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FIFA Corruption Tarnishes The Beautiful Game
Fifa is corrupt and everybody has known about it for years. The most recent allegations against executive committee members Bin Hammam and Jack Warner are merely the latest developments in a long-running saga.
But, as much as everyone knows about the corruption, no one seems willing, or able, to do anything about it. Political scientist Andrei Markovits, the author of Gaming The World: How Sports are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture, explains why the Fifa delegates are almost untouchable.
He said: and “Fifa is a completely closed oligarchy, which is the perfect form for mischief. They are lording over the greatest good in the world, but they are completely independent of political rule. These guys could be child molesters, or mass murderers, and fans would still want to watch their beloved Manchester United, or England. So, apart from a few eggheads, investigative reporters and political scientists, no one really cares about the corruption.”
The immense global popularity of football makes it a special case, as opposed to the more obscure sports in the Olympic Games. “That is the crux of the difference with the International Olympics Committee (IOC), which is far more accountable. [quote] With the Olympics there is a different threshold of shame because most fans don’t care about shot-putting or pole vaulting. As Jerry Seinfeld once said ‘all the fans are doing is rooting for laundry’ – in other words, the colours of their nations on the jerseys. [/quote] As a result, the Olympics could lose a lot of popularity if there were corruption allegations as people would refuse to watch.”
The long list of corruption allegations against Fifa dates back at least as far as 1998, when Blatter was elected president amid accusations that the previous incumbent, Joao Havelange, had bought support for him. In a recent expose on the BBC programme, Panorama, broadcast on 16 May 2011, it was alleged that in 1997 Havelange took a $1 million bung, which Blatter knew about. It is, therefore, alleged that Blatter came to power through corrupt patronage.
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