Saturday, May 30, 2015

FIFA and Sepp Blatter

How the hell does the United States empower itself to arrest FIFA officials for suspected illicit activity? Who is the United States in the world of soccer anyway - no one!

The USA houses the most corrupt and criminal bankers, CEOs and politicians in the known world and now they want to dispense justice in what is predominantly a European, Asian and African game.

If Coca Cola, McDonalds and all the corporate riff-raff who are poisoning the world with their toxic food and drink products want to exit as corporate sponsors, then let them do so. The reality is that they never will do so. Soccer is the biggest and most popular sport in the world, and that success is largely due to the leadership of Sepp Blatter.

This has everything to do with the 2018 Russian World Cup and FIFA's humanitarian attacks on the Qatari regime - that have been recently exposed. Qatar is a U.S. ally and directly implicated in the chaos, war and murder in the Middle East. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are two despotic and evil regimes cooperating with the Israel and the USA in the destabilization of the Middle East.

We need to eradicate two government powers in this world - one is Israel and the other is the USA.

Thank you,
Joseph Pede


Since 1930, every World Cup has been played during the months of June and July, with the occasional match as early as May. Last week, FIFA confirmed that the 2022 tournament, in Qatar, will be held during the winter, with the final scheduled for December 18th.

When Qatar launched its bid to host the World Cup, in 2009, an evaluation report expressed concerns about the health and safety of players and spectators in the heat—daytime temperatures reach over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Despite the warnings, in December 2010 the FIFA executive committee selected the country as its World Cup host. Allegations about vote-buying and bribery (not to mention human-rights abuses) have plagued FIFA and Qatar ever since. In 2012, as allegations of wrongdoing in the recent World Cup bid process mounted, FIFA appointed Michael J. Garcia, the former U.S. attorney for New York’s southern district, as the chief investigator for its ethics committee and tasked him with looking into the bid process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Though Garcia submitted a three-hundred-and-fifty-page-long report last fall, the chair of the judicial branch of the ethics committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert, refused to make it public, instead issuing a forty-two-page summary which Garcia called “incomplete and erroneous.” In December, Garcia made an appeal to have the report released in full, but his attempt failed and he resigned in protest.

In his parting statement, Garcia said, “No independent governance committee, investigator, or arbitration panel can change the culture of an organization.” Perhaps not. Money, on the other hand, may be a more effective mechanism for reform. Moving the 2022 tournament to the winter will not be cheap.

FIFA had accepted bids for American broadcasting rights to the 2022 World Cup from Telemundo and Fox in 2011. Fox, however, made its bid for a summer World Cup, not for one that would take place the month before Christmas, coming into conflict with its vastly lucrative N.F.L. broadcasts. To appease the networks, FIFA recently accepted uncontested bids from both for rights to the 2026 tournament, at prices that were arguably far lower than what the organization could have made in an open bidding process that included rival networks such as NBC and ESPN. Those discounted fees will likely set a lower benchmark for future World Cup television-rights bids in the U.S., potentially costing FIFA millions of dollars in future revenue. FIFA‘s budget relies heavily on TV broadcasts: a 2014 financial report reveals that forty-three per cent of its revenues (nearly $2.5 billion) from 2011-14 came from the sale of television rights.

Then there is the disruption to the busy European domestic club-soccer calendar, which is normally in full swing in the final two months of the year. National associations and top-flight leagues such as the English Premier League and the Bundesliga, in Germany, will have to rework the entire 2022-2023 season. It may involve leagues negotiating for fewer matches in competitions such as the FA Cup, and fewer fixtures would potentially lower the price of separately negotiated TV deals for those competitions. In late February, as the new World Cup date looked increasingly likely, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the head of the European Club Association, which represents two hundred and fourteen teams, warned, “The European clubs and leagues cannot be expected to bear the costs for such rescheduling. We expect the clubs to be compensated for the damage that a final decision would cause.”

FIFA already pays clubs to release their players for the World Cup. In last year’s tournament, for example, it set aside seventy million dollars for this purpose. On Friday, FIFA announced that it had agreed to a compensation deal with the E.C.A. worth two hundred and nine million dollars each for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. “These payments will benefit clubs from around the world who release World Cup players to their respective national associations,” Rummenigge said. “It marks another milestone for club football as a whole!” As with the deals with Fox and Telemundo, this agreement sets a benchmark that will be very hard to change, a move that could cost FIFA millions for its compensation deals in 2026 and 2030.

FIFA may not be closer to serious reform now than it was over four years ago, but the potential loss of hundreds of millions on the 2022 World Cup might prove to the organization that change is not only the right thing to do but also the most lucrative.


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