Talking about a Revolution ⋆ An Old International

Talking about a Revolution

This is what Karl-Heinz Rummenigge did in response to FIFA’s apparent corruption. As the chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), which represents the football clubs of Europe and their interests in any dispute with UEFA or FIFA, Rummenigge demanded that FIFA clean up their acts and restore honesty.

In his function he stated that he was no longer accepting the fact that football was ruled by ‘people who are not serious and not clean’ and now being the moment ‘to intervene.’ Rummenigge added that he was sure that there was substantial unhappiness among ‘not just the top clubs’, but all the clubs.

As agreeable and nice a move this is, it is slightly missing the point. If he is happy to start a revolution, he should think again. Would this revolution really hit FIFA where it hurts? Certainly not. It would first and foremost hit UEFA hard, which, with 50 or more of around 203 total member associations accounts for roughly a quarter of FIFA’s members. It is remains doubtful whether or not Michel Platini dares to stand up against Sepp Blatter and his gang in order to clean up FIFA. And it is more doubtful if he will do that just because the clubs of Europe demand him to do so.

In his rant he points out what the World Cup really is for FIFA: a money machine. That is clear even to people with no particular interest in football but who are keen on marketing and sales. Even that Sepp Blatter’s intention to clean up shop are not taken particularly seriously these days is nothing new to the alert observer. Lastly Rummenigge voices his concerns over fixture congestion and this is very much what this outbreak is about: to protect the club’s players from playing too much for their country, thus running the risk of injuries for which the clubs will not get any compensation from the national associations (does any one remember the brouhaha about Robben’s injury last year?).

Rummenigge’s argument comes a bit late to be taken seriously. It’s now almost two months that have passed since Blatter was re-elected as FIFA President. Therefore Rummenigge’s charge has only one aim: to boost the position of the clubs.

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