FIFA bribe scandal: Irony of English honour shows we could be the best

Wherever organisations, or people, try to attain mass appeal, they must become something they are not. Equally, wherever people hold power it will be always be mismanaged; somebody is left disappointed. Thus, it is no surprise that representatives of Fifa’s bidding committee have come under the permanent spotlight that those in power will always be – being examined by the people who they are responsible for.

Our despair at the thought that yet another influential organisational body – whether it be a corporation, business or politician – can be so flagrantly dishonest surmounts to only another vacant sigh and an acceptance that people are bent, and that is that.

But that is simply not good enough. Football is a global language – Fifa reported a cumulative audience for the 64 matches of the 2006 World Cup amassing to around 26 billion views (not people, obviously). Football brings together more people than any other event, speech, concert, or anything in the whole world. The only bigger uniting force in our world appears to be death! So not a surprise that we should apparently find such a force being run by crooks.

I do not mean to say all Fifa representatives are bad people. Of course they are not, and it is an organisation that obviously contributes to an awful lot of good in the world. But this revelation is the latest in a long line of money and profit related criticisms that have been levelled at the organisation and its representatives, and an organisation that should be defined as being apolitical – about the game – should not have to be subject to underhand investigation. It portrays a hideous picture of the face of human kind.

The irony of the revelation is that the worlds leading force in aggressively capitalist sports-management is the one that suffers most from the alleged crooked nature of the Fifa voting system. Speaking about the English bid for World Cup a former member of Fifa’s selection committee said “England have got all the reasons why they should host, but they don’t strike the deals. It is sad but true.” The deals being, of course being the ones that buy the votes instead of winning them.

Combining the honour of doing things ‘the right way’ or the ‘English way’, with the win-at-all-costs democratic system that our society is built on can allow us in our country to intimately observe what is right and what is wrong about the way sport is organised in our country and abroad.

Perhaps if the Premier League were to put more money into youth development, more money back into the game instead of the clubs who instantly spend it on attempting to buy success, we could become an example of how to do things the right way and win, and not by rushing, buying and ultimately, loosing.

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