Corruption is a complex concept with many moving parts. Although some pieces may be dependent on one another, they can be replaced with others that perform the same essential functions. The same goes for FIFA. With Sepp Blatter’s announced resignation yesterday, the body of FIFA executives will vote for the next president. That’s the same body that voted Blatter back into the presidential position on Friday.
I am confused particularly as to why people are rejoicing over the stepping down of a leader in a democratic electoral system – a system which he has been at the head of for more than 18 years due to votes of its members. Although Blatter may be gone in person, almost two decades of leadership presence does not just go away with a snap of the fingers. His ideologies are ingrained in and supported by those who voted for him.
Obviously, Blatter had the majority of the room in his court, winning the vote on Friday over Prince Ali, who favored major reformation of FIFA and its procedures. There’s no telling what ultimately caused the current president’s decision, but that can’t be said without saying that the resignation was planned at prior to Friday’s electoral proceedings.
At 79, the current president is aging to the point at which he may not be able to hold his position for long much longer – say more than one more term. The time may be right now for him to choose his successor and, in this system people say is so corrupt, could pick his successor and have him voted in by the committee of his supporters.
Prince Ali, the only opposition to Blatter in Friday’s election, received just over a third of the votes. Why was this when it seems FIFA is in such a scandal and is seemingly in such shambles? Could it be the delegates’ loyalty to Blatter, potential benefits they received or maybe they don’t think Blatter did anything wrong? Not every country is the United States. Bribery and these ‘foul’ and ‘unethical’ business practices are simply part of culture and business in some of the areas in which these FIFA representatives reside. It is normal to them. Just because the U.S. makes up a portion of FIFA doesn’t mean the States run the entire show. Sure, we have those who hold similar beliefs to us, but change can’t be made without support of the majority.
There’s no question there is corruption in FIFA, but it will be interesting to see how it’s combated. It seems unattainable to get everyone in this historic organization to give up their chair in favor of a complete overhaul, and that’s just what it might be. Unattainable. A monster has been built that can be bothered and prodded, but can’t be killed.
This article is a part of our ongoing “Opposites Attack” series where we aim to play devil’s advocate on hot topics in the sports and entertainment world while providing a fresh perspective of these subjects.
Image: Getty Images