With the recent criminal indictments still simmering on the Internet, FIFA recently held its annual congress despite a bomb scare and found a surprising way to double down on stupid. They re-elected Sepp Blatter to another term as FIFA President and all around best Swiss version of Dr. Evil. But I guess any press is good press.
This is not surprising. Especially if you dig into the construction of FIFA. It didn’t matter that U.S. and Swiss authorities rounded up and arrested Blatters critics and friends? Each representative in FIFA’s model U.N. gets one vote. So the European powerhouses, like Germany and Belgium get one vote, just like the rest of the 209 member nations. Yep, all the little ones we have trouble pronouncing.
So it was no surprise Blatter got reelected. He merely held on to the little guys, who get excited about free room upgrades and a mini-bar key courtesy of Blatter himself.
You see FIFA isn’t your ordinary private club. It’s a private club that allows everyone access, but not everyone at the same time; a gatekeeper if you will. You see soccer is a global sport and loved by billions of people. It is played on every continent and in every plush stadium with manicured grass and every broken glass strewn lot across this globe.
Sepp Blatter is king of the little world that makes a profit and being a non-profit off of this love. FIFA sets the rules, keep teams out, and lets them in. So in a way as the head of this organization, Blatter is a pimp. He sets the price, tells you where and when and for how long.
You still love the game. You still watch the game. You still pay for it. I know, we’re kindred spirits, I do it too. I just can’t stand the corruption choking out our beautiful game. But take solace in knowing it wasn’t always like this. And it will not likely remain.
FIFA comes with a lot of money. And when I say “a lot” of money. I mean a flood of coin. FIFA pulled in almost $6 billion over the past four years. That comes with incredible gravitas. So FIFA with all its incredulous corruption carries with it a lot of credibility. For a soccer league to have any real draw it has to have FIFA connected. Look at the arm patches of the referees at the next MLS match. You’ll know it when you see it.
So, what do we do? We are just fans. What kind of pull can we have on an organization that acts as a backdrop to the sport we love. Well, there is not much other than ignoring the sport we love. Maybe that is what it will have to take. But I doubt it will have any long-term effect.
FIFA does have one weakness; its sponsors. They are mainly American based companies. These companies will likely pay attention to the indictment.
So let us take solace on our side of the pond and focus on our little major league soccer. It is growing in attendance this season is up 12 ‰ so far. That’s 12‰ higher through the cold part of this season. The American game is getting better and with European talent entering the league, it can only get better. Even if it is players past their prime and cashing in on a swan song. I’m still buying a ticket!
Also, take heart in knowing American Authorities didn’t blink an eye in dropping the hammer on FIFA. Do you think they will hesitate if they smell that stateside? I don’t doubt it.
And as such, I’m all over the MLS Leagues on Draftkings. I hope you are too. You just plowed through over 600 words written by me. Now go forth and pick your lineups.
Till next time, Blue Horseshoe loves Endicott Steel.