There are many football Fans around the world who believe that FIFA supremo Sepp Blatter is slowing down, that he is not as sharp as he was when first elected to the Presidency. His gaff at the weekend would tend to reinforce those views, as once again he blotted his copy book.
Mr Blatter stated that Australia’s World Cup bid included proposed games in New Zealand, which implied that he had in fact failed to read the Bid Book. Mind you the book did contain 760 pages and included 20 chapters, but he did receive it back in May so could easily have read it on the plane to South Africa for this year’s World Cup.
The statement from Blatter made to French newspaper L’Equipe shows that he was only ever focussed on the bid from Qatar, which he publicly supported. To not know that Australia’s bid didn’t include New Zealand was either a barefaced lie to justify FIFA’s decision, or he quite simply never read the bid document. He advisors obviously did not read it either.
There are many who rightly question the decisions made at the top of the game’s World body FIFA. But this latest gaffe has increased the heat on FIFA and its President. Blatter has frequently bulldozed his own agendas and changed FIFA’s own regulations.
If as he said in the same interview, “I think it could be the same in Qatar and that some matches could take place in nearby countries” then it will mean that Qatar’s bid proposal is different from what is in fact going to be delivered and what the Executive Committee based their votes on. Many questioned why 2022 hosting rights were being voted upon now, and questions need to be asked if this is in fact the plan, to host games outside of Qatar, and if so then the voting should be declared void and a second vote take place. The Executive Committee are unlikely to push for such a decision, but the governing bodies around the world should, as it reflects poorly on the game as a whole.