Part 1: “The Beautiful Game” Tarnished by Corrupt Geezers

Sky Sports Article: “Sepp Blatter wins election…”

http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9869083/sepp-blatter-wins-election-to-remain-as-fifa-president-for-fifth-term

FIFA Article: “Blatter: I’m president of all…”

http://www.fifa.com/about-fifa/news/y=2015/m=5/news=blatter-i-m-president-of-all-also-of-those-who-didn-t-vote-for-me-2610628.html?intcmp=fifacom_hp_module_news

Photo from Sky Sports Article: “Sepp Blatter claims he knows how to fix FIFA…”

http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/9869348/sepp-blatter-claims-he-knows-how-to-fix-fifa-after-re-election

From a man reselling World Cup tickets for a hefty $1 million in profit, Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago, to a man requested to be knighted in return for supporting England’s World Cup bid, Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay, men of this kind have been running FIFA for years.

Majority of the public have started to notice FIFA was ‘fishy’ after the hosting cities for the 2018 & 2022 World Cups were announced. Countries that made bids for each World Cup are as follows. Countries in bold won the bid, countries italicized came 2nd in voting:

2018 World Cup):

  • England
  • Russia
  • Belgium & Netherlands (Joint Bid)
  • Portugal & Spain (Joint Bid)

2022 World Cup:

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Qatar
  • South Korea
  • United States
  • Indonesia (Withdrew)
  • Mexico (Withdrew)

Russia will be hosting their first World Cup and the first World Cup in Europe since Germany 2006.  Qatar will be hosting their first World Cup and also the first Arab nation to hold a World Cup.

Personally, I feel that giving countries the opportunity to host the World Cup for the first time is positive for the following reasons:

  • Spread and development of soccer
  • Improvement of infrastructure
  • Economic growth
  • Multicultural understanding/recognition

However, whenever we discuss worldwide sporting events such as the World Cup, there is dirt about Russia and Qatar’s bids.

Russia 2018:

For example, racism in soccer in Russia has been a problem.  Brazilian international Hulk was a victim of racism while playing for his club Zenit St. Petersburg.  Opposing fans started monkey chants aimed at Hulk, and Hulk blew a kiss to the stands as a response.  However, this type or racism is something that exists in other leagues as well: Scotland, England, Italy, etc.   Problems also go outside of the footballing world and into politics.  With Russia annexing Crimea being a focal point.

Regarding Russia 2018, despite the political problems, holding the World Cup as scheduled is the best choice.  Russia as a footballing nation is competitive on the world stage, ranked 27th in FIFA rankings.  The Russia National Team also has strong players in GK Igor Akinfeev and MF Alan Dzagoev who will be in their prime in 2018.  Also, the majority of Russia’s national team players play in the Russian Premier League.

Positives:

  • Opportunity for Russian soccer to greatly improve
  • Improvement of soccer facilities on a national level
  • Better infrastructure in Russia

Negatives:

  • Slow development of venues (hopefully not like 2014 Brazil)

Qatar 2022

Most of the attention concerning World Cup Bids has been 2022 Qatar.  A few of the problems include, religious/cultural differences.  World Cup = people from all walks of life having a great time, which means drinking copious amounts of alcohol.  Alcohol is prohibited by Muslim beliefs, but an official mentioned that consumption of alcohol would be allowed, which I feel will cause problems from other Arab nations.

However, I believe the main problem is the climate.  Temperatures rise to 122°F (50℃) and this will affect player performance, recovery, and, most importantly, health.  Playing at the highest level of soccer in such heat will put players’ life at risk.  Because of this fact, the World Cup was moved from its traditional summer schedule to winter.  There are positives and negatives with this proposal.

Positives:

  • Cooler temperatures means players will perform at a higher level and also recover quicker
  • Not only Qatar, but the region in the Middle East will see a rise in soccer development
  • Players will be in mid-season form, so a higher level of play can be expected.

Negatives:

  • A winter World Cup means star players will have to leave their clubs mid-season to join their national teams.
  • Will venues be constructed on time?

From a strictly soccer point of view, holding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in these two nations is not a bad idea, but it is also a huge risk.  FIFA has responsibility for planning, development, and running of the tournaments; so they will be held.  However, if the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is an example, delays in construction of stadiums and other essential infrastructure resulted in overworked contractors which led to deaths.

Behind-closed-doors, I do not know what happened: what kind of deals were made (bribing).  If there was an illegal, immoral movement of dirty money, it shows how corrupt the beautiful game has become.

An upheaval of the corrupt and an injection of a younger, enlightened generation is in need.

Portuguese legeng Figo withdrawing from the Presidential election was disappointing.  Also, so was Prince Ali withdrawing after the first round of voting. Those voting for the dictator, Sepp Blatter, to continue his slow destruction and degradation of FIFA shows that people in the soccer world do not want to change or are being pressured into fearing change.

In conclusion, not only FIFA but other governing bodies in soccer (AFC, COMNEBOL, CONCACAF, UEFA, CAF, OFC) also need to take a stand.  It is going to take the whole world to cleanse the filth within FIFA and recreate a new and improved governing body.

Stay tuned for “Part 2: If I were FIFA President”

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