Leading article: The old regime lives to fight another day

Share
Related Topics

It's been a bizarre couple of days. One evening the world is watching an exemplary Champions League final at Wembley, after which there is universal agreement that the better team won – probably, indeed, the most gifted and accomplished team to have competed for very many years. The very next day, you have an ethics hearing at the governing body of world football, Fifa, which finds that two senior officials have a case to answer over bribery allegations and announces a full-scale inquiry.

Sometime in between, one of those two senior officials, Mohamed Bin Hammam, posts a statement on his blog, saying that he is withdrawing from the election for the Fifa presidency and insisting that this has nothing whatever to do with the next day's ethics hearing and everything to do with saving the association's good name.

The ethics committee meanwhile exonerates several other officials without qualification, chief among them the incumbent President of Fifa, Sepp Blatter, who is cleared to stand for re-election on Wednesday. Any suggestion that the election might be postponed until after the full inquiry has reported is flicked away as an impertinence. After all, Mr Bin Hammam has withdrawn; Mr Blatter is whiter than white, so where could there possibly be a problem?

To any even half-informed observer, at least part of any problem that Fifa might have is that air of complacency. Having, at the age of 75, been preparing to cruise effortlessly to a fourth term, Mr Blatter is about to do just that, having seen off the small inconvenience of Mr Bin Hammam's candidacy. Only Mr Bin Hammam and the Fifa Vice-President, Jack Warner, remain under a cloud. Everyone else is off the hook. Even the officials fronting the press conference that announced all this came across as embarrassed.

Rightly or wrongly, the impression is left of a one-man show, frozen in time, which has even less incentive to change than it did before yesterday's hearing. If Mr Blatter is serious about using what he says will be his last term to introduce overdue reforms, this was hardly a convincing way to start.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Adviser - Sales and Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a desire to help sm...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Support - Helpdesk Analyst

£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a customer focu...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Learning & Development Manager - North London - £53,000

£45000 - £53000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Learning & Develo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A 'match' on Tinder  

Tinder may have inadvertently hit its self-destruct button by charging older users more

Nash Riggins
A Yorkshire Terrier waits to be judged during the Toy and Utility day of the Crufts dog show at the NEC in Birmingham  

There are no winners at Crufts. Dogs deserve better than to suffer and die for a 'beauty' pageant

Mimi Bekhechi
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn