Tom Peck's Sketch: Greg Dyke’s potshots are welcome, but Fifa’s Dear Leader is safe from harm

'Fifa think I, you and the British press are the enemy. It unites us all,' FA Chairman tells Select Committee

Sat in the same seat where a “humble” Rupert Murdoch took a custard pie in the face, and right in front of where the media mogul’s now ex-wife threw that devastating right hook, the Football Association chairman Greg Dyke today launched his own range of projectiles at a familiar target, but with the muffled resignation of a man who knows that his enemy is all but indestructible.

Select Committees only turn incendiary when the villain is present. The head of the Football Association, together with Fifa corruption-exposing journalists, being brought before Members of Parliament to discuss what can be done about world football’s governing body is no such occasion – as Mr Dyke observed, with some wit.

“I don’t think actions by the British Parliament are going to make any difference to Fifa,” he said. “They think you’re the enemy, they think I am the enemy, they think the British press is the enemy. It is the one thing that unites us all.”

In his first year as head of the Football Association, Greg Dyke hasn’t been reluctant to go in two-footed on Sepp Blatter, Fifa’s now almost comically discredited leader. Dyke’s first attendance at a Fifa congress, in Sao Paulo last month, was, he said, “Like something out of North Korea: ‘All hail the leader’”, and said any sort of coup would be far beyond his power. He was asked, would root-and-branch reform be possible?

“A new president coming in could make that possible.”

Could a new president come in?

“I’m afraid the rest of the world overwhelmingly supports him [Blatter]. If he runs again he’ll win.”

Given how little we seem to get out of the World Cup, how bad we are at it, wondered Tracey Crouch MP (no relation to Peter), “Why don’t we just leave Fifa altogether?” (She was seemingly oblivious to the waves of furious anger such a move would unleash in every pub in the land.)

“I don’t think that sort of gesture politics does you any good, having done one myself,” came the reply, from the man who walked out of the BBC in such a way 10 years ago.

After he pretended to slit his throat during the World Cup draw last year, Mr Dyke’s knack of setting out the intractability of a problem is not to be questioned.

Since Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, “eight of the committee members [who voted for it] have had to resign over corruption”.

In almost every case, that corruption has been exposed by the British press. Why, then, would Fifa “vote to subject themselves to that kind of scrutiny?”

That, very clearly, is not in the Dear Leader’s interests. And though Mr Dyke will not be hailing him, now or ever, Blatter lives on.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
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

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine