You know things are bad when even American academics who are not into football get all worked up about the sport and its governing body FIFA.
Here’s FP’s Drezner (have you read his zombie book yet?):
A few thoughts. First, what kind of election process is it when the scandal-beseiged incumbent is the only friggin’ candidate? Bear in mind this is the same Sepp Blatter who declared that FIFA was much more transparent than the IOC — which is kinda like Frederick’s of Hollywood claiming that they’re classier than Victoria’s Secret.
Second, widening the vote to all members won’t necessarily stop corruption — if the International Whaling Commission is any guide, it will simply expand the number of actors who could be bribed.
Third, any anti-corruption campaign depends on Blatter…. If only Blatter had been caught groping a chambermaid — then there would be some real reform!
Like many out there I hoped that Blatter would step down after the corruption scandals that happened on his watch came to light. His hanging on reflects badly on the Great Sport.
I am a little bit surprised though by the uproar generated by the bribery allegations within FIFA. It’s like everyone had no idea what was going on in FIFA and its member FAs. The organization’s member FAs – from Italy to Nigeria to Thailand – routinely get caught in all sorts of corruption allegations (remember Italian match fixing?).
FIFA is only as good as its national member FAs and the regional confederations. I hope that when the cleanup begins it will not end in Zurich but will extend to national FAs and confederations as well.
If it took a really long time to clean up figure skating (maybe still not successful?), do you think that will ever occur for a sport that people actually care about?
Cleaning up the FA’s will be a tough task going by what we have here.