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Football Association leaves it too late - again

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David Bond | 12:46 UK time, Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Fifa's growing army of critics will no doubt welcome today's statement from the Football Association chairman David Bernstein calling for a postponement of Sepp Blatter's re-election.

Having already decided to abstain, the FA has now gone one step further, disregarding neutrality and lining up as a clear opponent of the Fifa president.

Given the level of criticism being directed at Blatter and Fifa from the English media, the FA was under pressure to make a stand.

But, while they have guaranteed themselves good headlines, their last minute move is likely to end up as nothing more than an empty gesture.

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Even from those countries still angry at last December's World Cup bidding decisions, there was an indifferent response.

One American delegate told me privately: "They have left it too late - again. The time to do all this was weeks ago. If they wanted to make a stand, that's fine, but 24 hours before the congress is useless."

Another source told me that this was another classic example of the FA misunderstanding how they are perceived in world football.

And the risk is that this will lead to the FA being more isolated.

Of far greater significance is the latest statement from one of Fifa's top sponsors expressing concern at the crisis engulfing Fifa.

Emirates, who pay over $100m (£60.6m) for the right to be one of Fifa's six top tier partners, joined Coca Cola and Adidas in calling for Fifa to sort out the mess.

This is likely to make Blatter and Fifa far more anxious than Bernstein's statement - no matter how well it might play with the English audience.


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  • Comment number 1.

    The FA have been cautious during this whole affair, however the evidence and infighting was not beyond reasonable doubt until recently. Whether anything comes of their statement or not, the first stepping stone has been laid for calls for a complete overhaul of FIFA. A registered charity, making billions of pounds in revenue, with no taxes, no accountability and no mandate as far as the fans of football are concerned must be made a thing of the past. Blatter's re-election will only harm FIFA further. I just hope that sponsors take note and put pressure on the federation, as it seems money is the only thing FIFA answers too...

  • Comment number 2.

    Two small countries in north west Europe applying pressure will have no effect whatsoever. Each country has the same number of votes - and so are as influential as Tonga and San Marino (with all due respect to those fine countries). What needs to happen is for some of the big European nations to break away, ideally with the US. If England, France, Germany, Holland and Spain said they were going there own way - UEFA as a whole would probably have to break away to avoid the Champions League and the European Championships becoming contests for minnows. FIFA will struggle on, but countries will soon come flocking to the new federation. And all will be well once again the world of football.

  • Comment number 3.

    Way too late. Although it is encouraging that FIFA are stumbling painfully towards reform, the FA needs to take a look at itself. In particular, to start working on getting some more friends. We read often that UEFA (through Platini) is not so friendly to the FA. FIFA has currently no real reason to be friends with the FA. In short the FA needs to be rebuilding bridges. In their defence you have to question the deafening silence from most of the other major footballing nations. You can understand (although not agree with) Germany not wanting to rock the boat as they will host the FIFA Women's WM this summer. As for the rest, an apparently utter disinterest in reforming a dysfunctional organisation.

  • Comment number 4.

    Turkeys don't vote for Christmas. The idea that FIFA delegates are going to vote themsleves off this gravy train is a joke.

    They are more likely to vote themselves a pay rise, than for any change in the system that already rewards them so generously.

    I guess the FA and SFA can leave FIFA and rename the home nations championship the "world cup".

  • Comment number 5.

    We have to stop this delusional talk about pulling out of FIFA. Apart from the fact that nobody would be remotely interested in joining us, do we really want football to become like boxing with lots of world governing bodies. If there is one example of how not to run a sport it would be boxing.

  • Comment number 6.

    actually what really needs to 'appen is for england to understand their modest position in FIFA and understand that other members will not be stampeded by a media campaign whose agenda/motivation is far from transparent or altruistic .

    the rest of the world have brains too and will act in THEIR own interests. of course england can test their appeal and form a breakaway organization .
    the time for TALK is long gone.

  • Comment number 7.

    All it would need would be for a few of the major nations to threaten to withdraw from the 2014 World Cup. The value of the TV rights and advertising revenues would plummet. FIFA would have a massive hole in its finances. I agree 'Money Talks' as far as FIFA are concerned. However, the world of football is hardly 'squeeky clean' so I doubt that this will happen.

  • Comment number 8.

    Number 3. If no-one is interested in joining the English in this anti FIFA crusade, have you considered the possibility that FIFA may not be as dysfunctional as you make out?

  • Comment number 9.

    Not in a million years are 75% of the delegates of FIFA going to suspend the election of Sepp Blatter.Its like Turkeys voting for Christmas!
    The Confederations of World Football UEFA,CAF, CONCAF,CONEBOL, OFC,AFC are really pseudonyms for Tommy Lucchese, Vito Genovese, Carlo Gambino,Joe Bonanno,Joe Profaci and Joseph Colombo with FIFA the parent company run by Vito Corleoni.With Bin Hamman allegedly making them offers they could not refuse. I just hope that Chuck Blazer does not find a horses head in his bed when he wakes up ,one of these mornings!

  • Comment number 10.

    @2. I agree with your assessment although I suspect it would only take England, Spain, Italy & Germany (the leagues with the glamour clubs & the big money) to break away in order to effectively destroy FIFA.

  • Comment number 11.

    i would adivse mr blatter to be wary of hotel maids

  • Comment number 12.

    If the FA want to get rid of Blatter why don't they stand someone against him? It's not his fault that he is unopposed. When this is all finished the FA will still be in FIFA, the World Cups will still be in Russia and Qatar, football will still exist and everything will carry on as normal.

  • Comment number 13.

    So the Americans think we should have started earlier? Well at least we started! Typical Yanks, won't do anything unless someone else does it first! Always need somone to follow, then they moan about them!

    The US have lost far more from this than England if the rumours are true, yet the way their people talk they don't seem to care.

    I wonder why?

  • Comment number 14.

    David - you are spot on with this analysis, our FA have got it wrong again - this late, late, call for a postponement of the FIFA Presidential Election is just making themselves look woefully incompetent, if not a little foolish! This kind of ill judged unthought out action, spurred on by the UK media, gives confirmation (if any were needed) that our FA could not 'organise a p...s up ... a brewery' -its no wonder we were not awarded the WC!
    This latest action within FIFA is simply the 'overlords' of FIFA clearing the ground for further action later on. The Chuck Blazer 'revelations' is nothing more than an attempt to 'oust' his immediate boss Jack Warner and take over as the 'strongman' in the Americas.
    Not even the comments from the sponsors (which in fact are expressed in very mild terms and one suspects are only being made to give some sort of tacit acknowledgement to the FA's actions) will lead to much change in FIFA. Its not until a number of major FA's in Europe and possibly South America are prepared to publically challenge the status quo, that there is any remote possibility of change in FIFA but don't forget ....'turkeys don't vote for christmas'!

  • Comment number 15.

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  • Comment number 16.

    If only they had done this two or three weeks ago!

    Then there would have been enough time to allow momentum to build up supporting this stance, and the events of the last few days could well have proved to be the tipping point!


  • Comment number 17.

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  • Comment number 18.

    The FA and Scottish FA calling for postponement of Fifa’s presidential election, albeit at the last minute, does have real meaning. It signals that some Congress members are not prepared to continue with the status quo and want real reform to make FIFA’s processes and culture more accountable and transparent. The proposal is highly unlikely to get the 75% backing required for it to be effective but that does not strip it of its significance. It is the morally proper action to take. And this is not the time to be over concerned about how this stance of the FA may be perceived by others. To determine how one should behave based on how others will perceive it, is morally bankrupt. And what is needed at this time more than ever are actions consistent with moral principles that reject colluding with agents and processes of corruption. If isolation is the cost of probity, so be it. But in the longer term it will benefit us and football. The FA is not perfect, but I laud its stance, and hope the Welsh FA will stand alongside the Scottish FA.

  • Comment number 19.

    8. At 15:00 31st May 2011, Guidomann
    FIFA functions all right!

    It is a complete success story in terms of governing issues of self-interest, and operates to a model of accountability, that any democratic elected political party must envy!

  • Comment number 20.

    Typical FA. Instead of wanting a delay on the vote, why don't they ask for an option C in tick boxes for a no confidence vote. I would imagine more FA's are likely to tick this box and that alone would put pressure on Blatter.

    Why does't Platinni grow some and challenge or Beckenbaur let some secrets out of the bag?

  • Comment number 21.

    Some sort of breakaway is clearly required. Sponsors, FAs and politicians voicing concerns or objections are one thing buts its action that's required. Hopefully if someone does then it could be like a house of cards falling down. But rather than national FAs what about the clubs themselves. They hold the players contracts and pay them money. We the public pay to see our idols. If the big clubs (especially in Europe) made a statement or voiced possible break aways wouldn't it hold a lot more power?

  • Comment number 22.

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  • Comment number 23.

    Mr Bond

    One thing about Brits is that they often appear to move very slowly, but when they start to move htey usually move relentlessly.

    The assumption is that these two moves were designed to topple Blatter.

    it is equally possible that the bonus prize was toppling Blatter, but that the point of it was to lay down some markers.

    The FA acted after the HOC enquiry revealed allegations of bungs in the failed 2018 bid. Just because you can't topple a President alone doesn't mean you shouldn't make a stand.

    They don't have any long-term interest in courting Blatter as he will be gone in 2015, so maybe their aim was simply to do what they could.

    The Americans did what they wanted and got rid of Warner and installed Blazer in his place.

    The whole tenor of this article is the arrogant assumption that the Brits call for something and it happens.

    If that were the case, don't you think we would already be hosting 2018????

  • Comment number 24.

    Why does't Platinni grow some and challenge or Beckenbaur let some secrets out of the bag?
    We can only speculate on that one. and probably not openly on this blog!

  • Comment number 25.

    Is anyone else getting really tired of hearing that turkeys don't vote for Christmas? Can we please try to come up something more inventive? Maybe 'cows don't vote for steak nights', at the very least. Or maybe 'alligators don't vote for handbags'.

    Frankly, I don't know why any of us are even bothering to discuss this. FIFA has given itself more or less unlimited power over world football and anything anyone does to try and change the established order will fail because of this unlimited power. Unless someone can find a way to charge Sepp Blatter and his crew as criminals, they'll remain untouchable because at the moment the only court that can charge them is one that they own.

  • Comment number 26.

    American turkey's don't work for thanksgiving!

    Any better?

  • Comment number 27.

    Is this a case of old fogies sticking together? A collection of ageing men not wanting to upset another old man? None of them understand or want the introduction of new technology but are more than happy to allow new expensively sponsored match balls regardless of their approriateness. FIFA is a registered charity(!), and as the boss of it Blatter has allowed it to become mired in scandal, if he won't do the right thing and go, then we should.

  • Comment number 28.

    24.At 15:59 31st May 2011, Roman Philosopher wrote:
    Why does't Platinni grow some and challenge or Beckenbaur let some secrets out of the bag?
    We can only speculate on that one. and probably not openly on this blog!
    I can't imagine someone of his stature to quit for no reason and lie about the uncomfortable things he witnessed

  • Comment number 29.

    No 17. You are pretty much spot on... But why is FIFA givIng money to the poor nations of the world perceived as corruption while the banks making billions from the Mortgage PPI schemes is not - in effect they were stealing from us and awarding themselves huge bonuses as a result. Perhaps the BBC should concentrate the same sort of time and energy forcing the chiefs of the banks to stand down and face prosecution... And how clean are the rest of us? Is there anyone out there who has not put a couple of extra quid on their expenses? It may not be a popular thing to say but FIFA's generosity and fair division of their spoils amongst all the nations of the world is the only reason why many countries are able to field a national team and organise league and cup tournaments. The Premier League could learn a thing or two from FIFA about how to redistribute it's wealth...

  • Comment number 30.

    Harry w

    Actually, i disagree.

    It is almost impossible to suddenly topple an organisation set up the way FIFA is.

    It needs to be wounded continuously and painfully, until it can take no more and finally yields.

    I think we are just at the beginning of this stage, but the good news is, the process, although slow, is 100% irreversible.

  • Comment number 31.

    Lets turn this on its head.You are over 70 years old .You have managed to climb the greasy pole and have an executive job at FIFA or have a vote through one of the confederations. You have been given "perks" for years and just take it as a matter of fact and you get offered allegedly £1 million or more to vote for something in 10 years time. Now be absolutely honest about this. Would you vote for ANTARTICA to be a venue for the World Cup? Be absolutely honest!

  • Comment number 32.

    How about a reform of all FIFA voting to reflect performance on the pitch.

    ~200 associations in FIFA

    200 votes for Spain
    ~190 votes for England
    1 vote for Vanuatu

    FIFA rankings are far from ideal but you can be sure that FAs would suddenly become very interested in improving playing standards if it gave them more influence.

  • Comment number 33.

    #18 has it spot on. Yes of course it's late but at least the FA have come out with a firm, well articulated stand against what will be a ludicrous and shameful rubber stamping of Blatter's presidency on Wednesday. This together with the hour by hour increased nervousness of the sponsors (Just Don't Do It!) might just lead to a shock last minute cancellation of the election. If I'm really honest I think this is highly unlikely but this doesn't mean we shouldn't all continue to rally behind the FA and other organizations like ChangeFIFA as they attempt to build the support that will eventually - just as sure as England lose penalty shootouts - topple this toxic regime.

  • Comment number 34.

    Any talk about any footballing nation, whether individual or collective, having any substantive influence on Blatter or FIFA is unfortunately delusional. He/they doesn't care about what the FA or (the aptly named) SFA think. Given the gravy train that is FIFA, the only meaningful influence that can be brought to bear is from the sponsors. If Coke, Visa, Addidas, etc. all decided to withhold their philantrophic payments, then FIFA will be hit where it hurts (in their case, their pockets), and would be forced to do something, sooner rather than later.

  • Comment number 35.

    I love how we're missing the bigger point here; because the FA were a little late in recommending a postponement the English public jump on them for being incompentent.. Should we not be backing up the FA in this instance?

    There are other organisations in football and even other sports that also could/should have asked this same question, so why have we not heard from them? (Apologies if there have been and i've just missed them..)

    People are calling to replace FIFA but a few comments have already stated what I think that FIFA has taken decades to get to the level of authority it has and a new organisation is not the answer! FIFA needs to be investigated EXTERNALLY; not these stupid internal investigations that will no doubt decide minor members will need to pay their way out of trouble and the top man doesn't even get looked at before his case is thrown out the window!

    I dont know who will set up this investigation, whether it be government or other NGBs (i'm not a lawyer) but it NEEDS to happen!

  • Comment number 36.

    It may well be that Blatter's performance at the press conference, which was so disastrous, prompted a last minute change of strategy by the FA. The bottom line is the Blatter needs to be given a gold watch.

  • Comment number 37.

    I don't think they've left it too late at all.

    Firstly, it's only in the last couple of days that the corruption allegations have really took off ... and secondly, coming out with this just a day before the election saves us the embarrassment of having nobody come out on our side.

    These things don't happen overnight - but it's good that the FA have planted the seeds.

  • Comment number 38.

    I just can't get over how completely brilliant an idea it is for everyone to turn on the English FA now for their after-the-horse-has-bolted condemnation of FIFA! Fighting amongst ourselves! That's certain to lead to the reform the game sorely needs! Fantastic idea there, Unnamed Source Dan!

  • Comment number 39.

    I think it is wrong to get excited about the demise of FIFA. While FIFA has many problems, it does do some good too. Many parts of the world have acquired equipment, infrastructure and coaching due to FIFA.
    One of the concerns I have had that if FIFA is seriously weakened by this mess, is that another organization will emerge that turns the power towards elite clubs-which is ultimately where the financial muscle is in the modern game. If a small band of elite clubs were to decide they were going to form their own Super League and quit their own Football Associations, then we could have a NBA, NFL type body running sport at the top level.
    As we can see from the NBA and NFL, the international game is at the behest of the teams in the NBA/NFL. The international game would be a much weaker product. As we saw this weekend, Barcelona as a club side are far better than any national side.
    The erosion of FIFA is not necessarily a good thing. It is what it is replaced by that is important. FIFA needs some reform, but it does not need to consigned to the dustbin.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    So will the SFA's John McBeth finally be exonerated?
    In 2007 he had to resign his post at FIFA before taking it up, after alledging that the African & Carribean associations were prone to corruption.
    Jack Warner claimed to be 'insulted' by Mr McBeth's 'racism' and got rid of the accuser.
    Who is insulted now Mr Warner?
    John McBeth did not make racist comments. He gave his views on corruption, not race.
    Why did our dogged UK media not pursue this issue in 2007?
    Why did the SFA wash their hands of Mr McBeth instead of backing him to the hilt and making a stand at a time when their courage and integrity was most required?

  • Comment number 42.

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  • Comment number 43.

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  • Comment number 44.

    The FA runs on empty gestures!

  • Comment number 45.

    Good point Guidomann, I did read recently that FIFA gave a small fortune to Japan to help replace sports facilities for children in areas destroyed by the tsunami. While Japan is hardly 3rd world it is a sign of the good work FIFA do that doesn't make the pages of the British newspapers.

  • Comment number 46.

    Does all this realy matter??

    Football is still football who ever is in charge at the very top.

    We should worry about the distribution of wealth and the security of the clubs in our own game before bothering with FIFA.

  • Comment number 47.

    Yup, definitely should have been done earlier.
    But better late than never.

  • Comment number 48.

    BRING BACK 606

  • Comment number 49.

    Better late then never. But still it is right stands.

  • Comment number 50.

    Another pointless blog saying nothing much, which is much like FIFA's promises of reform and transparency.

    The simple fact is that, as long as Sep Blatter and his lapdogs are around, anything the FA says or does is meaningless, irrespective of the timing.

    As long as FIFA appoints any committee to "investigate" anything or conduct "hearings", certain people will never "have any case to answer".

    "Crisis, what crisis?" - Only the one that can't be seen when your head is buried in the sand like an ostrich, while all your puppets and lapdogs gather around to protect you back.

  • Comment number 51.

    Guidomann-You make some very good points and of course we understand this.We have some very good hard working MPS in the House Of Commons whos integrity is beyond reproach. Then we have a goverment under Blair that sends us to war on the pretext of a pack of lies.Snedger -I reiterate the 2018 World Cup award to Russia is no great problem for us. We have the OLYMPIC GAMES next year!
    Honestly Snedger cant you see why so many of us object to Qatar buying the World Cup ? I can understand why a 3year old when told to believe in faries at the bottom of the garden and believes this for the rest of their lives. But surely you were not told at 3 years old that FIFA is the place where angels come from?

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    I have just had a perfectly reasonable comment removed which I can not see breaks any house rules. A lack of transparency in FIFA? Perhaps we should start investigating the BBC instead?

  • Comment number 54.

    It may be later than it should have been, but any opposition to Sepp Blatter has to be welcomed. This man is willing to go to any lengths to maintain his hold on power. The election (assuming it does go ahead) should not be the end for calls for him to go.

    Unfortunately, he is likely to hold onto power for as long as he wants to while opposition to him remains divided. It seems like a full scale civil war is breaking out within FIFA. Sadly, there are so many factions chasing their own selfish ambitions to mount any meaningful opposition to Blatter.

    The whole episode is a farce. See to see how comical the whole affair has become. It would be funny if it wasn't so close to the truth!

  • Comment number 55.

    We have to threaten to leave FIFA and encourage others to do the same, and we have to mean it.

    Maybe this will be regarded as FA arrogance and no-one will join us - so what?

    What's the point of being part of an organisation run like this in any case. It wouldnt be the end of the world if England missed out on a couple of World Cups to avoid being associated with them. The only shame is that we didnt stand up to them before the World Cup vote was announced by pulling out of the race when we would still have had some credibility.

  • Comment number 56.

    30. At 16:08 31st May 2011, Roman Philosopher wrote:
    Harry w

    Actually, i disagree.

    It is almost impossible to suddenly topple an organisation set up the way FIFA is.

    It needs to be wounded continuously and painfully, until it can take no more and finally yields.

    I think we are just at the beginning of this stage, but the good news is, the process, although slow, is 100% irreversible.


    Good enough. Let's everyone just chip away at FIFA and slowly replace bits and pieces of it until it's actually a halfway-decent moral authority to represent the most popular sport on the planet. But, as someone else said, we need to avoid getting a replacement organisation that only bothers with the big clubs with financial muscle. What price then your Blackpool?

  • Comment number 57.

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  • Comment number 58.

    My first ever blog on here and it gets removed!!!!! Lets try again lol

    The FA could not have acted sooner because it only became a one horse race at the weekend.

    Will it be a futile gesture? Possibly but tell that to other people who have made stands in the past.

  • Comment number 59.

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  • Comment number 60.

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  • Comment number 61.

    Mr Bond.

    I'm am beginning to tire of your negative attitude. Why don't you (as a supposed journalist) go and find out what the other associations are thinking instead of constantly critisising the FA? Why aren't you asking Beckenbauer what the German FA's stance is? Why aren't you following up why The Times' accusations have been brushed under the carpet?
    How has every accusation made by Triesman, including some that had corroborating support, been vapourised by Blatter and his cronies? What were Blazer's motives for his actions?

    We can all sit and whinge about how active the FA is or isn't. You are supposed to be a journalist, so I suggest you go and do your job.

  • Comment number 62.

    The FA are just as complicit in this mess as anyone else. The fact is if England's World Cup bid had been successful it is highly unlikely we would have heard any complaints about the governance of FIFA and even then all we are getting is very tokenistic and more relevant to the FA's PR than any real reform. Why wait until so close to the election before calling for it to be postponed? Could the answer be because they know they will have no chance of raising enough support and therefore they can claim they did all they could when in reality they did the very least!

  • Comment number 63.

    I don't agree with the excuses being made as to why the FA did not take this action sooner.

    They had already identified that both FIFA and this farcical election is not credible, hence the decision to abstain from voting.

    They were just scared to go the whole hog!

    Having said that, they are still the first football association to publicly challenge FIFA in this way, and therefore any criticism of the FA's timing should be tempered by this fact.

  • Comment number 64.

    I do find it amusing the way so many keep suggesting a pull-out from FIFA. Ignoring the arrogance (like the rest of the world cares) or the feeling of messianic self-importance ("we're the ones to save football"), it's a view that's clearly not well thought out.

    For one, the overwhelming majority of national associations don't have the same level of grievances and victimhood we claim against FIFA. Even before the fiasco of the World Cup bidding process, the nation was rife with anti-FIFA bias and resentment toward the likes of Blatter and Warner. You get the feeling a lot of that has to do with the limited influence England has on the organisation (despite the pre-eminence in IFAB).

    Secondly, I don't think we've stopped to consider the possible chaotic nature of any drastic changes in the structure of the sport. I certainly won't want to see a boxing scenario where we have Brazil as FIFA World Cup champions and England as IFF (International Football Federations) World Championships title holders simultaneously. Nothing also says a new organisation wouldn't lapse into the very same problems at FIFA.

    I also fear a new association may be too elitist becoming a football version of the G8 leaving many countries harbouring a lot of resentment.

    In summary, I think Blatter is right when he says the organisation needs "evolution" and not a "revolution" if we can ignore the urge to balk at anything he says. There clearly are glaring faults with FIFA but I believe there is a lot of good there as well and this crisis may be a simple case of an honest leader's poor judgement and complacency (some will say incompetence) allowing less scrupulous elements in the organisation bring it to shame. There may be faults in FIFA but you do get the feeling those still smarting from the disappointment of England's humiliation at the bidding vote are milking every drop of this for all it's worth with great malice and have long gone into overdrive.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    May I suggest that "getting ones own house in order" before crying about how badly others are run would be a better starting point for our FA.

    How about our FA showing some leadership and responsiblility to our game, how about they stop playing second fiddle to the Premier League ?

    I would just like to remind the FA Chairman and his colleagues that there is currently a parliamentary committee looking in part at what many would concur is the worst run sporting body in this country. Now nowt may come of this committee (in fact many would reflect that there is a better chance of Blatter retiring tomorrow than our game being reformed) but the fact that MP's are using time on the topic when there are surely more pressing issues reflects badly on the said administrators of our game.

  • Comment number 67.

    Can everyone on Twitter and Facebook make sure you are following the boycott the Fifa sponsors pages - this is important for the future of the global game

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    @ No. 64

    It's a good argument, but you've gone a bit far in your praise of Mr Blatter. This is the same man who whitewashes every piece of negative information that (sometimes literally) lands on his desk.

  • Comment number 70.


    You can suggest it, but I don't see your point as a valid reason for ignoring the glaring issues of lack of trust and credibility that now surround FIFA.

    And trust me, as bad as the FA is, there are many sports governing bodies in the UK that are considerably worse.

  • Comment number 71.

    Short of military action or a severe bout of ill health, Blatter is going nowhere.

  • Comment number 72.

    Sepp Blatter gets another term as FIFA president from an unopposed election. Surely this is nothing but good news. The reasoning is that this is the man who ,if not the cause, the person responsible for the state and current reputation FIFA has today. Those wishing to see the the demise or at least major overhaul of FIFA, Sepp Blatter has to be the man in charge. You don't want someone competent who may just wing it, patch things and allow the status quo do you? If anyone can wreck it completely, Sepp Blatter has to be your man.

  • Comment number 73.

    The only hope I have for change is if Spain and at least two of England, Italy and Germany decide to form a break away federation. UEFA would capitulate under those circumstances, and FIFA would soon follow.

  • Comment number 74.

    An interesting part of this developing story is that Australia FA is considering claiming their expenditure back for their bid that never had a chance due to allegations of vote buying. It make you wonder if the FA/Lord Triesmans allegations of similar claims has not been stopped at FIFA as it may open up further procedings from other FA bids for the 2018 World Cup. It does not mean that the the English FA will not submit a claim for costs and damages at a later date. I bet there are lawyers of unsuccessful bidders looking into this at the present time.

  • Comment number 75.

    What fascinates me most in all this is that Blatter is so desperately keen to push through an "election" in which he is the only candidate. Honestly, thats a Mugabe-esque political strategy right there.

    The press conference was just a classic piece of slapstick TV, clearly better written than THAT email from Valke

  • Comment number 76.

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  • Comment number 77.


    I think you have your "Bins" mixed up!

  • Comment number 78.


    You (and Blatter) can't talk about evolution of FIFA. Evolution is the result of an outside force, like the environment. Revolution is the internal corollary.

    FIFA, by design, has created a position where evolution simply is not possible, because FIFA is completely insulated by money, from the external forces that would be required for evolution to work.

    Change has to come from within, ie a revolution.

  • Comment number 79.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 80.

    Pot, Kettle, Black.

  • Comment number 81.

    Try again... Bin Hammam is the joker in this game. If there's any substance to the allegations, he should know. So its all comes down to whether the joker will tell-all, or kiss and make up with Blatter who was until recently his "very good friend". If reinstated, I guess we will never find out the truth and Blatter will serve another 4 years. If he's not reinstated, I suspect there will be a few headless Turkeys at FIFA!

  • Comment number 82.

    The developments of the last few days change everything and the FA is right to take a more extreme position. They get many things wrong, but it's not their fault that FIFA is imploding so close to the vote. Blatter's controls FIFA because even the honest countries feel they will never get a chance of the World Cup if they oppose him. As for the rest, they are hardly likely to want to expose their own complicity. The current crisis is a golden opportunity to remove Blatter and clean up FIFA.

  • Comment number 83.

    Note to other users:

    Do not dare imply guilt of FIFA or your comment will be removed! Even though their own reporting may imply guilt you are not allowed lol so just say 'funny that' and look skywards

  • Comment number 84.

    @18 - Gepardi - Spot on mate

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    I hope Sepp Blatter stays on as FIFA President - hes not been found guilty of anything.

    This time next week the moral conscience of world football (ie the people hating on Blatter) will have forgotten all about Seppy and will be either ripping world renowned Fabio Capello or projecting him as the second coming.

    Fickleness is what keeps the football machine moving. Its sickening.

  • Comment number 87.

    Roman Philospher

    You can suggest it, but I don't see your point as a valid reason for ignoring the glaring issues of lack of trust and credibility that now surround FIFA.

    Were FIFA trustworthy in December 10 whe the draw was made and people were suspended just before the election, were FIFA credible in June 10 when Lampard scored and they cling to the dark ages on technology,were FIFA credible when Henry blatantly handled the ball in Nov 09.


    So why now the efforts to change things now ?

    If we wanted to make things happen, why did we not put up a candidate for election ?

    Are we really saying that we are only acting now because of the last few days ?

    Come off it.

    The reality is that football gets way with it at all levels because its the one business where the consumer moans about being taken for a ride and yet still climbs aboard the gravy train.

    Oh look at the Champions League ticket prices, never mind I will still go

    Oh look at the nineteenth replica kit this season, never mind I will still buy it

    Oh, look at the weather in Qatar in 2022, never mind I will still go and get sunstroke

    Football will never change, the one group that can change things, is not the FA, its the fans but those in charge of the game at whatever level know that fans are happy to moan but will always be divided.

  • Comment number 88.

    >Nav Sandhu wrote: I hope Sepp Blatter stays on as FIFA President - hes not been found guilty of anything

    You're right but Blatter's totally out of touch with his executive staff and blind to what's been going on. Otherwise, he would have blown the whistle himself or better - prevented it from happening in the first place. Let's face it, Blatter's been asleep at the wheel.

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    They've just had Bernstein on Channel 4 news and he came across terribly. Asked him what support he has for the boycott... he didn't know. Asked if he would stick his neck out. He still didn't no and said it was a moral objection... Asked if he had talked to WC sponsors that are expressing their concern... again, he didn't know.

    In short, if that was a true reflection of the FA's "leader" then it explains why they have not challenged etc. Any diplomat always understates his/her position, leaving some in reserve. Lets hope he is seriously understating his position!

  • Comment number 91.

    RoyalAlbatross - The report yesterday was that Mr Damaseb aquitted Blatter of charges because, although Blatter admitted to being aware of the intention to buy Caribbean votes he did not believe the deal had been completed.... And that is what classifies as exhonoration in FIFA...
    Looks like somebody has offered "honest" Jack Warner some money too. He's gone from saying he will blow the lid on Blatter a few days ago to being his supporter.. wonder how much was paid to get his support?

  • Comment number 92.

    Any election that only features one candidate is not an election.

  • Comment number 93.

    John McBeth knew what he was doing when he spoke out about corruption within FIFA in 2007, as it stopped him taking up his post of Vice-President. It was not a comment in an unguarded moment a la Andy Gray; he said it to journalists at Hampden Park after a Scotland game. As Scotland's representative on IFAB he knew what he was letting himself in for and probably didn't fancy life as a FIFA fat cat with Warner and his ilk.

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    Interesting that the only other football body to publicly join the FA's stance is their Scottish counterparts. Some may scoff that the SFA is not exactly a heavyweight these days, but there is strength in numbers and it should be noted that they are the two oldest FA's in the world.

    Maybe if some more countries FA's stood up to be counted it might make a diffirence?

  • Comment number 96.

    If its in Switzerland the home of perfection....we do everything right....oh yes...they lose gold bullion stored in their banks by the Nazi's...they lose the Jewish accounts from they have unaccountability in long as the UN and all the other organizations are in Swizerland the world has no chance of change....they make their own rules and Blatter knows it too well...Where else would a man of his age be allowed to govern, come on wake up its like the Government, dont do as i do as i say

  • Comment number 97.

    The FA should have a fall-back position, of changing the Congress agenda, to include prior to the election an address from Blatter in which he outlines the steps he is going to take to make FIFA more accountable, including what Valcke said in the post ethics committee meeting press conference, to get in an external body to do it. Then members of the congress can vote, and the voting show what they think of Blatters proposals.

    As for the FA being too late, they have had to give Blatter every chance, and they have clearly responded to his press conference yesterday where he put his head in the sand and said crisis what crisis.

  • Comment number 98.

    For once, I find the criticism of the English FA in this matter to be nothing short of ridiculous. How many other associations had the courage to say they could not vote for either Blatter or Bin Hammam effectively because they didn't trust either of them? None until the FA led the way. How many associations have called for common sense to prevail and tomorrow's procedure (I won't call it an election because it isn't one anymore) to be delayed? Far from criticising them, the leadership of the FA should, for the first time in a long time, be commended for their stance. To do otherwise is to play into the hands of those who wish to maintain the status quo. Such an analysis is simply not an option any more.

  • Comment number 99.

    91 Just how many faces does Jack warner have? First, it appears he was in collusion with Mohammed Bin Mammam's attempt to buy himself the presidency.

    Then he reveals the email that suggested Mohammed Bin Mammam had bought the World Cup for Qatar.

    Next, he reacts to the FIFA Ethics Committee decision to suspend him by claiming it was a kangaroo court, that Blatter was trying to fit him up and had to be stoppped.

    Now, he is backing Blatter and thinks the Ethics Committee is the best thing since sliced bread after they booted out Lord Triesman's claims against Warner.

    How can anyone take this guy seriously?

  • Comment number 100.

    If a particular FA was against Blatter and Bin Hammam, but was afraid to say so publicly because of fear of being victimised (biased referees, less chances of being awarded tournaments, whatever), I do not agree but I understand their behaviour.
    If a particular FA was against Blatter and Bin Hammam and therefore decided to present another candidate for FIFA President, I would have applauded them, even though they would be risking FIFA to be hostile against them.
    What the English FA has done, however... I can not understand them.


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