• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    FIFA Presidency

    Anyone who half-follows soccer, and even those who only follow it every four years during the World Cup, probably know two things:

    1. FIFA international soccer is corrupt, and
    2. FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, is a moron.

    Corruption was nowhere more evident then in the recent bidding for the rights to host World Cups 2018 and 2022. Spain/Portugal was accused of colluding with Qatar, some FIFA ex-co members were dismissed for bribery, and Qatar won the 2018 bid due to shady, probably "technically legal" (emphasis on the quotation marks) actions, including promising to subsidize public works in home countries of voting members.

    Sepp Blatter is a moron because he continues to fight against umpire transparency and instant replay like an ostrich who sticks his head in the ground at first sight of progress. His allegation that the game at the top needs to be the same as the game in the poorest part of Africa is about as intelligent as a sea slug commenting on Freakonomics. The NFL doesn't play exactly like high school football because the realities and exigencies are different. There's more money on the line. There's an ability to do more. The players move faster and hit harder. Although the framework of the game is the same, the paradigm is much different. It'd be like me treating all my pediatric patients as if they were standard 70kg adult males. Malpractice.

    So, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw this video on Sports Illustrated from Grant Wahl lobbying for FIFA presidency. Although partially (mostly?) done in jest, it draws attention to the absurdity of FIFA, and media coverage is just what we need to continue to pressure FIFA for reforms.

    Ultimately, I'm too cynical to think anything will change - heck, this sport encourages corruption from the ground up with players faking injuries all the time - but the video is funny and gives me a ray of hope.

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