As John Oliver suggests in the video below, FIFA has more in common with Borgia-era Catholic church than the Heifer International-style non-profit bringing the game to the poorest of the poor.
The protests in Brazil are (I hope) well known and better documented elsewhere, the 2018 and 2022 events are in Russia, who banned homosexuality and invaded a sovereign country in the last few months, and Qatar, who seem completely disinterested in ending slavery. Any sane group of decision makers should immediately expel these countries from consideration, but alas they’ve bought their way in.
But then there’s the mundanity of day-to-day corruption and favoritism that really drives me nuts:
- FIFA bans all BEATS headphones because Sony is a sponsor. I can understand minimizing them in view of cameras / on players, but from fans?
- Those Non-profit leaders who are sitting on $1billion that aren’t buying soccer balls for poor kids … yeah, they gave themselves MASSIVE raises
- And the guy who’s largely responsible for building up the Pro soccer structure in the US is apparently a disgusting crook.
This isn’t sour grapes from Portugal’s tragic comeback goal against the US. I, like Mr. Oliver, absolutely love the World Cup and all the good things it can represent about the world. Even the brand sponsorships are George Lois-ian “poison gas” from time to time. I also love how I’ve been alive for the launch and growth of american soccer to where it will be in 8 years.
I simply want the organizers to show some shreds of the respect for fairness and justice that you provide the backbone for the Laws and spirit of the Game around the world.