Crunch Time for Fifa

Categories Football, Sport

The football governing body, Fifa, has come into disrepute a significant 3 times in the past 12 months. Firstly there was the sham that was the selection of the world cup hosts for 2018 and 2022 where, amid allegations of corruption and bribery, Russia and Qatar (the later of which has been doubted in it’s ability to even host the tournament due to its environment) came out on top. Secondly there were the Lord Triesman allegations in which the former FA chairman claimed that several of the Fifa committee members asked for bribes in return for votes in the bid to host the 2018 world cup. It was even alleged that one Executive committee member requested a knighthood in return for his vote.

Finally now we have more disrepute coming from allegations from a committee member himself (Chuck Blazer) that two other members including Mohamed Bin Hammam, who is soon running for Fifa presidency, have been involved in bribery in some sort of fashion. Of course, we won’t know the full scale of the claims until a full Fifa investigation has been performed (and the obligatory super-injunction has expired).

All these scandals bring in to question whether Fifa can legitimately continue with out a major reform or restructure. It seems the whole organisation is rotten from the core and needs new people and new ideas. The debate over goal line technology has hardly improved its image in progressive terms and only furthered the notion that the executives of the organisation are stuck in the past. What I would like to see is younger and more involved executives who have a deeper interest in the sport rather than the business that goes with it.It would also be preferable that fans and participants in grass roots sport have more of a say in who represents each “constituency” on the executive panel.

These measures would help to keep corrupted stalwarts such as Jack Warner away from the sport as, to be honest, people like him bring nothing to the game. Warner is so deep rooted in the CONCAF region that the administration pays him rent for the offices that they operate out of and he has founded a football club in the region. He also boasts of large investments in Costa Rica and the US which were funded by salaries and allowances he receives from Fifa. This sort of expenditure doesn’t seem healthy in a region where grass roots football needs to be developed and promoted in order to improve the standard of the Caribbean leagues.

This is a major fork in the road for Fifa. They can either keep on the way they are going and lead the sport into further disrepute or take the chance to revolutionise and bring the sport into the modern day.

Currently studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Annes College, Oxford University. I have a keen interest in applied economics, food and most types of sport.

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