FIFA: The Dawn of a New Era?
As someone who has always seen herself as a pragmatist rather than an optimist, I find myself very reluctant to think that the resignation of FIFA boss Sepp Blatter will result in any immediate changes.
Sepp Blatter, the Swiss leader of FIFA who recently won his fifth term as the chairman of the world’s football association, had to finally concede defeat and resign from his throne. Blatter’s tenure has been blighted with accusations of fraud and accepting bribes, most notably in regards to the World Cup bids of 2018 for Russia and 2022 for Qatar.
There is now an on-going investigation into the actions of FIFA with the likes of the FBI muscling in. However, I find it hard to believe that there is going to be a dawn of a new era of anti-corruption in the wake of this latest scandal. Mr Blatter’s organisation had many levels of corruption and deceit and it will take more than the resignation of the mogul himself to remove this problem from the equation.
As the Independent commented just a few days ago, we must now try to eradicate the deep-seated effects of the Blatter premiership. The organisation itself has been marred for the last 25 years by indignity and a lack of integrity; it will take time before they can ‘sail into the sunset’. FIFA will undoubtedly be on the ‘straight and narrow’ sometime in the future, although it is too optimistic to believe that that would happen any time soon.
FIFA is currently under a lot of pressure to reform in the lead up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and it is hard to tell as to whether they will find a way to stop the proceedings for the Qatar Cup in 2022. However, it seems unlikely that the states bribing the officials would not be penalised at all.
FIFA is inherently an organisation which now has a history of corruption and failure to reform could lead to a global football crisis. However, I fear that with ideas such as the Uefa alternative World Cup being bandied about, things may already be taking a turn for the worst for FIFA.
There is nothing to say that this is not the beginning of a new era for FIFA, but it will take them many years to shed the awful reputation they have created for themselves. Irrespective of Mr Blatter’s resignation the next few months and years will be a trial run for FIFA and their new leaders. There will be intense scrutiny, but I fear that there is no beautiful ending for this new leadership bid.
The FIFA of old may be gone with Sepp Blatter, but I am unsure as to how much the resignation will change in the short-term, so watch this space.