Enough is enough
Tuesday, 31st May 2011 at 17:29pm
I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that we've heard enough about Fifa's dodgy dealings, their refusal to do anything about it and that it's time for change.
First we had the scandal involving Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii who were subsequently suspended by Fifa for trying to sell their World Cup vote.
Then we had the debacle of an announcement that the World Cup in 2022 was to be held in Qatar where players, officials, coaches, and fans will be subjected to 50 degree temperatures in a country ill-equipped to deal with such an influx of people and with no footballing infrastructure or background.
And now we have virtually every member of Fifa's executive committee plus its general secretary pointing fingers at each other, screaming blue murder and accusing all and sundry of corruption and bribery.
All these problems and yet Sepp Blatter still insists that Fifa and football isn't in crisis and that we should plough on regardless with tomorrow's election.
Maybe we should nickname Sepp the "Indefatigable One" as he stubbornly continues as head of the world's most corrupt governing body; well, if the glove fits...
But seriously; enough's enough.
It's time for change. No longer can the game that so many people love, the game that gives so many people an identity of which they are fiercely proud be allowed to continue in such a shambolic manner.
What is alleged to have happened within the shadowy corridors of Fifa is nothing short of a disgrace.
If it was limited to just one or two members then you could accept it, perhaps even forgive it. After all, the Executive Committee and general Fifa members are only human and some, like many out there, are weaker and more susceptible than others.
But when the numbers continue to grow on a seemingly daily basis and the president, his election opponent, two vice presidents, the general secretary and others are being called before ethics committee to answer charges, it is time for change.
And while Blatter and others have been told they have no case to answer to - and boy is that convenient with an election coming up; especially when your opponent has been suspended - there is definitely no smoke without fire.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) suffered its own problems in the late nineties early noughties with the Salt Lake City scandal.
It underwent a massive internal investigation and subsequent change and is now the example that Fifa should aim to emulate if it is serious about change. Fifa should want to be like the IOC; Sepp should want to be like Jacques Rogge, the IOC chief, the fans deserve it.
Blatter is keen for the election to go ahead tomorrow and that's no surprise because unless 138 members decide that it's time for change - and let's be honest, that's unlikely - he shall remain as Fifa president for another four years.
Another four years? Sounds like an extended prison sentence for football and its fans but in his position as president he can change Fifa for the better.
The Executive Committee should be forced to start from scratch and limits should be imposed on how long members can remain on the committee.
When it comes to making decisions key decisions - i.e. the location of upcoming World Cups - then all members of Fifa should have a say; it should not come down to the whim of just a few men drunk on their own sense of power.
There should also be limits on how long a president can remain in office as it seems the 208 member nations have grown comfortable with 'good ol' Sepp' in charge; familiarity has most certainly not bred contempt in this instance except among the fans.
Fans should be given a voice as well. It is the fans who are the lifeblood, the passion and the pride of football. It is the fans' love of the game that sustains it. Why are they then not allowed a say in how the game is run?
A fans forum would be difficult to establish and be open to similar levels of corruption currently present in the ExCo but some form of representation is required otherwise we will continue to have Fifa focusing on banning snoods because they are "dangerous" and not on ensuring its members are clean; worrying about yet another change to the offside rule and not concerned tackling the amount of cheating that takes place.
Blatter has promised a greater transparency for Fifa should he be elected and it is likely that we will get the chance to see if he is a man of his word.
I, for one, won't hold my breath.