Fifa corruption arrests: A syndicate so removed from reality that it may yet destroy the thing it loves

Sepp Blatter is an embarrassment to the world’s most popular game and its fans

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If Sepp Blatter had a grain of dignity left, he would stand down. How many Fifa corruption charges would it take for him to decide that he has delighted us long enough?

This morning’s stunning dawn raid on football’s world governing body leaves Mr Blatter unable to resort to his stock response - attacking the British media for daring to question his hegemony, for exposing corruption, and accusing us of sour grapes over England’s failed World Cup bid. I would be happy if England never again hosted a major football tournament if it means that the game so many of us adore is governed in a clean, transparent, professional way.

Fifa is a multi-billion-dollar international organisation in dire need of new leadership. Its president has become an embarrassment to the world’s most popular game and its fans. He clings on because he puts himself before the sport he loves.

Read more: Fifa corruption arrests live
What we do and do not know so far

In any organisation that cared about its reputation, that put the interests of the game and the people it’s supposed to serve before self-preservation and enrichment, this scandal alone would be enough to prompt change at the top, to require self-examination.

Instead we see denial, chaff, a syndicate so removed from reality that it may yet destroy the thing it loves. (I mean football, not money.)

Fifa is shameless. While we don’t yet know the detail of these criminal charges, when it comes to Fifa treating ordinary fans like idiots, to allowing corruption to destroy the heart of the once-beautiful game, there’s only one verdict you can return: guilty.

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