Today was a very sad day for Football. First of all we had the news that the governing bodies in World Football are completely out of touch with those that they represent, and could not see that the public’s faith in them would have improved had they adjourned their Presidential elections.
Then to compound this astounding, but not unexpected fact, we have the head of the FFA admitting that Australia voted for the only candidate Sepp Blatter, having been wooed by his speech about reform.
This guy has had twelve years to instigate reform, and has done nothing! Now in his last term he will close the door as he leaves and packed in his bags will be all the goodies from the larder. Then we will have to suffer the likes of Ben Buckley applauding him and telling us that this was his legacy.
It beggars belief, and we wonder why the game doesn’t get a leg up in this country. We do not even have the courage to stand up and be counted when it matters. Even Les Murray who has done so much for the game, was understandably cagey when asked about the elections and his role s on FIFA’s ethics committee. To be honest he is stuck between a rock and hard place. Is he going to rock the FIFA boat, and SBS’s broadcast rights, by saying what he must feel in his journalistic capacity and as a football fan? Or is he going to play the political straight bat? Sadly when the people wanted a voice, he chose the stay quiet.
The sad thing is as with all sporting teams, and business’s those at the bottom take their lead from those at the top. The FFA have let the fans of this country down, they have also let the players and administrators down, the children playing the game and all those involved, referees, volunteers, mums and dads.
What message does their decision to tow-the-line send to those running clubs and associations up and down the country? It doesn’t say that Australia stands for “Fair Play!” It doesn’t show that fighting spirit for which our sporting teams are so renowned. Australians are not used to rolling over when someone tickles our tummy, we usually bark, bite or claw them, and then have a drink with them. Maybe that is why everyone is stunned today.
This is undoubtedly the blackest day in Football in this country and makes one wonder what lies ahead in the future. There is only so much a number of independent groups and lone voices can do, when those who wield the power turn their backs, close the door, turn on the stereo to drown out the cries and sit down and eat with the devil.