No change at FIFA is like turkeys voting for Christmas


Blatter is back, not that he ever went away. The FIFA Congress this year conjured up a host of images.

One was seeing Blatter on the stage with Issa Hayatou looming large behind him casting a larger than life shadow. Thick as thieves, they weren't so pally 13 years ago. I'll let Mihir Bose explain from his piece in the Telegraph.

"Twenty-four hours before his attempt to secure re-election as FIFA president, Sepp Blatter was booed off the podium at the organisation's extraordinary congress and became involved in an ugly physical confrontation with his chief opponent.

"These setbacks came amid chaotic scenes as Blatter refused to allow 15 countries to ask potentially damaging questions about FIFA's finances. Even diehard supporters were dismayed by the way Blatter tried to prevent a free and proper discussion.

"At the end there was an encounter on the podium between Blatter and Issa Hayatou, the FIFA vice-president who is challenging for the presidency. One senior executive member feared Blatter might be punched by Hayatou, who stormed out, shouting: "This is scandalous.""

That's right. Hayatou saying something was scandalous. Sacre Bleu. He never says anything in english and that word in particular is not one I'd have thought him acquainted with.

If Hayatou was on one side and another wingman were required you could have picked anyone of the fawning, genuflecting African FA presidents who lined up to endorse him.

Most were not ashamed to point to the millions of dollars that have flowed their way. Yes, for some it is lifeblood, but the bigger African nations should know better.

Perhaps they forget one of the bigger Blatter faux pas came when he said:  "I could understand it if it had happened in Africa, but not in Italy."

This time Blatter was speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport in March 2006  as a match-fixing scandal came to light in Italy's top two divisions.

Obviously not a big enough insult to normally prickly thin skinned men. Or it was ignored for the good of their pockets, whoops I meant the game.

Africa and a lot of the snaller members of FIFA who support Blatter have to be careful the more powerful European nations don't decide enough is enough and go their own way.

There has already been a warning from the Dutch Football Union CEO Bert van Oostveen who said: "This can't go on. With all the respect to everyone that's here today: it is always the small countries that create the majority. But it is countries like France, Germany, England, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands - and a lot more - that are making the global football big.

"They should have to take a blank sheet and create a new Fifa organisation with each other. I know that outside Europe, in America, Canada, Australia and a few countries in Asia, people think like this.

"There are no concrete plans. The only thing I can say is that this can't go on. This system is rotten. We have to continue our protest."

It wouldn't be easy, but then the thought of clubs breaking away to form a new top tier in England was unthinkable back in the 1990s and look where we are 25 years later.

The one truism is that the money will follow the stars and power and that will be with whatever changes take place. The powerful European clubs will also play an increasing role in any power plays.

There has been so much talk about Qatar 2022. It's just possible that the upheaval that might take place in football will see something totally different in terms of competition.

Turkeys don't vote for Christmas, but if the smaller nations don't back reform of FIFA they will be doing just that.

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