Blatter and the bigger problem

Blatter is not the problem.

The different attitudes towards Blatter around the world are telling.  We read that Africa, Asia, South America and Russia all support him.  They have different experience of him than we do.  They have benefitted from his regime – recently having the World Cup awarded to them, in the case of Brazil, Qatar, Russia and South Africa, for example, or being beneficiaries of his programmes to promote football in poorer countries (

So there is loyalty to the guy.

Most have genuine cause to support him.  Their culture is: “What’s the problem with someone creaming off a bit at the top if our kids get football pitches.  Everyone else does it.”

So this is not a problem about football.  It is a problem with the cultures of countries where what we call corruption is endemic, deeply rooted.  Where the elites have slightly but not hugely different values from our elites.

It is also a problem with double standards.  We shouldn’t kid ourselves that our elites are a lot better.  Among the top sponsors of FIFA are actually US companies: Coca Cola, McDonalds and Visa; and Adidas is German.  They know perfectly well how FIFA has been run during the years that they have sponsored it.  So they are not much better than the crooks working within FIFA, and the directors of Coca Cola, McDonalds and Visa should be shitting themselves because they have signed off on funding an organisation which they have good reason to suspect to be fraudulent.

And it is also a problem with globalisation: if it pays to have global companies making crap food and drinks and with global marketing budgets, you will get this happening.  Huge concentrations of money make this all possible.

Blatter is just a symptom of a world where unfairness is the norm.  He is just a symptom of mankind.

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