Monday 30 May 2011

Editorial: FIFA cannot right itself

An opaque setting

The situation embroiling FIFA the world football association is a sad reflection on the lack of transparency and the obscure practices within that organisation.

It is disconcerting that with the swirl allegations and counter-claims going around engulfing the top hierarchy which includes the President and the Secretary-General amongst others is not answerable to anyone, any higher authority or any reputably constituted outside scrutineer to help restore that fast ebbing of reputation, integrity and probity.

There are many questions being asked and very few answers being given and the chiefs desperately want to move on with all the dirt and muck-racking following in their wake without any pang of conscience.

A bastion of the inscrutable

It is not like FIFA should have a conscience, the setup makes it a corrupt enterprise in need of thorough and radical reform, the President about to be elected unopposed is 75; he was last elected unopposed with 66 out of 207 possible votes, a demining indictment that shows that he heads a structure that is self-serving, immune to change and has everything sewn up.

Mr Sepp Blatter has been involved with FIFA since 1975 and never played, coached or run and professional football club ever.

There surely must be better qualified, experienced, able and knowledgeable people able to run FIFA but they have all defaulted to supporting a modified oligarchy that is a fa├žade for what in nation-states would be a form of eternal incumbency propped up by a semblance of democracy to perpetrate a benevolent despotism.

Bereft of leadership

With world leaders nominally in their 40s and very few breaching 60 apart from dictators who have been there forever, everything is wrong with FIFA as it stands and it is run – if Mr. Blatter has been able to mentor, inspire and take leave after three terms at the helm, it speaks more for his amazing lack of real leadership and not about any political deftness.

The elimination of real opposition by fear, commission, omission or circumstance does not bode well for football.

The need for an overhaul

Ideally, Mr Blatter must take leave and an interim council be constituted to run FIFA until each and every claim and allegation is addressed and resolved leading to criminal prosecution if necessary.

FIFA has lost the ability and the clout to properly police itself, it needs to be answerable, accountable and responsible to a legally constituted global body that can audit, question and sanction anybody in that organisation starting with its head.

I would hope that the leaders of the world speak to ensure that this travesty and atrocity masquerading as managers of beautiful game are shook up before that mired the whole essence of the game in the politics of the despicable being run by the deplorable.

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