At the start of 2015 I wrote two articles on Sepp Blatter and FIFA.
One of the media (not Complete Sports) that I write in refused to publish both articles because, as minor sponsors of FIFA, they would be running the risk of some kind of reprisal from the world body.
They insisted it was too scathing of the person of Blatter and they would not risk their relationship with FIFA for an article that spoke the truth.
The issues I raised then have become even more relevant now.
Enjoy the recap and compare with the on-going FIFA drama!
The FIFA President has thrown his hat into the ring for the 2015 FIFA Presidential election.
The only reason Mr. Sepp Blatter would disregard the consequences of setting aside his public declaration made on the eve of the last elections that he would not run for the office again, and dare to seek the office once again, is because he knows he will win the election!
He also knows that he will win not because the rest of the world loves him that much, or considers him indispensable but because he seats atop the most powerful office in the world and will use the awesome power of that office (which he knows very well) and of incumbency to checkmate all other contenders.
The product of such ‘arrogant’ thinking is that even in the face of global rejection of totalitarianism in governance the world can do nothing to stop Blatter.
Yet, everyone around the world knows that President Blatter, at almost 80 years of age, four terms already as President, should not be seeking another term in office. The world can only look on hopelessly and helplessly, frustrated by the rules of engagement crafted by FIFA under Mr. Blatter.
The FIFA President that holds football in trust for the entire world should be promoting best sports practices and conduct through peace, friendship, equity, democracy, integrity, fair play and transparency has been entrapped by the perks and influence of an office with powers reminiscent of the darkest days of authoritarian rule and dictatorships in the world.
At his advanced age, Blatter, who has surely done a great deal for football in his four decades romance with football, should be the champion of the enduring tradition of true democratic practice.
No office in the world today should have an unlimited term. What is going on now is a dangerous promotion and strengthening of dictatorship through the no-term limit for the office of FIFA President.
Even the Presidency of the most powerful nation on earth, for good reason through past experiences, has a two-term limit. Anything longer than two terms in any office will breed tyranny and dictatorship!
The situation in FIFA has become a cankerworm percolating through all levels of the global football hierarchy.
Local Football Councils, State and National Football Associations and Federations, and even the Confederations are taking a cue from the practice in FIFA, and self-perpetuation in office now dominates the administrative football landscape.
Take CAF for example.
Issa Hayatou has been President for almost 30 years. The rules have been changed severally through the years to accommodate his self-succession plots. The last one was a new rule that only members of the Executive Committee, all loyal to him because he helped them all to get there, could contest for the CAF Presidency.
As his present tenure draws to an end, there are reports of moves already seeking another term in office for him even though the present constitution of CAF forbids anyone above the age of 70 from holding the office.
Hayatou is now 68!
Using the awesome power of the President, the goal posts will soon be kmshifted and the age limit restriction will be removed to enable him contest again. Yet, it is apparent that Issa’s health has become a big issue.
Even at National Federations level, from country to country, particularly in the Third World, attempts at self-perpetuation in office have become photocopies of the example set by the FIFA President. That’s why they all run to him (and get his protection) when crisis erupt from their attempts.
This practice must be stopped. For now, only Sepp Blatter can do it.
The statutes of FIFA and all its Confederations and Federations must be amended before Blatter leaves. Term limits must be introduced to halt the promotion of dictatorships in football administration.
This should be Sepp Blatter’s final act and legacy that he bequeaths to the world. He must introduce a two-term limit for the leadership of FIFA, as well as all its affiliate members!