Forget the NZRU signing on players until they’re middle-aged, forget the not quite as good as it used to be State of Origin, the NBA play-off series, or even another Aussie Kim meltdown. The best show going around at the moment is the Civil War being waged in FIFA World for rights to oversee those reserves which now total US$1.28 billion.
Sepp Blatter is a venal, corrupt goblin. With a penchant for watching young ladies in short shorts. Everyone knows that. But when a dodgy dictator faces a revolution, it doesn’t mean that the alternative is any better. Just ask a Zimbabwean.
You tell ’em Sepp
Because that’s what Blatter’s facing right now. This isn’t just a regular Presidential Election. This is metaphorical tanks down the streets of Geneva, metaphorical snipers leaning out of FIFA Towers, and helicopters buzzing around. Mohamed Bin Hammam is an ambitious man, and he’s declared war.
But Blatter loves his metaphors. He describes himself as an honest Swiss farmer working hard to buy a cow. Bin Hammam, on the other hand, lives on an island and kills metaphorical cows. Out of sheer malice.
That’s a big call, but he might have a point. Our main dealings with Bin Hamman (Blatter must love the fact there is a Bin in the name) is in his role as Chief Overlord of Football Asia. His main hobby there seems to be to pick on the A-League, and the fact that the Wellington Phoenix is part of it. Every few years the Phoenix need to rock up, do some serious grovelling, in order to get an extension to their licence.
As if they haven’t got other things to worry about.
Quite why Bin Hamman should be so passionately anal on this is a mystery. Mailce would seem to be the only logical explanation.
His other legacy is the 2022 World Cup gift to the people of Qatar. He has to be in the mix there, and there had to have been bribes. Pretty big ones too.
And it is that decision that Blatter is looking into. But when you think about it, declaring the organisation you have run, for a decade or so, corrupt is a novel way of approaching things. The closet containing Blatter’s skeletons is likely to be rather large.
In an ideal world we are about to witness a Reservoir Dogs type battle where they fight each other to the bitter end; both are revealed to be Satan on Earth, and some untainted people can come through. But that might be a bit optimistic; some seedy backroom compromise would seem to be the more likely option.
So, to paraphrase Blatter himself; we might be better off with the Swiss farmer, like it or not.