Stijn van der Kasteel (mahnmut) wrote in talk_politics,
Stijn van der Kasteel

Didn't see that coming

Sepp Blatter to resign as Fifa president after 17 years in role

Now that the head of the hydra has voluntarily decided to step down, despite having been re-fortified in his position just a weekend ago, the question is naturally what lessons we could draw from this whole affair.

Firstly, as Harry Truman said, "The buck stops here". Blatter's argument that he totally didn't know of the corruption that had been going on just under his nose for years, is as blatant a lie as it could possibly be - absurd even. He was either part of the whole scheme, or he just preferred to look the other way all the time - or even worse, he was so staggeringly stupid that a fried vegetable would've looked like Machiavelli next to him. I'm not buying the latter even for a minute.

Then, we shouldn't ignore the fact that Blatter often likes to take credit for the structure he has created in FIFA, for turning a mere NGO into a global enterprise spanning more than 200 countries and controlling the most popular and most profitable global sport in the world - but that also has its downside, namely that it means he has also put all the flaws in place, and prerequisites for fraud and corruption on a global scale. So there's no way he could pretend to be innocent even in this more general aspect, either.

And last but not least important, bribe taking is not just one man's malfeasance. Blatter may've not taken graft himself, but there's no way he could've been unaware of all the nice "money transfers" that were taking place under the table. So, even if he's resigning (although not stepping down until December or sometime next year anyway), that still won't solve anything - it'll only vent some of the pressure that had been building up lately. No, the whole world body of football will have to be cleansed from root to branch, otherwise there'll be more Blatters in the future, and the game will suffer. In fact, chances are that without Blatter's oversight things could get even worse, and corruption could spiral out of control if FIFA doesn't act swiftly to clean its Augean stables.

If anything, there's one lesson I've personally learned from the whole affair: that John Oliver wields waaay more influence than anyone had expected! ;-)
Tags: corruption, scandal, sport
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