2011 has been a year of sporting prowess; but such is human nature that every progressive step taken is almost inevitably followed by two steps in the wrong direction. For this reason, Mouth London has delved into the good and the bad of the past 12 months; there have been inspirational role models, but also blatant sports villains. Arguably, no one has had more of an ‘all round shocker’ this year than FIFA president, Sepp Blatter (who is unbelievably still in the role). Displaying a sort of recklessness towards the public as though he is under the immortal protection of the Greek Gods, Blatter has made an endless series of errors.
Blatter’s Blunder #1- Controversial Comments
…the moral dinosaur proceeded…
Sepp Blatter is now infamous for his ability to speak freely with the media. Indeed, the man speaks so freely that he often seems to forget that there are actually people listening. Hence, he’s made a strange remark or two in his day. First, there was the suggestion that women should wear shorter shorts to attract bigger audiences; as if this wasn’t enough, the moral dinosaur proceeded to recommend that homosexual fans should ‘refrain from any sexual activity’ at the Qatar World Cup in 2018. This year, he completed his hat-trick of attacking human rights on all fronts by claiming that, actually, there’s no real racism in football. Needless to say, a barrage of criticism came his way once more; he apologised, but, unfortunately, refused to resign. Come on, Sepp, give in already.
Blatter’s Blunder #2- Saying no to what makes sense
…our wonderful FIFA leader still lives in the 1830s…
Something else we love Sepp Blatter for… remember the 2010 World Cup? Lampard’s sensational half-volley that ricocheted beautifully off the underside of the crossbar to provide an English equaliser against the Germans… wait, it didn’t count. Yes, it didn’t count because our wonderful FIFA leader still lives in the 1830s when goal-line technology would have been considered inappropriate. The fact that Blatter is against goal-line technology counts in itself as an error of vital importance. How can the game move forward when the man at its summit is so intent on holding it back? Though Blatter has promised goal-line technology for the next world cup, it is the fact that we still don’t have it yet – in this day in age – that is the biggest let down.
Blatter’s Blunder #3- One-man elections, corruption and so forth…
…Blatter’s rule has simply been rife?
2011 also saw the re-election of Blatter as our beloved FIFA president, but, surprise, surprise, he was the only candidate. Of course, this may not be a fault of his own – if you are the only man standing in an election, you duly step forward and take victory gracefully. Yet, the whole business draws attention to a somewhat unsavoury side to Blatter’s reign. How are we not to be sure that the whole thing wasn’t fixed when FIFA corruption during Blatter’s rule has simply been rife? More conspicuous has been the fact that FIFA are willing to let certain figures accept punishment for corruption, but haven’t done anything in response to claims that Blatter knew of the shady goings on all along. Not even an investigation… strange.
So, Sepp Blatter is and always has been an All Round Shocker. Think of him as a James Bond villain – hopefully he’ll be gone by the end. We can live in hope… after being re-elected this year, he has promised not to stand for President again – let’s hope this is one promise he will actually stick to.
Image courtesy of Sepp Blatter