Last week, FIFA finally lived up to its notorious reputation, with a number of senior FIFA official’s arrested and charged with money laundering, racketeering, bribery and fraud. In short, the FBI have finally investigated what millions of football fans have known for some time, that FIFA officials have been using the organisation's influence to line their own pockets.
The announcement that Sepp Blatter has finally resigned will come as a welcome relief to millions. This week we take a look at 9 reasons why Sepp Blatter could have resigned.
"British journalists uncovered corruption after the 2018 and 2022 world cups were awarded"
- Awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar
This is an obvious place to start. The decision to award the rich Gulf state was highly controversial, particularly when it holds such a terrible human rights record. Since the decision was made, fans and officials across the globe have questioned why a tiny country with a sweltering summer's heat would be awarded the World Cup? Furthermore, the country holds no noticeable football record.
- Human rights of migrant workers
Since Qatar began making preparations to host the 2022 World Cup, The Guardian newspaper has put the total Qatar death toll of migrant workers from Nepal, India and Bangladesh at 964 in 2012 and 2013 - migrant workers were dying at a rate of one every two days. Not all the migrant deaths reported are associated with the World Cup, in fact in 2010, 200+ Indian workers died in Qatar before the World Cup was announced. A report by the trade union predicts there will be up to 4,000 additional worker deaths by 2022.
- He is homophobic
Gay sex is illegal in Qatar and there is speculation that gay soccer fans could be treated badly if they come to the 2022 World Cup. In response to a report by the U.S Department of Homeland Security which outlined Qatar's attitudes to homosexuality in more detail, Blatter responded by saying that gay fans "should refrain from any sexual activities" when addressing the cultural factors to consider at Qatar 2022. He made light of a serious issue and it was not received well by fans.
- He is sexist
In January 2004,Blatter undermined women's football by suggesting female players should dress more provocatively on the field. He argued that women should flaunt their assets in order to increase the global appeal of the sport. According to the Guardian newspaper he said; " Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men—such as playing with a lighter ball. That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?" Tactless, dated and offensive comments that did not go down well at all.
- He denied there was racism on the field
English football is still reeling from two high-profile racism incidents in 2011. In an interview with CNN, Blatter said; There is no racism, there is maybe one of the players towards the other, he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one, but also the one who is affected by that, he should say it's a game, we are in a game." Blatter's comments undermined what remains a very serious issue in football and insulted the football community at large for doing so.
- Corruption has been rife throughout his tenure
Throughout Blatter's tenure, corruption has always been so blatant, yet it has also seemed impossible to do anything. British journalists uncovered corruption after the 2018 and 2022 world cups were awarded but Sepp claimed it was sour grapes and somehow swept it under the carpet.
- Europe is scared of him
Europe wouldn’t back England and members of the FA who did speak out about the goings on behind closed doors at FIFA. They seemed scared of upsetting Sepp as he has the power to rob them of opportunities to host or have delegates in FIFA from their country. We needed the USA to back the claims and investigate, but failing this, Europe bought into Sepp’s ridiculous sour grapes claims.
- He ran FIFA like a dictatorship
Blatter ran FIFA like a dictatorship with other delegates too scared of losing their own jobs if they voted against him, so Blatter kept on ‘winning’ re-election in an extremely unfair and unjust ballot.
- People have tirelessly campaigned for Blatter to resign
People have been calling for Blatter's resignation for years, in fact, when the Daily Mail ran a poll in response to Blatter's racist comments in 2011, 89% of readers called for his resignation. BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent Richard Conway comments:
"In the end, Blatter's position became untenable and we will perhaps know more in the weeks ahead about what exactly tipped him over the edge."
We'd love to here what you think was the main factor behind Sepp Blatters decision to resign?