As the election for the presidency of Fifa resembled polling day in Zimbabwe, it comes as no surprise that Sepp Blatter will not initiate an investigation into Qatar’s award of the 2022 World Cup Finals.
However, if the ethics or solutions committees wish to go against El Presidente and hold an inquiry, he has told them that he would not block it. I don’t really think, as it stands, the investigation to be held in Miami led by an ex-FBI man will lead to much.
But, if they did do the job properly he has just installed the very man who might just make them disappear.
In response to the allegations of corruption in Fifa, Blatter has come up with the great idea of co-opting Johan Cruyff, Placido Domingo and Henry Kissinger onto the board of the solutions committee.
Fair enough, Cruyff has a CV that most people will find acceptable. A legendary and thoughtful player and a successful manager. As with Platini, he can be seen as an antidote to the third-rate footballers come politicians who have, at present, all the ‘good jobs’.
Domingo, on the other hand, is a man who sings at football tournaments. Blatter obviously thinks that this gives him a greater insight into the running of world football than the millions of other laymen or women around whom he doesn’t know.
But it is surely the appointment of Richard Nixon’s right hand man, Henry Kissinger, that will raise a few eyebrows within the family of football.
As National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, some may say he had a “chequered career”. But I’m not sure if that is the way he is thought of around the world, especially in Chile, Argentina, Cambodia, Timor-L’este (East Timor) and Bangladesh, to name a few. Nor am I convinced that the man who referred to Indira Ghandi as a “bitch” and all Indians as “bastards” is thought of with any affection that country.
He has avoided legal summons by investigators in France, Chile and Argentina. There have also been calls for his prosecution for war crimes, crimes against humanity and for offences against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap and torture.
On the hand though…
For those that remember it, Kissinger was appointed to the board of the North American Soccer League in 1978. This league was top heavy with over the hill and overpaid mercenaries from ‘footballing countries’. Poorly thought out and badly administered it folded in 1984.
That then is qualification enough for Blatter.
When he asked to be left to “sort it out”, I had high hopes of the ridiculous. But old Sepp has surpassed even my wildest expectations.
An opera singing crony is one thing. A man who is considered by millions to have conspired in the sort of crimes that sees a Serbian end up in The Hague should end once and for all any suggestions that Sepp Blatter is in touch with the real world.