Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Sepp Blatter's many contradictions
by Paul Kennedy, October 23rd, 2013 2PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  fifa

MOST COMMENTED

By Paul Kennedy

FIFA president Sepp Blatter likes to portray himself as a man of the world -- more specifically, a man of the Third World that brought him to power in 1998 and helped keep him there for four terms. But it doesn't take much to get him talking about his Swiss roots.

On Monday, Blatter was in the Grand Caymans to kick off the Concacaf Sports Summit and express his support for the reforms under Caymanian banker Jeffrey Webb, whom he helped install as Concacaf president following the resignation of Jack Warner.

Blatter was speaking at the Ritz-Carlton and soon digressed, telling a "small story" about how he was coming from Switzerland's Upper Valais, where the Rhone River begins as a stream and Cesar Ritz grew up. He told the story of how Ritz began as a humble concierge and went on to become the most famous hotelier in the world. Blatter probably tells the Ritz story every time he stays in a Ritz-Carlton -- which means he likely tells the story often.

Keeping  the 77-year-old Blatter on script has never been easy, and it gets harder as he gets on in years, exposing his many contradictions. He likes to distance himself from European soccer -- reiterating on Monday that with eight members, twice as many as any other confederation, UEFA is overrepresented on the executive committee -- but European soccer is what he knows best.

Blatter talked about the Iceland-Croatia playoff series drawn that morning and how the "ice bears" would be cheering for Iceland to qualify for the World Cup for the first time -- the rare polar bear spotted in Iceland has drifted on an iceberg from Greenland -- but as he talked about the positive leadership of Concacaf's representatives "participating" not just "demanding" on the FIFA executive committee -- American Sunil Gulati was elected in April -- he had to turn to Webb and ask him where "Rafael" -- Guatemalan Rafael Salguero, elected in 2007 -- was from. Such slip-ups make for interesting Sepp watching these days.

At the Concacaf Sports Summit's gala dinner on Monday night, the master of ceremonies inadvertently introduced Blatter as a FIFA vice president -- a position Webb holds -- and Blatter took the microphone and joked, "I think you're a prophet." He went on to say FIFA could have a new president in the near future and he "could be Jeffrey Webb."

Blatter's remarks were the clearest evidence yet that he does not plan to back his supposed heir apparent, Frenchman Michel Platini, but they begged the question, what does Webb himself think of the idea?

The 49-year-old Webb, who was educated in Tampa and heads the FIFA anti-discrimination task force, says he has enough to do running Concacaf and no plans to run for FIFA president in 2015 but he might consider it later.


2 comments
  1. Eric Schmitt
    commented on: October 23, 2013 at 7:05 p.m.
    It will be a good day when Blatter's contradictions, as well as his hypocrisy and largesse with the contents of the FIFA coffers, are finally gone.
  1. Tom G
    commented on: October 23, 2013 at 8:08 p.m.
    well said, he is a disgrace. At least Webb is making an attempt to improve governance. It's a shame because flatter- me- blatter- me probably will be re-elected even thought the odor is noticed world-wide- the fish always stinks first from the head...

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
The 'evolution' of RSL continues with Waibel's promotion    
The promotion of Craig Waibel to general manager marks another step in the reign of owner ...
Maitre Carrard and the FIFA scandal involving not so few rogues    
Former IOC director general Francois Carrard's comments about American soccer -- "an ethnic sport for girls ...
Colorado Rapids search for relevance in tough conference    
MLS Cup champion five years ago, Colorado hasn't been able to attain a spot among the ...
MLS Sack Race heads toward finish line without a winner -- um, loser    
Friday's announcement out of Tampa Bay that Rowdies owner Bill Edwards had fired president and general ...
MLS's budding rivalry knows no borders    
They are separated by an international boundary and more than 1,700 miles, yet FC Dallas and ...
Philadelphia Union seemingly entrapped in dark bubble    
Midseason signings have ratcheted up the playoff pressure in both conferences, and one of those teams ...
Qualifying for the Olympics will be no sure thing    
Olympic qualifying has been an essential part of the U.S. men's national team program for more ...
New weapons bolster Earthquakes with ground to make up    
San Jose's push for the playoffs has been strengthened by addition of Panamanian international Anibal Goday ...
Unsettled picture puts cloud over U.S. national team's playoff prospects    
The USA-Mexico match for a place in the 2017 Confederations Cup is eight weeks away, but ...
Expanded MLS playoff field hasn't diminished intensity of regular-season games    
More teams, 12, will make the playoffs this season than ever before, and those extra spots ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives