The problem isn’t Sepp Blatter; it’s FIFA
Within the murky waters that surround the FIFA executive committee wherever it roams, there was a bright moment three years ago when Sepp Blatter, in the midst of campaigning for a fourth-term as president of FIFA, vowed that if elected, he would not seek a fifth term. The same Sepp Blatter who has consistently been trailed by allegations of financial misappropriation, accusations of corruption, blatant sexism, enabling homophobia and racism, and altogether an antiquated view of modern society, promised to hand over the most powerful position in football at the height of the sport’s global expansion, and more or less, fans of the game stomached the promise and looked ahead to a light at the end of the tunnel.
Fast-forward three years and we’re still wading through muddy water with no end in site. On Monday morning, Sepp Blatter confirmed his bid for a fifth term as President of FIFA with a bold assertion that perfectly embodies Blatter’s view of his own place within the history of the game. Rather than quietly announce his campaign, Blatter portrayed his bid as a reluctant one, brought on by downtrodden federation representatives who had practically begged him to carry on. “Please go on, be our president also in future,” Blatter recounted, presumably with a smirk and an open checkbook not far away.
Understandably, the response was swift, with everyone from journalists to pundits and fans alike decrying Blatter’s re-election campaign as another example of the nepotism within FIFA’s ranks. Fingers were pointed, vitriol thrown and a few curse words muttered, all directed towards Blatter himself. And let’s be honest: if anyone deserves to be vilified, it’s Sepp Blatter. But for all the caustic response to Blatter’s decision, most onlookers seemed to discount one major fact: there’s no corrupt FIFA-branded rule book (that we know of) that forces FIFA electors to vote for Sepp Blatter come election time; federation representatives are free to launch their own campaigns or vote for an alternative.