Tag Archives: World Cup

Time for FIFA to change?

11 May

It is no easy job for Mr. Sepp Blatter to gain his position as the president of FIFA and build up his empire now. Then it will be equally difficult to change the world football organisation from what it ends up to now.

Rather than just sit comfortably in the couch and watch football games at home, now the public can at least turn their attention to FIFA itself via knowing more about its ugly sides. Cash and knighthood for votes? Finally people’s speculations about this secret body echo in the media output and talkings of conspiracy now have their justifications. The Sword of Damocles is about to fall, and this is the time for FIFA to change.

But will it?

It is obviously “good” to know that FIFA has its own scandal, because if it is true (of course we do not know yet), the interest of the public was so hardly harmed in the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. And maybe it has been harmed for a long time. If without media from England the “bad loser”, God knows at what point of history people will be informed of this possibility.

James Olley from London Evening Standard certainly has his point saying that there will not be significant change with Blatter still in power. But he might be too optimistic here, as FIFA will not possibily to change even without Sepp Blatter.

Just like a company, FIFA has its own culture and ways of dealing with things. Eliminating a CEO does not mean sweeping the whole set of corporation culture, which also seems impossible. If the scandals of bribery are true, then they must have become a vicious tumor in a dying body, and it was already too late for the public to find it out. Transplanting that specific organ will not cure, as the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body. The only way to turn this around is either to kill the body so that it will not hurt more or to let it be and  wait for the miracle.

Now the transplanting i.e. the FIFA election is just around the corner. Even if Mr. Mohamed Bin Hammam manages to make his way to the throne, dare he start it all over and end the corruption? Remember, FIFA is not just as easy as football, it is also about geo-politics. It is incredible to believe that someone that used to be part of the system will actually destroy all the dirty networks that it lives on, because the day of doom for that body will be the day of doom for himself as well.


And the hatred of FIFA against England continues

10 May

Do FIFA hate England? At least many of the English people believe so. All the ethics of being neutral, objective and open sound like intolerable offence to them now. This hatred, after what happens today, will unfortunately continue.

Lord Triesman, former Football Association chairman and president of the English bid for the 2018 World Cup, claims that four FIFA members intends to take advantage from England’s campaign in exchange for their votes.

These four members who are named include: Jack Warner, Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi. Some of them asked for cash or TV rights, one of them even request for a knighthood.

This, of course, has once more put FIFA under fire. The world football organisation will apparently not want the public to be refreshed about its scandal exposed by the BBC and the Sun earlier this year. Their credibility has been severely lowered since then. Now about five month later the English people once again bring the issue to the light.

Will Mr. Sepp Blatter, head of FIFA, be okay this time after he called England a “bad loser”? At least he seems so.

According to the BBC, he said:

“I was shocked [upon hearing] but one has to see the evidence. They are coming from other confederations, so I cannot say that they are all angels or all devils. There is a new round of information. Give us time to digest that and start the investigation by asking for evidence on what has been said. We will react immediately against all those in breach of the ethics code rules. Zero tolerance is going through Fifa, it is one of the items on the Congress. It is my battle horse.”

So more investigations? To those cynics  Mr. Blatter sounds once again like a politician.

Need one more reason to hate England in this case? This just happened at a bad time. Soon in June Mr. Blatter will stand against Mr. Mohammed Bin Hammam, President of Asian Football Association,  in the FIFA general election. What works  better to bring down the 75 aged Swiss’ credibility than informing of FIFA members again the scandal?

Well maybe football should thank what the English people have done in the sense of cleaning the environment. Only that England may need to pay for their chivalric move, again.

If 2022 World Cup Were Held in January

21 Dec

If the World Cup is not held in the summer time of the north hemisphere, it will be a brand new experience for clubs, footballers and fans.

After Qatar won the 2022 bid, plans of moving the World Cup tournament to winter have been heard.

Now they are endorsed by FIFPro, the world’s footballers’ union, who requires to change the World Cup timing in order to avoid the heat wave of summer in Qatar.

It sounds like a humane plan to footballers, but is it really feasible?

Huge disturb in the winter break

If the 2022 World Cup took place in January, most clubs of European leagues would suffer.

Football leagues in Italy, Germany, France, Spain all have their winter breaks for players to restore their energy for spring.

The Premier League in England though, does not have a winter break. Normally during the Christmas slot, matches are even more intense.

This has been very controversial as football managers in England think their players need a break in winter.

If the 2022 World Cup were held in January, a problem will be posed to FIFA and all football associations in Europe: whether to postpone the league or not.

If they postpone the leagues, the whole time slot of European will be disturbed.

Leagues and Champions League matches will be finished later, which means the summer break will be influenced as well.

If not, the interest of clubs who own many internationals, such as Chelsea and Barcelona, can hardly be guaranteed, as their top players will then be in Qatar playing for their nations.

Similar collisions have already been witnessed when the Africa Cup of Nations takes place every two years.

Teams like Chelsea, whose squads include many African internationals have been hardly in a honeymoon with FIFA.

Either way, top players will not get enough rest before summer.

Why Messi but not Sneijder?

9 Dec

This year’s Ballon D’or candidates are bizarre.

Absolutely no surprise about Xavi and Iniesta, as they both played well in the past year, especially during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

But Why Messi, again?

Wesley Sneijder seems to be a more reasonable choice for the final three candidates.

According to the tradition of Ballon D’or, both individual and team performances are two of the most important criteria of deciding who is the winner.

Champion’s League

Sneijder won last season’s Champion’s League with Inter. Being the tactical core of Jose Mourinho, the versatile Dutch is everywhere on the pitch.

Inter’s Argentinian striker Diego Milito should probably thank Sneijer for his assists (6, ESPN). Without Sneijder, maybe he would still be a critical player in Inter, he would never be so phenomenal (6 goals, 2 assists, ESPN) at the attacking line.

Wesley Sneijder 2010

Leo Messi?

Eight (ESPN) goals top the Champion’s League 09/10. Sparkling performance truly if judging as an individual. Assists? Zero.

But his team, Barcelona was blocked exactly by Sneijder’s Inter in the semi-finals.

The FIFA Word Cup

The whole world remembers Spain’s victory, declaring the revival of artistic football against the backdrop that defense wins all.

If Arjen Robben could nail the one on one chance against Iker Casillas in the Final, the candidates for Ballon D’or might have been largely different now. Sadly there is no “if” within football.

But this cannot conceal what Sneijder did in South Africa. Without him being one of the few inspirations of attacking in van Marwijk’s team, the Orange could have been terminated by Brazil in the kick-out.

In terms of Messi, it seems that he left all his lucks of goal at Barcelona. Apparently the winner of last time’s Ballon D’or and FIFA MVP was not born for his country, not like Diego Maradona.

So how come it is Messi again but not Sneijder?

The chosen one

Maybe except for fans of Real Madrid, everyone loves Messi, the one in Barcelona, where he can puts the ball into the net just as normally as walking and eating.

Especially after he “copied” Maladona’s stunning goal on the 1986 World Cup against England, Messi was crowned by the media and fans as the next king of soccer.

  Messi vs Maradona

So under the backdrop that Iniesta and Xavi can almost confirm the first and second places, why not put Messi as another candidate?

A, he seems to be more like a superstar than Sneijder, who looks more like someone from the working class. More fans will be attacted.

B, If put Messi on rather than Sneijder, an astonishingly rare thing will happen: three players from the same club occupy the first three positions of Ballon D’or. Hala La Masia!

C, This year’s Ballon D’or is for the first time combined with the FIFA MVP. FIFA is about football but is never just football. It is politics, it is exchanges of interests. Anything weird can happen with this governing organisation, whose supervising body does not even exist yet.

England: See World Cup in 2030, maybe

2 Dec

I almost composed my article for the result of the 2018 bid as “Modern Football Back Home”, and I believe many media in England had the same idea.

However that type of title never turns up as England lost the 2018 World Cup host to Russia, gaining only two votes at the first round. The next chance for England to host the World Cup will be in 2030, when the world sporting event will go back to Europe.

Massive disappointment across England

Fans of football in England are so disappointed that they almost lost the bid which they think was already in their pocket before the bid was announced, as the England seemed to be enjoying several reasons to believe that it will win.

“After all the politiking, millions of pounds and bringing in the big-guns for the England 2018 bid , we manage TWO votes out of 22! Shocking!” Said a fan named 2yyiam on Twitter.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter announcing the 2018 bid result

Not only general fans, several big names have also joined the team of disappointment.

Prince William, as a member of the bidding team and one of the presenters for England at Zurich today, says, “I’m very disappointed, as are the rest of the team.”

The BBC also reveals that British Prime Minister David Cameron shares his feeling after being defeated, by saying, “I think, according to Fifa, we had the best technical bid, the best commercial bid. No-one could identify any risks coming to England. But it turns out that’s not enough.”

Skepticism on FIFA rises

After the disappointing result was announced by the existing president of FIFA Sepp Blatter, the world football governing body becomes the target to blame at once.

Skepticism on FIFA spreads among demoralised fans.

“FIFA is just a joke.” Says a fan who talks on BBC 5’s evening programme.

Another fan on Radio 5’s programme Phil claims that FIFA is not assessing what they are supposed to assess concerning a World Cup host candidate, by saying, “We have all stadiums here, but they are not interested in it. ”

A fan called Rogan says that FIFA has not considered the football culture  that England boasts and that “we have the enthusiasm even before the FIFA was born”.

FIFA under fire after England lost the bid

England 2018 bid chief executive Andy Anson is far from satisfied as England did not even get across the first hurdle, saying that it is “pretty disheartening”, according to the BBC.

He has also criticised FIFA’s decision of announcing two bid results at the same time, saying, “It inevitably led to people with votes in 2018 doing deals with people involved in 2022.”

The media influence

As FIFA has become the largest target of disappointed England fans, the media seems to be less blamed than they were earlier this week after the BBC documentary revealing corruption in FIFA was released on Monday.

Several fans on BBC Radio 5’s evening programme said that it was not all the media’s fault as England lost the bid.

However some fans still believe that it is the media who have at least negatively impacted England’s bid.

“They are irresponsible,” said a fan named Phil. “They can write whatever they want. The timing wasn’t right. “

Why “unpatriotic” BBC might help England win 2018 bid

23 Nov

How powerful are media today? John Terry, Wayne Rooney and Tiger Woods will say that they are ruthless and devil-cursed monsters that can bite you till your reputation is ruined.

England 2018 chief executive Andy Anson may share with them the same idea, as he accused the BBC‘s plan of being “unpatriotic” of releasing a documentary about the bidding scandal of 2018 World Cup just two days before the result will be announced on 2 December by the world football governing body FIFA.

But don’t forget one plain fact, the media are not always angels of darkness. In many cases they are two-edged swords, which means they also bear the capability to make things right.

Integrity of a nation

Whatever event the BBC covers, or wherever the BBC goes, there is one thing that cannot be changed – it is a British media, with well-known journalistic impartiality and independence.

Therefore to a large extent, its voice will be quoted as how the Britain as a nation thinks in an impartial and independent way.

Its plan to put the investigative documentary on the Panorama programme can be considered as a behaviour that proves its duty to the truth, again.

Rather than damaging the bid, what the BBC has planned to do can add more credits to the integrity of Britain by showing that the nation is not trying to avoid some facts that may sabotage the whole plan, that the nation has realised what is right and what is wrong.

The BBC could help England win the 2018 World Cup

Conversely, Mr. Andy Anson’s public accusation sounds more like a defense, actually a very weak one for what they and the FIFA both know that could be true.

Avoidance rather than frankness will only amplify the deficit of confidence that England has for 2018.

The “cold turkey” therapy

Like drugs, a scandal can be equivalently stubborn and hard to tackle with gradual and mild ways. To finish the pain, sometimes the “cold turkey” is necessary.

Like what Margaret Thatcher did to the British economy in the 1980s, the scandal saga about the 2018 bid needs a cold and quick finish, although it may not taste quite sweet at the very beginning. But it is better than suffering from chronic diseases.

The BBC has done the England bidding team a great favour by opening Pandora’s Box once and ever.

If there is really something negative happened, the release of the documentary will make a closure for the saga. On the morning of the next day, England should be largely relieved from the unbearable moral burden.

After all, the FIFA is judging the “soft” and “hard” power of a candidate country on a whole scale. A scandal may leave England stained a little but it will not erase the long football history and its preparation for the World Cup.

%d bloggers like this: