By Paul Frederickson
–noun, plural -cies.
1. Also, transparence. the quality or state of being transparent.
2. moral perversion; depravity.
3. perversion of integrity. (1)
This is not intended as a dictionary lesson but FIFA could do well to heed the words. With recent corruption allegations from within its own ranks FIFA's integrity does seem perverse. There have been many articles on how FIFA can lead the way in terms of regaining integrity and making their practices fairer and more transparent.
With Sepp Blatter reinstated unopposed as FIFA's President at the age of 75, is he the head of the snake that has to be removed? This would seem an obvious pathway, one that people have unsuccessfully attempted even in recent times. As the corruption is more widespread and in-grained than simply the presidential level then it requires wholesale changes.
The world's football federations have not condemned the president or the FIFA executive even when many of the member nations have voiced their disapproval of many of the practices. England refused to vote in the recent farce of an election process but even this was viewed as a token gesture. So what then, what can change FIFA? Money, and only money can change FIFA. The very source that has corrupted the beautiful game can be its saviour.
Reuters reports suggested:
"Coca-Cola said the allegations of corruption were "distressing and bad for the sport". German sportswear maker Adidas also said the controversy had hurt soccer." (2)
In a separate article, Brian Homewood reported on the opinions of other major FIFA sponsors.
"The current situation is clearly not good for the game and we ask that FIFA take all necessary steps to resolve the concerns that have been raised," Visa Europe said in a statement.
Emirates airline expressed its concern saying it was "disappointed with the issues that are currently surrounding the administration of the sport." (3)
Now I must admit, the next bit is a big stretch. If the sponsors pull out of their sponsorships and the federations and member nations oppose the current FIFA setup then FIFA must listen and must react. It can be done, it should be done, it must be done.
Or, the FIFA executive could do the honorable thing and step aside. About as likely as my left foot winning the World Cup for Australia!
What do you think?
(2) Reuters, Pressure mounts on FIFA over scandal: Blatter defiant, May 31,
(3) Brian Homewood, FIFA's Blatter juggles sponsor pressure, voters, Reuters, May 31