the world’s press and announced that the World Cup of 2022 was to be played in a desert. For is it not logical that any potential host of the June 2022 World Cup - who could not answer “yes” to the question: “Can you host the World Cup in June 2022?” - should have been ejected from the bidding process before the first tray of canapés were passed round? Not so Qatar who, after ridiculously being handed the 2022 tournament, then proceeded to move the goalposts with the competition now due to be held in December. Apparently it’s difficult to watch football in 45 degrees of heat, never mind play in it, so the tournament is now scheduled to take place at the same time as Fenwick’s Christmas window is in full swing.

Of course Blatter has always been a buffoon. His grand plan for generating more interest in the women’s game involved the players wearing tighter shorts; and his advice for gay fans worried about being arrested in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal, amounted to: just refrain from being gay while you are there. These comments were more indicative of Fifa’s general prejudices than any criminal wrong doing, but the decision to award the World Cup to Qatar set off every “THIS IS DODGY!” klaxon going. Fifa members were either paid off or they were totally incompetent, seemingly unaware that their own report into the feasibility of staging a World Cup in the tiny gulf state, said that out of all the countries bidding theirs was the only one that posed a risk.

It now appears however, that those warning klaxons were correct, and Fifa members were intent on feathering their own nests rather than doing what was good for the sport.

But that’s what happens when the relevant checks and balances are not put in place to ensure that such practices doesn’t run rife. We’ve seen it with the banks, where deregulation was supposed to set them free but turned them into criminal enterprises; and with the phone-tapping tabloids. Now we’re increasingly giving private companies contracts to run our hospitals and care homes etc.

At least Fifa delegates got a bit of prestige and some cup final tickets to go with their backhanders; but the companies now running our essential social services are in it purely for the profit. As we’ve seen, time and time again, where there is a large amount of cash sloshing around, with no accountability, Fifa-style corruption invariably follows.