Blatter: Game Over!

By Ikenna Okonkwo on 05/06/2015

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Sudden announcement by FIFA Supremo, Sepp Blatter that he would be stepping down as President as soon as emergency extra-ordinary congress takes place later this year struck football world like thunder.

Though the Switzerland administrator who has held sway as FIFA Boss for 17 years, has equally been in the eyes of the storm following series of corruption allegation rocking the world’s Apex soccer body over the years, no many could have predicted his abrupt proclamation to bow out of office after claiming victory in his fifth attempt to emerge President in less than one week.

His decision to finally give way in the affairs of Global football governing body after 40 years of enjoying many largesse from FIFA, moving from one office to another was definitely not unconnected from recent moves by United States prosecutors to investigate myriads of dirty deals emanating from Zurich, headquarters of the world football cluster.

Barely 48 hours to FIFA Presidential election, no fewer than 14 senior officials were nabbed by FBI investigators who stormed Zurich early morning, penultimate day.

From then, end of the road to many secret deals under Blatter became inevitable.

 

DIRTY DEALS

From how the FIFA body handed Russia hosting right ahead of 2018 World Cup to Qatar 2022, there have been claim that the normal channel at which countries are given node to host the most prestigious soccer event was not followed coupled with another allegation that South African Officials offered bribe to FIFA before they allowed to stage 2010 World cup.

The suspicion that some fraudulent act had taken place led to a unexpected raid of FIFA Headquarters by Swiss Officials.

Back in 2014, a US Lawyer Michael Garcia who was involved in investigating how 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids were conducted described the outcome as erroneous.

Currently, FBI are leaving no stone unturned in their investigation as they delved into controversies surrounding the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.

The review would be part of a probe that goes beyond the allegations of bribery in a US indictment of FIFA officials announced a week ago. FIFA awarded the hosting rights to these countries in 2010 but there have been calls to strip both hosts of the World Cup.

Earlier, Swiss authorities had confirmed that they were looking into the bidding process for both tournaments.


Troubled Blatter

Concerned by the height of cankerworm which has eaten deep into the fabrics of football organization from year to year, the world players’ union, Fifpro, has added their voiceon the need for FIFA to disclose all documents and information regarding the resignation of Sepp Blatter, calling for full accountability and adding  “the world governing body has failed to protect the basic rights of individuals.

The union which includes 58 member nations and represents 65,000 professional players held two-day board meeting and described the international landscape under FIFA in recent years as “a breeding ground for corruptible and abusive behaviour”.

They added “Fifpro demands full accountability to the players and all other stakeholders, including the fans, who have been made to suffer by the crisis of confidence enveloping FIFA as football’s global governing body.

“Such accountability is essential if the reform process is to be properly informed and ultimately successful. Football’s governance structure has failed to protect the basic rights of players and continues to expose them to other forms of abuse such as third-party ownership.

“Whether it is not being paid due wages and the inability to seek new employment when a club has breached its contractual responsibilities. These are fundamentals that are still not yet resolved.”

 

Blatter in Dilemma

BLATTER's MANY 'SELF DUNGEONS'

It was since June 8, 1998 that Blatter took over from his Predecessor, Joao Havelange at the 51stcongress even when Lennart Johansson was considered favorite of a voting process failed to produce a clear winner before Blatter was declared winner amidst damning polemics.

Next was Blatter’s second term contest in 2002 which was entire characterized by rumours of financial irregularities and backroom dealings culminating with direct accusations of bribery with claims that the Somali Football Federation and Confederation of African Football were both offered $100,000 to vote for Blatter in 1998.

Blatter already caged?

As if that was not enough, after his emergence, he was subsequently labeled a sexist after declaring that women footballers should play in “tighter shorts”.

These were his actual words: “Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts... Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men, such as playing with a lighter ball."

Elsewhere, Blatter was captured to have meddled into Referees decision, particularly when he intruded and lambasted Referee, Valentin Ivanov for issuing 16 yellow cards and four red cards during Portugual’s second-round clash with Holland at 2006 World Cup.

The Swiss football administrator said “the ref should’ve given himself a yellow card for his performance. He later offered to apologise for his outspoken words, but never did so.

In another development, specifically in April, the Council of Europe publish a report which states that it would be “difficult to imagine” that Blatter would have been unaware of “significant sums” paid to unnamed Fifa officials by ISSM/ISL in connection with lucrative contracts for World Cup television rights.

Also, the 79-year old FIFA supremo made several other underserving comments concerning some players’ conduct and transfer. That of Christiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and John Terry was obvious. He equally called England bad losers in 2010 world cup.

The outgoing controversial FIFA Leader no doubt made life so difficult to anyone who he sees as rival. Former senior FIFA Officials Bin Hamman and Jack Warner were victims of typical of Blatter’s onslaught.

His several inhuman actions necessitated revolt by some FIFA Officials even before and after 2015 FIFA election held alongside 67th general congress which involved FIFA member countries.

And as pressure mounted on Blatter to resign ,FIFA sponsors including Sony, Emirates, Castrol, Continental and Johnson & Johnson terminated their sponsorship contracts.

 

BLATTER AND PINNICK-LED NFF

The romance between Blatter and Current President of Nigeria Football Federation, NFFAmaju Pinnick is no longer a secret affair following the way the later has always ran to the former to renew their fraternity.

As it were, followers of how events are gradually panning out are of the view that Chris Giwa-led NFF faction would likely resume hostilities after the last has not been heard from Zurich-based CAS afterall.

Alhaji Gara Gome who have been critic of issues surrounding NFF hinted “Everyone understands many things are pending especially since Pinnick decided to sweep them underthe carpet under Blatter.”

Time to walk away

 

Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on June, 5 2015

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