Blatter.Sepp Blatter’s comments to a Brazilian magazine prove once and for all he is not fit to run football.
“We have bad losers in FIFA,” the FIFA President told Estado de Sao Paolo. “This animosity comes from England,” he went on. “Interesting is the timing of the accusations. It was just around the time when they·failed to win host rights to the 2018 World Cup…All this has been an act of revenge for having lost the FIFA Presidency in 1974 to Joao Havelange. Still, they cannot accept that they no longer control FIFA. Since they Togel Hongkong cannot regain the Presidency, they decided they would try to destroy it.”
The words of a mad conspiracy theorist. The surge in reports of FIFA corruption came it is true around last year’s World Cup vote but that was because both 2018 (Russia) and 2022 (Qatar) seemed highly suspicious choices to any fair-minded watcher.
How then to explain the head of the German F.A. and Karl-Heinz Rummenige calling for Blatter’s head recently? The fact is England has the most active investigative journalism and endemic FIFA corruption is something Blatter has presided over and allowed to fester.
The Football Association and the British media has no desire other than a trustworthy governing body for the sport it invented. Under Blatter, the FIFA Ex.Co. has looked like an FBI’s most wanted list of felons: Warner, Texeira, Leoz, Bin-Hammam, Blazer (pic) and Grondona for starters.
If Blatter really believes in transparency and honest management, let him release the judicial verdict on the ISL collapse which languishes in a courthouse in Zug, Switzerland.
The F.A. however should look themselves in the mirror for shamefully u-turning to back Blatter in his initial bid for the Presidency, betraying the support of the honest Swede Lennart Johansson. How foolish do they appear now that deep anti-English feeling pervades FIFA corridors.
Recent stirrings from Germany suggest that is the country from which a successful anti-Blatter movement should stem.
The two giants won 5-0 and 6-0 respectively on the opening day of the Spanish season, leaving Villareal president Fernando Roig to exclaim in anguish, “It’s a third-world league in which two clubs are sapping the TV money…I give it three to four years. Either it changes or we kill Spanish football.” In third place in La Liga last season were Valencia, a full 21 points behind Real and this season the gripes are getting louder. Seville’s president has blasted Spanish football as “not the biggest mess in Europe but in the world”.
Euro 2008 winner Marcos Senna concurred: “The superiority of Real and Barca is brutal.”
Three clubs other than Barça or Real have won La Liga in the past 15 years: Deportivo La Coruna in 2000 and Valencia in 2002 and 2004.
The problem is historic, with Real Madrid built up by the Franco regime into a mega-club and Catalonia focusing its cultural and political frustrations onto its soccer team. Two weeks ago I was in the Castile province of northern Spain and watched the Barcelona v Real Madrid Super Cup second leg, which kicked off at 11pm local time.
It was almost like watching Spain in the World Cup with the whole town glued to multiple TV screens in the main square. TV is the problem, as the clubs negotiate individual deals which inevitably favours the two giants. The locals in Ponferrada were largely pro-Real, as is the majority of Spain, but there were plenty of youngsters in Barça shirts too, presumably having grown up on Ronaldinho.
Most of Spain is like this is in my experience. The big two have too big a hold on the nation. That said, at a national team level, this period of Barça/Real saturation has coincided with Spain winning Euro U-19, Euro U-21, the European Championship and the World Cup. This season began with Spanish players going on strike over money. How long before the imbalance in La Liga results in a breakaway?
*Dunga and David Trezeguet are the latest to take the Arab shilling, having agreed to take jobs with club sides in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates respectively.
The 47 year-old Brazilian most recently coached his nation at the World Cup finals and will coach Al Rayyan, while the 33 year-old French striker leaves a storied European career including spells at Hercules, Juventus and Monaco. ‘Trez’ won the World Cup with France and scored the winning (golden) goal in the Euro 2000 final. He will now play for Baniyas SC.
No doubt he, like Dunga, are heading to the Middle East for the stratospheric salaries and little else, but in footballing terms it still seems a shame to be moving to real soccer backwaters in search of one last big payday.
*Best wishes to Owen Hargreaves as he attempts one last resurrection of his injury-plagued career at Manchester City. The Canada-born midfielder, it is easy to forget, was England’s best player at the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany, despite, or perhaps because he had never played in English club football, gaining his soccer education instead first in North America and then at Bayern Munich.