Reading across a range of papers this morning, one could have asked ‘just when does it stop?’ Sepp Blatter announced that FIFA will consider introducing goal line technology as well as demanding referees to become professional in Germany. While both topics have their merits, it is the timing that they are discussed again, that makes uncomfortable reading:
Just a day after Joao Havelange retired from his position as FIFA honourary president and after it became public that FIFA will delay the publication of a document that might incriminate some member of the FIFA Executive Committee. Therefore it is assumed those news of technology and the professional referees are nothing but a distraction from the main issuess that are far more pressing than the other two. Goal line cameras etc have been discussed for years at least and the climax certainly was the second round game between England and Germany at last years’s World Cup in South Africa and Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal.
The document in question deals with the allegedly illegal payments made by ISL to people like Ricardo Teixera, the head of the Brazilian FA who is one trying to prevent its publication. Others include Nicolas Leoz and Issa Hayatou. If the document is released, it is presumed that the Executive Committee will have to be reassembled on a large scale and have to be followed by a rearrangement of FIFA as a whole.
Joao Havelange stepped down to avoid the sack, it has to be said as simple as that. The investigation of the IOC into corruption was due to present results soon and it is speculated that he accepted to retire before he would fall from grace and get kicked out.
These two examples show that Sepp Blatter is a master of distracting his foes and enemies. Re-opening a soft topic at the right time to avoid the hard questions by journalists. Lucky for him, most of them went with him and his stories.
It is a year now that the World Cup Finals have been given to Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022) and ever since have we witnessed accusations of corruption within the inner core of FIFA. Over the last year a few heads have been rolling, Chuck Blazer, Jack Warner and Mohamed Bin Hammam to name the most prominent. With the latest story there could be more to follow. However, the system is being kept up and running, the personnel changes, yet at the heart, Sepp remains in control. Not a good sign.