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  • Hubert Marlin

What is to blame in the FIFA of Blatter? His real or imaginary opacity, or foresight and fair play i


In June 1998 Joseph Sepp Blatter took the reins of FIFA, the ridge tile body of world football, having been since 1981 the general secretary of the association under the reign of Joao Havelange, who had ruled for 24 years without sharing. Joao Havelange, unfortunately at 99 is not part of those indexed in the homing scandal that dominates the media in recent times, yet if one want to speak about corruption in FIFA, it would be reasonable to talk about the Presidency of Joao Havelange, a reign of 24 years during which much has been said and checked, in the irregularities in the management of the monies generated by the World Cup.

While it is true that before 1978 the world cup competitions organized by FIFA generated very little or nothing consistent, it was not until the 80s with the creation by Havelange and Horst Dassler, heir to the Adidas brand, (son of brand founder Adi Dassler - died in 1987) of the ISL, a company working in the redistribution of transmission of images rights of the World Cup around the world. By then FIFA became much more than a combination of round ball enthusiasts, but a profitable business. From these years, FIFA went into a fat cow period, generating profits which unfortunately will be shared opaquely between the ISL of Dassler and the FIFA under Havelange, which at the time was run as a family company with President Joao Havelange who flanked by his son in law Ricardo Teixeira, will establish a system of retro commissions, taking the precaution to keep a dark cloud over the financial management of FIFA. At the time of Havelange, no one had a clear idea of ​​the profits raked by FIFA. Ricardo Teixeira former president of the Brazilian Football Federation and chairman of the organizing committee for Brazil 2014 will be finally forced to resign for corruption in 2012 after more than 15 years of investigation. The resignation which intervened two years before the organization of the World Cup concerned corruptions cases dating back several years, in which were equally involved the former president of the South American football confederation Nicolas Leoz . However 4 years before, the counterfeiters may well have fall by the wayside, but instead fired into cheap. According to allegations made at trial in fraud in 2008, where they were accused in a trial that never came to term, since the procedure was repealed after certain parties involved agreed to pay a fine of more than 5 million dollars, it appeared that the deceased ISL (International Sports Leisure) of Horst Dassler had to pay no less than 200 million in retro commissions to certain members of the executive committee of FIFA. The 7 recently arrested from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL are suspected of having benefited from the same networks, however it should be noted that ISL was liquidated in 2001 and the case of retro commissions has already experienced the courts with an amicably arrangement in 2008, and further investigation of the ethics committee of FIFA in 2009 that will remove several other persons of their functions inside the FIFA, in 2011, 2012 and 2014 with Joao Havelange leaving the honorary presidency of FIFA. Also some questions arise as to the advisability of reopening this issue now. Who would benefit and why?

Although if it is reasonable to say that the sports agencies are allowed to do business in their own way and especially with the uses and customs of the old school, it is still important to note that this way of doing business under Havelange, had managed to help the gentrification of a ruling class, forgetting those who really make the sport, namely players, training clubs and national federations. With Blatter things would change, a wind of democracy will blow on the FIFA, redistributing cards, including the regional balance, geostrategic and transparency in financial management would revolutionize the world of football.

Inheriting FIFA in 1998 after long years spent in the administrative backbone of the institution, Joseph Sepp Blatter will become like a providential man, of an organization who suffered from organizational sclerosis because of its dictatorial and opaque management for decades. The amenities Blatter will carry both in the operating mode of the federation and its financial transparency will change the face and the pocket of the most popular sport in the world.

Under the reign of Joao Havelange, the accounting rules of FIFA were a chimera. One of the first reforms Blatter was to impose was accounting transparency, by implementing IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standard) one of the most stringent regulatory standards in the world in financial management of organizations, while Switzerland legislation was not constraining the FIFA to do so. In the same vein FIFA under Blatter made a point to pay taxes to the treasury of Switzerland, also in 2013 no less than 17 million dollars were disbursed for the payment of taxes related to FIFA's activities and its headquarters , FIFA is taxed on the basis of taxable income in Switzerland, while tax exemptions made some allusion at one time, concern only the material related to the organization of competitions like computers of the organizing committees and balls, or whistles used in the competition in various countries, materials that often at the end of the competitions is assigned to the host countries.

Today FIFA, an organization that has always defended tooth and nail, its apolitical nature, is in turmoil precisely because of politics. Many football enthusiasts remember suspensions and suspension threats, often raised by FIFA, whenever any government decided to intervene in the internal affairs of a national federation. That is a principle that till now has allowed the organization to be a peacemaker and unifier agent and especially a factor of development and communion between peoples whatsoever. FIFA is the first international organization to recognize Palestine by its national football federation. Today this non-discriminatory opening, seems to be questioned, when some feel that the objective was to buy-consciousness, in the redistribution of profits of over $ 2 billion made at the last World Cup, an edition where FIFA alone invested over $ 2 billion for its organization. Indubitably one is entitled to ask, if this is not a case of bad faith. Why some think that redistribute the profit of the World Cup to the different federations and allocating funds for the development of sport, would be corruption? Helping poorer nations in helping the development of football in countries of the southern hemisphere would be for some a serious a sin. Arrogance and selfishness must animate the proponents of this view who would like to keep the vainglory of sport for themselves alone, like the right to happiness and development.

About 90% of FIFA revenues come from the FIFA World Cup ™ and the FIFA reinvests nearly 80% of its total revenue to fund its activities and the development of football worldwide. For example, FIFA invests every day in the development of world football about $ 600,000, and nearly $ 460 000 per day for the organization of other events planned during a four-year cycle, namely Cups World U-17 and U-20 female and male, the ™ FIFA Women's World Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup, World Cups of Futsal and Beach Soccer FIFA World Cup of Club - FIFA Blue Stars youth cup, and the FIFA Interactive World Cup.

With such a suitable management and redistribution of profits to various football plenipotentiaries, it is easy to understand why Joseph Sepp Blatter had become unbeatable. The man who initiated this kind of change, with hints of social justice and a fair North South dialogue, is necessarily very popular in countries in the southern hemisphere that do the bulk of the number of members voting at different FIFA Congress; and visceral hatred of the West and UEFA towards him is undoubtedly related to this. Sepp Blatter has treated non-European countries, with fairness, something unprecedented in the long history of subjugation, domination and humiliation, in the relations between the northern and southern countries. This wave of freedom did well to push the wings to those who before, were considered only as mere observers. Also in 2002 the world of football witnessed an epic battle between Issa Hayatou President of the African Football Confederation who was a candidate for the presidency of FIFA against Blatter. That same year, democracy was invited during the work of the plenary assembly, the team of Blatter, and the one that challenged him were ready to build on a new rule limiting the terms of elected presidents to 3, and a rotating presidency from region to region, and to the surprise those who opposed it back then, are those who today accuse Blatter to be an immovable dictator. UEFA opposed an end of inadmissibility to this reform, perhaps refusing to open a door that would not close if once they came to take the reins of the organization; or else they didn’t want to see the ridge tile body of world football, led one day by a president coming from underdeveloped. Anyway if the principle of limits of mandate and rotation of presidency was not adopted, Blatter and his team nevertheless continued their policy of rotating the organization of world tournaments. As proof that year the tournament was played in Asia an unprecedented fact.

Logically with the coincidence of recent allegation and news campaign one could pose the question of what is the background of this story who want to take out Sepp Blatter and why?

The case FIFA versus USA, is a geostrategic battle, only related to the egos of the decadent West, the snub suffered during the US bid to host the 2022 World Cup goes badly in Washington where many continue to believe that, one does not say no to the United States without paying the price. If Bill Clinton as president of the bid committee of the United States to the organization knew about the clouded past of some voting members voting, information that the US would no doubt gleaned through their large canvas of espionage worldwide This information would have been used primarily as leverage to force some members to vote in favor of the United States, in the end they would have made a deaf ear, and would had instead preferred to ascribe their votes to Qatar. logically when taking into account the policy erected by Blatter in the early years of his term, when he clearly stated the intention to organize the world tournaments in the four corners of the world, instead of merely following the axis Europe - America Latin, like its predecessor. Under Blatter areas which never organized a world tournament in the past were preferred; Korea and Japan in 2002, South Africa in 2010, Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022 are only the logic of this philosophy of sharing and fairness. (The Middle East has never organized this tournament) Also corruption allegations by some members despite the hubbub in the Western press ha the slightest material evidence of these facts but words. Also when it’s well known what FIFA under Havelange was, the United States oddly omits to say how they convinced the executive committee members to vote for them so they could organize the 1994 Edition, right there lays the law of double standards so dear to the Americans.

Also if the American Chuck Blazer admitted having received bribes to vote for this or that country, he did it in his own name for his personal enrichment not for FIFA, FIFA cannot be accused of the facts of a third party who uses his position for racketeering, There are a misunderstanding here, that should be lifted. If the evidence of bribes are rare and are only based on the statements of some people, whose intentions are not always clear because a corrupt can be as well corrupted to lie against third parties. It should be noted that All Executive Committee members under investigation are from the CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, football confederations of North America and Latin America, and these people are under investigation because of the kickback collected while signing contracts with private firms in the exercise of their confederal activities that do not relate to the powers of FIFA and world cups. Actually FIFA is not their boss they do not receive any orders from the latter in the signature of their business contracts.

What about the now famous $ 10 million that South Africa would have paid to CONCACAF chaired by the Trinidadian Jack Warner? (Resigned in 2011 as the results of investigations of FIFA ethic committee he would had received money from Morocco's for the World Cup 2006, and embezzled money given by South Africa meant to be used for its Caribbean diaspora legacy programme. ). Explanations of South Africa do not suffer from any inconsistency, the $ 10 million were paid to the CONCACAF after the granting of the World Cup as part of the intention to share the reward of this first ever edition on African soil with the black diaspora of the Americas . Edition that was seen as a landmark of the rebirth of black people of the world, and Thabo Mbeki regime sensitive to this fact had been pleased to share these benefits with all African descendants of the black diaspora in the Americas ( North America and the Caribbean are led by CONCACAF) an act that undoubtedly can only anger a certain category of people, who are still very hesitant when it comes to the issue of black slavery and the duty to remember, probably feeling guilty about something. In addition if the South Africans had the clear intention of corrupting the CONCACAF why chose to deposit the money in accounts of FIFA known for its clairvoyance in the movement of its finances ( by evidence it was known through the IFRS ,), and why not paid directly into another more discreet pattern the president Jack Warner of the CONCACAF (like Morocco would have done) before the vote whether to corrupt , and why also other confederations have not been approached with the same jackpot to vote for South Africa, these are the inconsistencies, oriented sensationalism journalism refuses to specify since the will is to misinform the public.

According to new allegations appeared in the media, FIFA would have paid $ 5 million to the Irish Football Association for their unjust elimination, a fact that has been published with the intention of perhaps tarnish even more the image of FIFA, yet this is nothing new the settlement agreement are quite common, the Irish Federation threatened to bring the case to court the trial would probably have taken place that Ireland would have still not be allowed to compete in the World Cup in South Africa, it would have probably condemned FIFA to pay damages due to gross negligence of one of its agents, after a legal battle that could not grow the sport. After accepting the agreement and confidentiality clauses, the Irish federation accuses itself now, there is no corruption without corrupters and corrupted. Also in this case if there has been gross refereeing error, it can not necessarily be attributed to the FIFA that would have like some argue asked Thierry Henry to score by hand and ask the referee to validate a goal marked by hand, because the great football nation France had to qualify at all costs. This is an accusation as gross as the referee mistake. The 90 and 94 edition was indeed played without France that the benefits of the FIFA didn’t suffer at all. Yet that same France that FIFA would have favored is one of the most hostile countries to the FIFA under Blatter management today. In addition FIFA has had in the past referees deemed bad and even racist, but one must keep in mind that in a big family like the Football it is normal that from time to time a black sheep might come forward, if one has to just stick to the laws of probability. Furthermore it is the duty of FIFA to ensure that there is no prank, but the governing body of football cannot dictate all the motivations and emotions of all those with whom it deals, especially when it’s thousands of people spread across the four corners of the globe.

Bold strategist Blatter, used a kind of enlightened socialism to complete his mission, a strategy that has probably put him in the camp of avowed enemies of capitalism of oppression. Under his leadership in Africa for example an increased from 2 to 5 participants at the World Cup occurred with an exponential development of football, with the implementation of development programs in the continent, twisting the arm in the way to professional clubs to donate 5 percent of all transfers of their players to the training clubs which in the case of African are local clubs, a financial windfall and development policy, which continues to be popular in the southern hemisphere at fair value, since it especially enables the Levelling value of different teams reducing the gaps. Besides regulating the obligation of professional clubs to release players for the national teams of their countries of origin, does not please the agents of oppressive capitalism. With all these reforms Blatter has inevitably made enemies somewhere, and the most vocal of these come from the European football union, which first had to pay the price of Blatter democratic reforms, losing several places of participation in the worldwide tournaments, to the benefit of developing countries. In the same vein many poorly appreciate the democratic methods of FIFA, which grants one vote for each federation including those of the poorest countries of the world, during votes in plenary sessions. Many would have liked to apply the functioning style of organization like the United Nations, which give privileges to some nations deemed richest at the expense of poor nations or developing countries, racism and an obvious elitism that has been erected into law without firing a shot.

Even American democracy celebrated in the Western media is not based on a direct and secret suffrage; one can win elections in the USA without having the majority of votes cast since it’s the members of the Electoral College who choose the American president.

One thing can be blamed to Blatter, is to have been warm with his predecessor Joao Havelange, who early gave him the opportunity to make a career in FIFA because it's hard to believe he did not know what were the practices of the one he had succeeded, one can understand easily that he didn’t want to seem ungrateful. Meanwhile the conclusions of FIFA ethics committee and the independent expert firm that investigated into the case forced Havelange to resign to his position of honorary president of FIFA and IOC honorary member in 2011. Resignation which preceded that of his son in law Ricardo Teixeira (former president of the Brazilian Football Federation) in 2012, Nicolas Leoz President of CONMEBOL in 2014 and Jack Warner of CONCACAF in 2011.

Sepp Blatter probably is resigning to save the furniture and walls of the building, which he helped, build since 1981 first as secretary general and later as president since 1998. However it is imperative that the reforms he announced print in the continuation of the philosophy of fairness, sharing and foresight, that he was able to apply, despite the resistance of a hard core, which would put everything he built at risk all, if they come to business. It would not be good news for the sport that forces the humility to some, and refuses to let everything related to sport revenues to the American juggernaut that in this case is trying to create the opportunity to grab an nth jewel he would like to hang in his crown, which nevertheless became very empirical lately. In Edward Snowden espionage case and WikiLeaks files against the United States, one do not make a special effort to appreciate the hypocrisy of the reaction of the US government, which was not shy to freeze funds of a NGO, which denounced its bellicose and mafia practices, which since 2001 has cost the lives and freedom for hundreds of thousands of innocent people across the globe. Despite a carefully contrived campaign, the "FIFAgate" will eventually backfire against those who perversely started it, because it will open the sail flaps on their judicial system, which, despite all the good they would like people to think about, has way too long failed in his first mission locally, in the perpetual denial of justice, it grants to the black community. The United States should first get down to heal their foul plague of institutional racism, which the stench is been sickening lately, before hoping to give lessons of justice and good governance in the world and FIFA that did not kill anyone; although negotiations on the granting of a World Cup like that of 2006 saw the German government of Schroeder lift the restriction of the purchase by Saudi Arabia of some sophisticated weapons produced by Germany, this restriction lift would have been part of a deal in the vote to grant the World Cup to Germany. In any case, this story proves that, not only FIFA is sick, but the way of doing in the West. Western societies, which, increasingly are subservient to the new world order dominated by what was once called the new world, do not hesitate to sacrifice their own children in this new world order. Blatter is another European victim of the hegemonic struggle of the United States, a country that wants to control everything and impose on the world his way of doing. So in the end this farcical earthquake could get over football the most popular sport in the world, since without openly admit it, some believe it is better for the world to be watered only by basketball and American football, if they have been successful by doing so with culture (music and film) why would they be shy to it with sports? In addition football, which each time, forces humility to the US since they never won in the world stage, when often manhandled by third world nations, will always be very unpopular in the United States in general, while the average Americans who cannot have something that eludes them are always bent on destroying it.

By Hubert Marlin Elingui Jr.

Journalist -Écrivain


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