Sepp Blatter to go on and on
“I have not finished my mission”
Democracy is a fragile thing. On the one hand, giving the people a say on who runs their affairs, often leads to a greater engagement with public affairs, and greater scrutiny of the legislature. On the other, it gives free rein to all sorts of maniacs, who can simply respond, “I was chosen by my people,” at the first hint of any criticism. And so to Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter, elected man of football. Kind of.
Lest we forget, the Observer newspaper reported back in 1998, how bundles of cash replaced the traditional manifesto as Blatter’s electoral weapon back in 1998. In 2002, the head of the Somalian Football Association revealed how he was offered £100,000 to vote Blatter in that year’s poll. Three years ago, Sepp was conveniently elected unopposed.
So to celebrate another imminent triumph of FIFA democracy, after the jump are four of Joseph Blatter’s finest moments, one for each year he wishes to be re-elected for.
Noting a curious disdain for the rigours of historical scholarship, Blatter announced during the 2007 women’s World Cup:
“We have to say thanks to the British associations, especially England to have organised the game of association football. But you cannot deny the history that in China there is a recollection and evidence that they played the game a thousand years ago.”
For the ingénue amongst you struggling to jon the dots, the 2007 World Cup was held in, China.
The word ‘slavery’ remains one of the most potent in the English language, denoting an image of the American South, sugar plantations, and a racist residue that still stains the world today. It doesn’t bring to mind a multi-millionaire forced to work 20 hrs a week for Manchester United. Unless you’re Sepp Blatter:
“The important thing is, we should also protect the player. If the player wants to play somewhere else, then a solution should be found because if he stays in a club where he does not feel comfortable to play then it’s not good for the player and for the club. I’m always in favour of protecting the player and if the player, he wants to leave, let him leave. I think in football there’s too much modern slavery in transferring players or buying players here and there, and putting them somewhere.”
Those were his wise words on the Ronaldo to Real saga.
Always a potential minefield this one – ask Jan Muir. No such fleet-footed caution from old Sepp:
“There are gay footballers but they don’t declare it because they think it will not be accepted in these macho organisations. Look at women’s football: homosexuality is more popular there.”
And speaking of ladies’ football
“Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball, they could, for example, have tighter shorts. Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men – such as playing with a lighter ball. That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?”