As Sepp Blatter, Richard Scudamore and Greg Dyke prove, football's chiefs keep scoring own goals

Presumably Fifa was dazzled by Qatar's reputation as a footballing powerhouse

 

Share

We all make mistakes, of course. So it is easy to understand why Sepp Blatter is feeling a little rueful this weekend after confessing it was a bit of a blunder to hand the hosting of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. "One comes across a lot of mistakes in life," said the Fifa president. Obviously it passed these people by that the desert state is insanely hot in summer; presumably they were dazzled by its reputation as a footballing powerhouse.

Any 10-year-old kicking a ball in the park could see that handing the world's greatest sporting event to Qatar was daft. Its summer-day temperatures seldom fall below 40C and given the stench of corruption, the failure to keep promises and the enduring idiocy of the idea, the event should be sent elsewhere; we do have the precedent of Colombia giving up on holding the 1986 tournament.

Perhaps the best response came in a series of wittily sarcastic tweets from Gary Lineker: "Imagine the shock at Fifa HQ when... someone spotted that Qatar's a tad warm in the summer." More pertinently, he presumed the 78-year-old soccer chief would be composing his resignation letter. In fact, the admission appeared to be re-election campaign tactics, designed to undermine his main rival, Michel Platini, who backed the Qatari bid.

Platini is the useless Uefa president who wrecked the European Championships by greedily inflating a superb event to 24 teams, and so increasing the risk of boring games and making it almost harder not to qualify. He wants to do the same to the World Cup. Sadly, as seen with the latest scandal embroiling our domestic football chiefs, the beautiful game has an ugly ability to attract silly administrators.

There should be no question that the Premier League should sack Richard Scudamore, its overpaid chief executive, after the discovery that he sends smutty and sexist emails. This should be unacceptable in any modern organisation, let alone in a sport promoting itself to women. As the head of the Football Association inclusion advisory board Heather Rabbatts said yesterday, that with success and public interest comes an obligation to behave responsibility.

Yet the FA symbolises the strange sickness at the heart of this sport. It is only a decade since it was ensnared in sleazy stories of sexual harassment. Yet even its latest chairman, the previously admirable Greg Dyke, seems to have been infected; just look at his absurd proposals for Premier League B teams and protectionism against foreign players. If he wants to improve English football, he should improve coaching not ban Yeovil Town from hiring players from abroad.

From awarding a World Cup to Qatar to sending stupid emails, the people running football display unique talent for scoring own goals. Maybe we should kick them all out and start again.

twitter.com/@ianbirrell

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Syria's Kurds have little choice but to flee amid the desolution, ruins and danger they face

Patrick Cockburn
A bartender serves two Mojito cocktails  

For the twenty-somethings of today, growing up is hard to do

Simon Kelner
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones