Commentary

Sepp Blatter Has No Intention of Stepping Down as FIFA President

As it turns out, the story of Sepp Blatter’s resignation as president of FIFA isn’t over yet.

On a day when Russia and Qatar both defiantly maintained that they would go on to host soccer’s showpiece event in 2018 and 2022, respectively, Reuters reported that the FBI, after handing out indictments to current and former FIFA officials as well as five sports marketing and broadcasting execs last week, is now turning its attention to the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

While there are now most likely zero people left in the world who actually believe that this process -- let alone any process handled by FIFA execs -- was handled in an above-board manner, the far more interesting revelation by the unnamed Reuters source is that the American intelligence organization is now going after Blatter.

As anyone familiar with crime shows on TV will tell you, intelligence organizations like to use money-laundering and racketeering cases, like the FBI’s indictment of the FIFA 14, as a kind of stepping-stone to potentially get to the big crime boss. Will one of the nine current and former FIFA execs crack? Or, could it be that none of them have anything on him?

We shall soon find out.

If Off the Post were a betting man, he’d say that it would be very surprising if Blatter, who has proven himself to be quite the politician, is sloppy enough to leave the kind of trail behind that the likes of the indicted Jack Warner and Chuck Blazer have. 

Then again, he and his cronies probably never thought that the American authorities could get to them.

Even so, if one thing’s for certain, Blatter is still confident of his own abilities to dictate things at FIFA. In announcing his plan to resign -- which, you’ll note, is a very different thing than actually resigning -- the Swiss made it very clear that he intends to set the agenda for the new FIFA before he departs in December (or later).   

As CNN contributor Mark Doidge notes, Blatter never once used the word “resign” during the speech that many are calling his resignation speech -- in fact, he left his own future kind of open. He goes on to say that he wants to see the executive committee reduced in size, adding that its members “should be elected through the FIFA Congress.” He then goes on to say that all executive committee members must go through “integrity checks” which would be organized through FIFA, instead of its confederations. He also advocates for term limits on future presidents as well as executive committee members.

In a nutshell, Blatter plans to make FIFA stronger and its confederations -- UEFA, CONCACAF, etc. -- weaker. Let’s not forget that the majority of the FIFA Congress still loves this guy.

Finally—and here’s the kicker -- Doidge points out that Article 19 of the FIFA statutes explicitly states that the FIFA Congress is free to bestow the title of honorary president on anyone who has achieved “meritorious service to football.”

OTP doesn’t have to tell you what’s coming next.

 

Suffice it to say that if the FBI, Interpol or someone else doesn’t somehow catch this guy, you can be sure that he’ll find one way or another to continue exerting his crooked influence over FIFA, and the world’s game. 

5 comments about "Sepp Blatter Has No Intention of Stepping Down as FIFA President ".
  1. Allan Lindh, June 4, 2015 at 2:37 a.m.

    John Oliver has the most interesting disclosure. That the World Cup loot is divided evenly among all 200+ members. That countries with 6000 people get the same amount as Germany, Brazil or US. Of course the 175 smallest countries will vote for him come hell or high water. Time for UEFA and the entire Western Hemisphere (where we don't have countries with 6000 people) walk away, form a new organization, schedule an alternate World Cup for 2018, in Australia, and let the sponsors vote with their money.

  2. Kevin Leahy, June 4, 2015 at 6:46 a.m.

    It is time for the sponsors like Coca-Cola, Budweiser and anyone else to put a stop to this. The players of influence need to speak up too. Enough is enough. Qatar & Russia can have the world cups but, this organization needs a complete overhaul. This is what happens when there aren't any checks & balances.

  3. David Hardt, June 4, 2015 at 10:24 a.m.

    Maybe it is time to create a new FIFA with CONCACAF, UEFA, possibly South America and anyone else that wants to be part of a clean and fair world soccer organization

  4. James Froehlich, June 4, 2015 at 12:16 p.m.

    Blaster has successfully defused the immediate situation. Unfortunately as soon as the spotlights are turned off the scum will rise to the top again. The DOJ, commentators, bloggers, and John Oliver must keep the heat on. This arrogant b*****d must be brought down for good!

  5. Carl Hudson, June 7, 2015 at 9:36 a.m.

    This orchestrated attack against a man who has done tremendous good for soccer nauseates me. Where are the attacks on the FOR-PROFIT youth soccer system in the USA, set up to enrich coaches and tournament organizers? That is the REAL soccer scandal.

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