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Journalist running for FIFA presidency

  • SI.com, Friday, February 18, 2011 6:59 PM

Longtime Sports Illustrated soccer writer Grant Wahl has announced: "I'm running for the presidency of FIFA in the election to be held on June 1. And no, I'm not kidding. Have you seen who else is running? That's right: Sepp Blatter, the 74-year-old Swiss strongman atop the world's most popular sport, is campaigning for his fourth term. Blatter's most prominent rival, Qatar's Mohamed Bin Hammam, may run as well, but he's just another FIFA insider in an election that desperately needs an outsider."

"So I'll raise my hand. Someone has to. It gets kind of old hearing the world's soccer fans complain about Blatter without anyone trying to provide an alter­native. And make no mistake, FIFA needs to change. The vote in December that chose the hosts for the 2018 and '22 World Cups was just the latest evidence that FIFA is far from a clean organization. Two members of FIFA's executive committee were suspended last October after being caught by The Sunday Times of London trying to sell their World Cup votes. Why, Blatter himself admits that FIFA's reputation has been tarnished under his watch. Sepp's solution? 'Trust us,' he says. Seriously? That's like trusting a Tour de France winner to oversee cycling's anti-doping program."

Wahl's platform includes giving women a presence within the FIFA hierarchy ("Who's the most powerful woman in FIFA? Good question. The ruling 24-man executive committee is exactly that: all men"), introducing video-review for close calls on the goal line, and making sure the World Cup has the best whistle-blowers -- with no limits per country -- and require them to meet with pool reporters after every game to explain controversial calls.

He'll also make sure players no longer see yellow for removing their jerseys after scoring a goal: "Think about it: Spain's Andres Iniesta got the same punishment for celebrating the game-winning goal in the World Cup final that Dutch thug Nigel de Jong received for karate kicking an opponent in the chest."

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1 comment about "Journalist running for FIFA presidency".
  1. Brian Damphousse, February 18, 2011 at 9:06 p.m.

    His ideas are pathetically pollyanish.

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