Thursday, November 13, 2014

Love the Game, Hate the Bosses

FIFA's own report on the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup's was released today, and if you expected anything other than the free pass Russia and Qatar got, then you're not well-versed in the ways of FIFA. The 42 page report even went on to criticize England's bid of all things, which drew the suspected ire from almost everyone in the World. FIFA's "independent" investigator Michael Garcia lambasted the report, who is appealing the findings, even though his own thorough investigation can't be released publicly due to "legal reasons", according to FIFA. Is this very confusing? Absolutely. Is it incredibly stupid? You bet. Is it also entirely expected? Again, yes. Even if everyone else on the planet knows about something fishy underneath the surface, FIFA just wants to sweep it all away without anyone noticing. They're terrible janitors in that regard.

The debate over FIFA has certainly heated up (pun absolutely intended) with Qatar's claim that they were never expected to host a World Cup in the summer even though that's exactly what they bid as if they were doing and so did every other country in competition with them did. Qatar's also been tagged with numerous human rights allegations, and of course every single bribing accusation under the sun. But, it's become abundantly clear that FIFA will not put the competition up for a re-vote even despite all of the evidence. And what little hope many people had in Michael Garcia's report was washed away quickly when it was revealed that his report couldn't be released publicly despite his criticism of Joachim Eckert's recent findings. But again, all of this was expected.

The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar no matter what, even if it was proven that FIFA's entire executive committee was bribed to high heaven. It will probably be held directly in competition with either the NFL season or the Olympics (lord knows FOX is excited about that). No number of detailed journalistic investigations from the US, England, Germany or anywhere else will change the ludicrousness of that. At this point, most soccer fans are resigned to seeing the World Cup being held in a place that doesn't deserve at a time that makes no sense because FIFA didn't realize that the desert is hot in the summer, whether they had stacks of cash in front of their eyes or not. There may be only one hope left for disillusioned soccer fans: The FBI.

How? What does the FBI have to do with anything related to an organization based in noted neutral safe-haven Switzerland? The New York Post recently revealed that former FIFA exec and noted racketeerer Chuck Blazer became a FBI informant, which meant silly things like his cats having their own expensive NYC apartment revealed, but also gave the FBI a key in in their investigation of FIFA. The FBI can hopefully use the information Blazer has in order to indite more officials for probable corruption and bring them to court. Possibly then, the FBI will sue FIFA. If that happens however, something interesting may happen.

FIFA automatically suspends federations from international football that bring up lawsuits again them, and if the FBI was to do that, the USSF would be suspended from all competitions, including the World Cup. No doubt FOX, who just spent an arm and leg to gain FIFA TV rights for the States would be ecstatic with that development. They may then jump in on the lawsuit party and sue FIFA themselves in US court. And what of the many international sponsors for FIFA, who would then lose the ability to market themselves in the biggest Capitalist economy on the planet and might raise a stink with FIFA or even pull their sponsorship?

This situation was muddled before, and is probably going to become even more muddled as time goes on. The hope that many harbored was that it would force FIFA to have a re-vote for the 2022 World Cup host, but that hope's faded long ago. Now, it's about the future of organized global soccer and whether change will be made in time for the next go-round at FIFA's HQ. They've already stated they'll put the bid process open to the whole FIFA board instead of just the executive committee, which is like dumping a small bucket of water on a 5-alarm fire. But this whole mess has done nothing other than harden this belief among soccer fans of all types:

Love the game, hate the people running it.

No comments:

Post a Comment