Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Sepp Blatter's many contradictions
by Paul Kennedy, October 23rd, 2013 2PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  fifa

MOST COMMENTED

By Paul Kennedy

FIFA president Sepp Blatterlikes 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 Ritzgrew 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" -- GuatemalanRafael 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
Doyle departure starts crucial new era in San Jose    
With only two playoff appearances since it rejoined MLS in 2008, San Jose hasn't been able ...
Farewell, Hope Solo    
I have admired Hope Solo for many reasons. I've sent YouTube clips of Solo's highlights to ...
Struggles of MLS Cup finalists are to be expected for smaller-market teams    
Portland and Columbus defied the odds -- and economic reality -- by reaching the MLS championship ...
Olympic women's soccer: Our winners & losers    
Olympic women's soccer left the taste of what might have been. A USA-Brazil semifinal at Maracana ...
'Cagey' Swedes deserve some credit    
The USA women fell short of the semifinals of a major tournament for the first time ...
'Worst MLS signing' Lampard is tearing it up    
A great run of form earned New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard Player of the ...
Assessing the middle third -- of the MLS season    
Coaches and executives often speak of dividing a season - much as they do of the ...
Schmid departure starts to clear Sounders' deck for Lagerwey    
Eighteen months after joining the Sounders as president of soccer and general manager, Garth Lagerwey is ...
Toronto FC must rebound after embarrassing defeat for crucial home stand    
After an eight-game road trip to open the season, Toronto FC is in a playoff spot ...
Quakes need to build on stunning victory    
Every struggling team looks for a spark, a turning point, a shift of fortune that transforms ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives