The past two weeks have seen some highs and lows for the game of football. The highs were a delightful UEFA Champions League Final which ended up being a resounding endorsement of Spain’s and Barcelona’s supremacy in the football world.
However, on the eve of the same final the English Football Association decided to abstain from the vote for the presidency of FIFA. Following the allegations made by Lord David Triesman and the suspension of FIFA presidency contender Mohammed bin Hammamm and CONCACAF’s and FIFA’s former VP Jack Warner, FIFA's electoral process was about to collapse.
Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter succeeded to win his fourth (and hopefully final) term at the helm of the most powerful and lucrative sports organization in the world. Here are some of the reactions online:
Ghana’s soccer blog quoted Blatter saying:
I thank you for your trust and confidence from the bottom of my heart,” said Blatter, who was applauded back into the auditorium by the rest of Fifa congress after his unchallenged victory in Zurich. “Our pyramid is intact, the base, the foundation is strong and together we have four years to continue on our path and do our job. “We will put Fifa’s ship back on the right course in clear, transparent waters. We need some time to do it, but we shall do it.
The Zimbabwe Review wondered if Blatter is practicing to be Zimbabwe's next president:
Zimbabwe is a troubled nation just beginning to tentatively try to work itself out of a decade of political turmoil and economic decline. It's only president for its 31 years of independence, Robert Mugabe, says he will be a candidate in the next election, expected within the next year. If he does indeed stand it can be confidently predicted that he will officially ‘win.’ Even if so, it seems fairly obvious that in a few years Zimbabwe will be shopping for a new president, Mugabe already being 87 years old.
The coincidence of pending events in Blatter's career and those in Zimbabwe could provide an interesting match-making opportunity.
Mugabe says he must present himself as a candidate in the upcoming election at his advanced age out of of a sense of duty to his party and to the country. There is no one he believes is presently up to the task of succeeding him, you see.
So, could Sepp Blatter not be the ideal person to continue the legacy of the Zimbabwean incumbent?
The conclusion is:
There are many parallels between FIFA's and Zimbabwe's processes of conducting elections and wielding power.
Daniel Feuerstein argued that political infighting paved way for Blatter's re-election:
This past Monday FIFA President Sepp Blatter stepped up to the podium at the house of FIFA and did his best song and dance routine with the athletic legs of a boxer bobbing and weaving away the questions from reporters and his opening statements. He said “There is no crisis within FIFA.” How could the president of the world’s governing body of football stand there in front of so many media and talk garbage?
He hopes that one day an honest man that will replace Blatter:
What do we expect now from these members of FIFA, CONCACAF and the AFC? Business as usual. Never oppose the President for life and allow the same underhandedness to continue on ’til someone else will take over the reins. Until that day comes and we hope it’s an honest man that will replace Blatter, just get ready for the 2014 World Cup Qualifying Draw on Saturday, July 30th.
Socca Critics blog quoted the English Football Association President David Bernstein:
…after listening to the speech of Joseph Blatter, believe that the calls that we have made for greater transparency and better governance have been worthwhile.
It was positive to join other 16 Nations, while a 17 more Nations abstaining clearly demonstrates that we are not alone or isolated in our points of view.
The election process was flawed:
We have an unsatisfactory situation. We are subject to universal criticism of Governments, sponsors, media and the rest of the world…
A Coronation without an opponent provides a flawed mandate.
All in all, we know that the lovely game of football will continue to entertain and bring the world together.