Investigation should bring Blatter down rung or two

John Halewood Dodd.
John Halewood Dodd.

The situation at FIFA regarding the criminal investigation into bribery and corruption involving their top executives is something that everyday football supporters believe is long overdue.

Anybody who knows anything about football has suspected for decades that those in control of the ‘beautiful game’ did not have the best interests of the sport at heart.

As a defence lawyer, I accept that nobody has yet been charged or convicted of a criminal offence, but many believe that things have not been right for some time. England fans have felt particularly aggrieved at being rejected as being suitable to host major tournaments, and specifically the World Cup, when other nations have been successful.

Many were optimistic that we would be awarded the 2018 World Cup with a bid that was supported by many influential parties including high profile footballers, politicians, and even Royalty.

We put together a polished presentation, yet the successful bid came from Russia. A country with questionable human rights issues, an aggressive attitude towards neighbouring states, and more importantly, in this context, a real problem with football hooliganism.

The decision to award the 2022 to Qatar raised even more eyebrows.

FIFA argued that they were attempting to expand the football community, but they seemed so hellbent on awarding the tournament to a country with such an alien climate, that they were even willing to change the traditional season of the competition so that it took place in winter.

It is now alleged that the money raised from such enterprises was not going into the FIFA coffers, but rather it was heading straight into the back pockets of the executives.

The FIFA President Sepp Blatter, or “stepladder” as we not so lovingly call him due to him being vertically challenged, has been at the forefront of all that is now wrong with football.

It seems as though he and his cronies may now get their comeuppance, and I for one will be pleased if old stepladder is taken down a rung or two.