Tuesday, May 31, 2011

FIFA foe, fum... I smell the blood of a Swiss man.

Nursing a sprained ankle, I am finding it a little tedious to get about- hobbling across the cobbles of the Old Town of Tallinn, I wonder if the large number of Finnish tourists drinking beer for breakfast in the the Town Hall Square are simply used to Quasimodo impressions. Although it is said that swearing releases the pain, I think that this is a frankly rather debatable point. Mind you each time I jar my ankle I certainly test the theory. One thing is for sure, I am in a rather irritated mood.

I suppose this is why instead of finding the spectacle of Sepp Blatter lying and cheating his way to re-election as leader of FIFA amusing, I find myself cursing at the television as well as at my ankle. It certainly takes a large dollop of delusion for Blatter to think that the inevitable corruption scandal that has exploded under his watch is not any kind of crisis, just "some difficulties". I noted at the time that Mr. Blatter's humiliation of the English FA over the right to stage the World Cup in 2018, combined with the frankly bizarre decision to stage it in Qatar in 2022 would eventually come back to haunt him. In fact, Mr. Blatter's absurd pretence that FIFA faces no crisis- and even if it does, and although he is its leader, he is nonetheless not to blame- is now leading to a meltdown as scandal after scandal destroys the institution. It is a fantastic example of hubris facing nemesis, and while I find it bleakly satisfying to see such humiliation piled on the old crook, I can not feel more than irritation that he is still in his job. As with Gadaffi who too lingers on in his increasingly crumbling capital, one can not help wishing that he would just go, and the news cycle could pass on to something else.

Although it has been the British press that- for what they probably feel are justified reasons of revenge- has lead the attacks, it is now quite clear that Blatter has a case to answer, and the clamour has now gone way beyond the feral British tabloids. If Blatter cared about more than his own flabby hide, he would have led a compromise, but his untrammelled power within FIFA has allowed him to think that he can get away with anything. Perhaps he can for a while: but he will destroy FIFA with it, and maybe that would be no bad thing.

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