By Fredrick Nadulli aka Razor,
World football governing body FIFA,for all its handy work,continues to grab the headlines for all the wrong reasons.This coming when the dust has barely settled on the controversial Qatar 2022 world cup bid that was mired in all sorts of allegations,from bribery to high-end canvassing.
President Sepp Blatter,who has been at the helm of the Swiss-based body for over a decade and a half,is a man not alien to controversy.He elicits passion and hatred almost in equal measure.
CONGRESS IN ADDIS
The FIFA congress sitting in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa agreed to endorse Blatter for another term in office.It was more of an ‘arm twist’ by powers working behind the scenes.For Africa,the president can be credited for bringing the coveted tourney to this continent for the first time in history.
South Africa hosted the global showpiece in 2010,four years after it had eluded them by a whisker.Although African representatives had a lukewarm display,the overall success of the tournament underlined just how far our organisational capabilities had come.And true to their part,FIFA have religiously continued to disburse funds to member federations in support of the growth of the sport.
Amid all this,the world body has on the other hand been tainted in scandals and corruption issues that have left it with egg on the face.The Qatari bid is a smell that refuses to fizz out.Sadly as well,African FAs,true to their styles of operation,have willingly become slaves to FIFA’s manipulations.
Frequent handouts from Zurich have meant our federations must cling to the coat tails of monsieur Blatter at all costs.Whenever pandoras boxes are opened at FIFA,our FAs dare not speak out against the ills bedevelling the system because supposedly their hands ‘are tied’.They are well aware where their proverbial bread is buttered and would not risk anything to change the status quo.They cannot upset the apple cart.
It is crystal clear even from a layman’s point of view that present day FIFA is a stinking mess.Our top honchos have been sucked in the quagmire,so much so that they either cant see the filth under their very noses or simply choose to look the other way.
It is a classic example of men in suits suffering from acute selective amnesia,choosing what to forget and what not to forget.
Lest it escapes our collective psyche,when CAF president Issa Hayatou vied for the top seat against Blatter,financial patronage ensured African FAs abandoned ‘their own’ to vote for the incumbent.The world governing body stinks to high heavens and needs an iron broom.
HAVE SOME BALLS
FIFA needs its member associations to stay vibrant and relevant.Our federations need FIFA to run and sustain their programs.In essence,it is a mutual union,without which one party would suffer.It is a marriage of convenience.The swollen coffers in Zurich make the men in suits drool.Without batting an eyelid,they shamelessly sacrifice football development and progress at the altar of token handouts.
Our leaders must gather enough courage and speak out about the skeletons in the FIFA closet,otherwise they have no business being our representatives in the first place.Misdeeds must be exposed and seen to be exposed.
The FIFA the world wants should be untainted and one beyond reproach,akin to the biblical Caesar’s wife.
The blog writer is a former Kenyan International