We take a look at some of them and consider, rather radically, if Sepp Blatter actually had a point?
Over the past few years it has been a tradition in the UK to dislike the current chief of FIFA Sepp Blatter. He is ‘anti-England’ of course and he did not want the World Cup to come to our country in 2018. All of this is obviously the result of some cruel personal vendetta against England and the FA. However according to one of England’s most recent national treasures this is not actually the case.
Sir Sebastian Coe is many things; Olympic Gold medallist, politician and the man who brought the Olympic Games to London in 2012. The Games were a huge success from start to finish and swept the nation off its feet with a feel good wave that even the coldest cynic struggled to be impervious toward.
His autobiography ‘Running My Life’ is currently being serialised in The Times ahead of its release next month and some very interesting quotes about English football and its relationship with FIFA came up, in particular reference to the bid for the 2018 World Cup.
It seems that no matter who they had involved in the bid it seemed doomed to fail, or as Coe himself put it the bid had ‘the smell of death about it’.
As for Blatter’s hatred for England and all things English this is apparently far from the truth, in fact Coe states that Blatter is ‘rather fond of England’ but does indeed have a problem with the English game.
With the Premier League, FA, the clubs, Football League all often at loggerheads with each other Blatter sees a country with a strained relationship in its very hierarchy. As Coe put it:
‘’The FA distrusted the Premiership, the Premiership distrusted the FA and Brian Mawhinney, as chairman of the Football League, wasn't comfortable with any of them.’’
He also showed a degree of empathy with Blatter that has not always been considered by many of us, me included, when it came to his perception of the English game.
‘’As president of the international federation he sees the unwillingness of English clubs to release players for international duty. He sees the purchasing power of the English game - big name clubs buying up players from all over the world and he sees a national federation, that, at the time of the bid, had no chairman and no chief executive.’’
While this is all relative to the English game and the failed World Cup bid you can sympathise with Blatter. However only on this subject, for example his views on handshakes solving racism are still way off base.
However it is hard not to agree with one comment attributed to Blatter by Coe in the book:
‘Your game is run by idiots, its not run by bright people'
Do you agree with Blatter for once, is the English game run in entirely the wrong way?
image: © World Economic Forum