Qatar World Cup 2022: For failing to keep his Haus in order, Sepp Blatter must be booted out of Fifa

 

Sepp Blatter is used to winning but he did not want the 2022 World Cup to go to Qatar. For once, the arch-politician was outmanoeuvred. Fifa’s president is believed to have backed the US bid; had he got what he wanted, Fifa would not be in this public mess.

There is an irony somewhere there, but nevertheless this is still a mess for which Blatter should be held accountable. He has been the president of Fifa since 1998. This has all happened on his watch: the corruption allegedly exposed in too many corners of the Executive Committee, the representatives from around the world who meet regularly at Fifa Haus – which could not resemble more of an underground lair if Dr Evil had planned it.

Blatter has washed his hands of it but he is stained, and unless it begins with change at the very top it is impossible to see Fifa reforming adequately. Cultural change is a necessity.

This is not a black-and-white issue. There is every shade of grey involved. The “smoking gun” has not been uncovered even if there is little doubt that corruption seeped through much of the process. And then there is the murky politics of Fifa to wade through.

Next week, Fifa’s men in suits, turkeys determined not to vote for Christmas, gather in Sao Paulo for their annual congress. Blatter is expected to announce that he will stand again as president and is hoping he won’t face a challenge from Michel Platini, the former France captain and now the president of Uefa, which wants its own man in the role instead of Blatter. But Platini supported Qatar’s bid and so Qatar is a dangerous topic for him.

Mohamed bin Hammam is a former Blatter ally, having helped him to get elected in the first place. Bin Hammam was thrown out of the presidential campaign in 2011 amid accusations of bribery. The paper trail uncovered by The Sunday Times may prove to be wider than just Qatar’s bid, for which Bin Hammam had no official role. Bin Hammam was also building support for his presidential battle with Blatter, and that may be Qatar’s line of defence.

There is no appetite for a re-vote within Fifa. A discredited Bin Hammam suits just about everybody, and whitewashing shades of grey is always a popular option up at Fifa Haus.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'