Will the FA abstain in FIFA vote?

David Bernstein’s admission that “there are three choices” in the upcoming two horse race in the FIFA presidential elections is the most welcome noise I’ve heard coming out of the FA for some time now. To abstain would send a clear message of no confidence in both Sepp Blatter and Mohamed Bin Hammam, and FIFA in general.

I’ve heard it said in the media this week that Blatter is the lesser of the two evils, should this really be a justification to vote for him though?

And what of his opponent, Mohamed Bin Hammam? Well he is the president of the Asian Football Confederation and is from Qatar, he is also the man behind the 2022 Qatar world cup bid, the very same bid that was accused of alledgedly paying two FIFA executives 1.5 million US dollars each to vote for it.

Some choice hey!

By not voting the FA would obviously risk getting pushed further out into the FIFA wilderness, but again, that is no justification for taking part in it.

The feeling within football is that Blatter’s announcement that (if re-elected) he will stand down in 2015, is his part of a deal with Michel Platini to allow Blatter a clear run now and the same favour returned to Platini in 4 years time. Yet another FIFA carve up.

For too long FIFA have got away with this kind of thing. It has to stop and if the FA have to take the stand, then so be it.

Surely Platini himself can’t be happy with the way FIFA do their business, I would have to imagine that if Platini does get the job in 2015 there will be massive changes.

But Platini is guilty along with all the others, he obviously sits there quietly and lets Blatter and his cronies continue to make a mockery of football in order to protect his own position. An absolute disgrace in my opinion.

Why should the FA do the same? The FA could show some real leadership here and make a stance against FIFA, if it damages us short term, then so be it, it’s a short term medicine worth taking.

We can’t just keep playing ball with FIFA for fear of being left out in the cold. If the FA think it stinks, then it’s time to say so.

Commom Sense and FIFA

Common Sense, it’s not often you get the chance to use these words in the same sentence as the acronym FIFA.

It’s also not often that you get a decision made by a footballing body that is that bad, that even Sepp Blatter and FIFA are embarrassed by it.

The decision made by The Confederation of African Football (Caf) to ban Togo from the next two Africa Cup of Nations for government interference was such a decision.

There is FIFA rules which state that governments shouldn’t interfere in a countries footballing matters, and that if they do that country can be punished.

But surely in Togo’s case, it was exceptional circumstances. What was the Togolese government supposed to do? After having their team bus shot at in an ambush, they had no option but to withdraw their team from the tournament.

The decision to then ban Togo from the next two Africa Cup of Nations tournaments looked very harsh to the outside world, a view not lost (surprisingly) on Sepp Blatter and FIFA.

Seeing that the dispute between Togo and Caf was heading towards the Court of Arbitration of Sport, FIFA decided to intervene, with Sepp Blatter personaly mediating between the two parties.

As a result of Blatters intervention, Issa Hayatou, the president of Caf has now agreed to ask his executive committee to lift the sanctions imposed on Togo in exchange for the Togolese admitting they broke the rules.

Blatter obviously pleased with himself said “This shows that we can solve internal disputes within the football family for the benefit of all those who are involved in our game, and in particular for the players”.

The Caf executive meet on 15th May to apparently ratify the decision, given the nature of African football and it’s politics, it might be just a touch premature to say this matter is definately sorted, so watch this space!