THE never-ending difficulties brought by allegations of corruption against those who run international soccer must be a cause of embarrassment to those millions who love the beautiful game.
The latest episode in the life of Fifa chief Sepp Blatter won’t offer any comfort to those who might have to argue that the game, the professional game at least, is anything other than a corrupt and pampered version of Strictly Come Dancing with slightly more anarchic hair-care routines. It is at a point where its integrity can be considered on a par with the self-deprecating circus of professional wrestling.
Last week, Blatter and some of his acolytes were confronted with another file of corruption allegations by Switzerland’s attorney general. This investigation, one of many, centres on “suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation” of funds. One of the legacies of the Blatter junta is the decision to hold the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. The 2018 event is scheduled for Valdimir Putin’s Russia.
Apart at all from how the timing of the event will impact on club football, how environmentally inapproporiate it is and the mounting death toll among migrant workers building its infrastructure the allegations of premiership corruption around the decision are numbing. Surely it is time for those who care for soccer — and integrity — to organise a boycott as some sponsors have already indicated. Or are all soccer officials struck dumb on this issue?
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