On Friday, in theory, FIFA elects a new president. This process will finally put a full stop to the end of Sepp Blatter’s lengthy reign in charge of football’s world governing body but seemingly the organization is set for ‘more of the same’ when it comes to a crooked hand being at the tiller.
In many ways the, forced, departure of Swiss OAP Blatter could have signaled a period of real change at FIFA, a chance for the organization to do some good for the sport it purports to represent, a chance to once again earn the respect of the millions who follow the beautiful game.
Sadly this appears to be a chance that will be missed given the backgrounds of those those battling it out to get to sit on the gilded throne.
The field of candidates to fill the post has narrowed since Michel Platini’s ban from the game, handed down following an illegal £1m payment he received from a certain Mr. Blatter, and Sheikh Salman leads the betting with Paddy Power offering odds of 8/15.
Mr Salman is something of a questionable character to say the least.
The 50-year-old has been dogged by accusations or accepting bribes but it’s perhaps his more worrying links to complicity in human rights abuses in his native Bahrain that should prove more shocking.
Yes him. The guy who manages to pad out an event that should last 67 seconds into a three hour affair.
Equally amazingly named Tokyo Sexwale, a long-shot in the betting at 33/1 with Paddy Power, is well known for his time imprisoned on Robben Island but is another candidate who is said to have taken ‘kick-backs’, though on this occasion more in relation to his work in the mining industry rather than in his footballing role.
A recent survey suggests that seven out of ten football fans do not trust FIFA as an organization and frankly it’s surprising that the other three didn’t feel likewise, one can only imagine they have already received a bung from the Swiss based assembly.
In many ways this whole FIFA debacle is indicative of the level of greed that’s now endemic within the game and frankly putting a wager on the winner is the least you can do to try to get something out of a thoroughly depressing situation.