The Fifa corruption controversy which continues today with the re-election of Sepp Blatter as the chief executive, is now throwing up the relative political power of big business versus governments. Because the European countries were the first . . . in which soccer developed, they naturally feel more strongly than the many small countries of Africa and Asia who have been the principal backers of Blatter. Europeans feel more more sensitively about the mud through which Fifa is now dragging the game.
One would have thought, therefore, through UEFA (United European Football Associations), that they would have been able to insist on Step Baltter’s resignation so that Fifa can be completely re-organized or replaced as soon as possible, not because Blatter was necessarily personally guilty of corruption, but simply because, as a chief executive, he should have known it was going on, and could have stopped it.
Yet UEFA is mumbling a lot but doing nothing about it. They’ve proved to be helpless. In contrast, what is being increasingly realised by those who know the game well and are talking about it in the media, it’s now up to the major sponsors of Fifa, firms like Addidas and Coca Cola. They could easily pull the plug and help accelerate the reforms that are so badly needed. So far, there’s been no sign that they’re going to move.
They must be considerng the arguments for and against. On the one hand, their sponsorship of Fifa has been good for their businesses so far. On the other hand, they won’t want to be seen to be too slow if the FBI start casting its investigative net even wider and implicating others and making the whole situation even more ghastly. Also at any time, there might be a world-wide customer boycott of their goods.
When they do act, it will already have been apparent that they are proving to be the most powerful actors in the modern world. And, as I’ve opined before, I think it will the major mulitnationals which will act if there’s another monetary crash or if the world economy starts sinking much further.