Football is going gangbusters but FIFA is not
Not really going to go over everything ad nauseam. Every news outlet in the World is covering it but a summary is certainly in order. A very brief summary is that something hasn’t been right in the State of Denmark for some time. Not the actual State of Denmark. It is going fine. Rumours of corruption in FIFA have been rife for ages. They have heightened after Russia was granted the right to host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar in 2022. A brief timeline follows:
Decision for World Cup hosting rights for 2018 and 2022 announced.
Chairman of England’s failed 2018 bid David Triesman accuses FIFA executive committee members of requesting bribes from the English bid in exchange for support.
Michael Garcia, chairman of the investigative branch of FIFA Ethics Committee commences investigation into the bidding process and decision to award the hosting rights for 2018 and 2022.
Garcia delivers his report to FIFA. FIFA decides not to publicly release the report.
13 November 2014
Hans-Joachim Eckert releases a 42 page summary of his findings in respect of the Garcia report. The findings exonerate Russia and Qatar though it notes that Russia provided only limited documentation as their records had been destroyed (what the? seriously? I can’t believe they brought out ‘the dog ate my homework’ defence). England, Australia, Japan and South Korea are all criticised in the report for integrity related infringements.
17 December 2014
There was a fair bit of acrimony about the FIFA approach to the Garcia report which ultimately resulted in Garcia resigning from his position because of his lack of confidence in the process. Not a good sign when your own internal investigator resigns because of a lack of confidence in the process.
Former top FIFA official Chuck Blazer (you couldn’t make this stuff up BTW – this will absolutely be made into a movie or a HBO series) admits that he and others on the FIFA executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the choice of South Africa as 2010 World Cup host. As a result of his 2013 hearing (boy they kept that quiet) in which he pleaded guilty to 10 charges and his consequent recording (once again you couldn’t make this stuff up – legendary) via a wire he wore, 14 others have been charged by US prosecutors on charges of bribery, racketeering and money laundering.
Sepp Blatter is once again appointed as President of FIFA then days later resigns as the corruption scandal engulfs FIFA.
I don’t actually have much to say about this but what I will say is it is absolutely amazing that it has taken this long to do something about it. Rumours of corruption have swirled around FIFA pretty much my whole life. Much the same as you hear about corruption and bribery being rife in certain countries (probably all countries in reality) I had just assumed that the rumours were true but the issue was too entrenched and international for anyone to do anything about it. Kind of a status quo thing.
Little did I know that eventually the good ship FIFA would hit the corruption iceberg. Now I don’t think for a second that Football is in trouble. It is still the most popular sport in the World. The financial state of the game has never been better as covered here. For instance, FIFA currently has cash reserves of $US 1.5 Billion. But FIFA is sure taking on some water. The reputational damage is hard to measure. The other important thing is that this is going to go on for ages. For instance, if Qatar or Russia lose the hosting rights for 2018 or 2022 expect litigation to last until the next millennium. Potential legal issues are immense. The scary thing for FIFA is that it is quite obviously the very tip of the iceberg.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they blow it up and start again, a bit like the League of Nations transitioning into the United Nations. I don’t think anyone would mourn the demise of FIFA. That is for sure.
What is sweeter than Jelly Bread?
- Paul Green’s new 3 year Cowboys deal. The ‘Paul Green’s Cowboys contract is shaky after Round 3 story’ looks a bit silly now. Still it is a results game and the margin for error is small.
- NBA Finals. Still awesome.
- DCE staying at Manly. Very disappointing.
Bill James Award
For the statistically superior NRL human being.
Blake Austin – Tries – 2, Run Metres – 113m, Try Assists – 1, Tackle Breaks – 8, Tackles – 16, Offloads – 0, Line Breaks – 2, Line Break Assists – 0, Errors – 2, Penalties Conceded – 1 and Bad haircuts – 1.
Surely must be knocking on the door for Origin selection.
NRL Tips Round 14
Tigers vs Rabbitohs – Rabbitohs (Tigers traditionally struggle without Robbie Farah and Souths are virtually untouched by Origin, Inglis notwithstanding, but will miss Isaac Luke and Adam Reynolds with injury as well. Rabbitohs with too much residual class and Tigers are just playing badly at the moment)
Warriors vs Roosters – Warriors (Warriors were dreadful last week but had to travel 450,000 km to play so there’s that. Just think they will bounce back against an undermanned Roosters)
Titans vs Bulldogs – Titans (This might be me still regretting not picking the Titans last week but just see them playing better than a Bulldogs team gutted of Origin players and sans James Graham again)
Storm vs Eels – Storm (Storm have a pretty poor record without the Big Three but Eels have a pretty poor record full stop)
Season so far
4,879 of 216,047
NRL Fantasy Round 14
Still holding on to my trades. It is hurting me to do so but I need to save at least some of them until after Origin. Down to 13….
Nathan Peats (Eels), Martin Taupau (Tigers), George Burgess (Rabbitohs), Manu Ma’u (Eels), Tohu Harris (Storm), Chris Grevsmuhl (Rabbitohs), John Sutton (Rabbitohs), Shaun Johnson (Warriors), Solomone Kata (Warriors), Mitchell Aubusson (Roosters), Reece Robinson (Eels), Delouise Hoeter (Tigers) and Lachlan Coote (Cowboys)
Kierran Moseley (Titans), Sam Lisone (Warriors), Dene Halatau (Tigers) and Mitch Moses (Tigers)
Balance of the squad
Richard Fa’aoso (Eels), Ethan Lowe (Cowboys), Shaun Fensom (Raiders), Kane Elgey (Titans), Jack Bird (Sharks), Iosia Soliola (Raiders), Euan Aitken (Dragons) and Edrick Lee (Raiders)
Round 13 Score
3,124 of 111,999
Stay tuned for the next exciting episode on Friday, 19 June 2015 titled ‘2015 State of Origin Game 2 Review’