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Matt Nicol has published 11 articles

Kick corruption out of football

Allegations of corruption against Sepp Blatter have tainted the game's image at the top. It is time for a change
Matt Nicol on Sunday 5th June 2011
Photograph: flickr

I don’t like Sepp Blatter. Perhaps I am still bitter about FIFA’s ridiculous decision not to countenance goal-line technology, thus ruling out Frank Lampard’s perfectly legitimate goal against Germany in the World Cup. It could be due to his role in the travesty of our failed bid for the 2018 tournament. Maybe it is because he looks like a balding Swiss version of Father Christmas. Or perhaps it is because he – a man many believe to be corrupt – is the head of our world’s football organisation. He is the pantomime villain at the top of a corruption scandal exposed by the world''s media over the last few weeks.

Lest we forget, this is a man who, on the subject of the illegality of homosexuality in Qatar (World Cup hosts 2022) quipped; 'I would say they [gay fans] should refrain from any sexual activities'. Lovely. It appears Blatter has a way with words. In 2003 he confidently stated; 'neither FIFA nor its President have anything to hide, nor do they wish to'. By 2011 it emerged that this couldn't have be further from the truth, with the recent suspension of Confederation presidents Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner pending a further inquiry into bribery claims. They allegedly paid Caribbean delegates $40,000 each to vote for Bin Hammam in the upcoming FIFA election. Clearly FIFA do in fact have something to hide. Furthermore, a leaked email from Blatter's general secretary Jerome Valcke claimed Qatar had 'bought' hosting rights for the 2022 World Cup. Instead of questioning the role of the man at the helm of these dubious operations however, he has instead been re-elected unopposed.

I therefore fully back the FA’s ultimately unsuccessful attempts to prevent his re-election. Blatter has been head of a borderline corrupt institution for too long. Although the FA's stance may further weaken the relations between our national and global football bodies it finally shows some backbone against a man who will have lead FIFA for 16 years by the time of his next election. Until this man loses his post the beautiful game is at risk. But due to the result of this month's uncontested election we shall not have this man’s head on a Sepp Platter for at least another four years.

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