Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The English FA Fail Once Again

Today saw Sepp Blatter re-elected as FIFA President on a unanimous vote & unopposed.  He swept to a fourth term by 183 votes, despite an attempt by the English FA (aided by the SFA) to postpone the vote until investigations into the bribes for votes scandal has been resolved.

While the English FA are correct to try and postpone this event, the problem that many people have (and possibly the reason that their proposal received such a lukewarm response) is that the English FA are precisely the wrong body to lecture people on probity and sound clean ethical governance.  After all before they lost the vote to host the 2018 World Cup, the English FA were, like some sort of lap dog, perfectly willing to do anything to please Sepp Blatter.

They rushed to pull the trigger in the political assassination of John McBeith, after he made claims about African officials and about Jack Warner.  Handily enough, the English FA Chairman Geoff Thompson stepped in to replace McBeith as a FIFA Vice President.  They lobbied the government to amend tax laws should England win the bid and also lobbied for the removal of the World Cup from the list of “Crown Jewels” (sports events that are guaranteed to be shown on “Terrestrial” television channels and not exclusively on Pay TV channels). All in all, the English FA’s conduct has been questionable to say the least, and that’s before we look into their inability to curb the power of the English Premier League (who demanded support for their 39th match proposal in exchange for their support for the World Cup bid).

Of course, its not as if Blatter was squeaky clean up until last December, as the English FA would have you believe.  If you have caught any of Andrew Jennings output (either on Panorama, on in the Sunday Herald or other publications), you will be aware that the ticking timebomb for Blatter is the findings of a criminal investigation into the collapse of ISL, which used to win marketing rights from FIFA before it went under.  Yet when the second Panorama programme (which aired more allegations about Herr Blatter) was aired last December, the BBC were treated as traitors by certain sections of the bid team & by certain journalists (Oh and Celtic flop Ian Wright).  How the snakes have turned.

All in all, not a very good day to be a football fan, and if these commentators are correct, maybe there are implications for the Scotland national team.