When I logged onto my Twitter account this morning I saw talk about an article written by Grant Wahl regarding the FIFA Presidency. Having an interest in the matter, I zipped over to Sports Illustrated’s website to have a look. And I was outraged. Outraged, I tell you. Essentially, Wahl has thrown his hat into the ring for the presidential elections in June. This would be okay, except…I’ve already done that. In December.
Ok, so it’s on.
Ballard vs Wahl.
In theory there’s no reason we can’t both stand for the FIFA Presidency – assuming we each get a nomination from a member federation before April 1 – but in the interest of ensuring that Blatter does leave the position I think it’s for the best if just one of us continues, to avoid splitting the vote. In thinking of a way to decide which of us should proceed, my first thought was a penalty shoot-out competition. We each take 5 penalties, with the other person in goal, whoever scores the most, gets to run. However, I then remembered a football match I played in 10th grade where I took a penalty in a shoot-out and blazed it over, Chris Waddle style, so perhaps this isn’t going to best way forward for me. Instead I’ve chosen to select a few random factors which could (or could not) have a bearing on who is the most qualified to stand for election for FIFA Presidency.
I think things are pretty even, on this evidence. I’m prettier, though.
If, for some reason, Wahl manages to garner more attention for his campaign than I do for mine, (and so far he’s winning the PR battle by a score of about 20,000 tweets to 3) I’m going on the offensive. That’s right, people, I’m talking attack ads. I’ll get Pele to do a voiceover for me – he doesn’t say no to anything - suggesting that because Grant Wahl won’t have time to fix FIFA because he’ll be too busy schmoozing Landycakes or going to third world football countries that nobody cares about. Like England.
Speaking objectively, there is pretty much zero chance that Grant Wahl will even get past the first hurdle; namely, being nominated by a member state. True, it doesn’t really matter which of the 208 member federations nominate him – the DFB in Germany has just as much right to nominate anybody as the Faroe Islands does – but for me, the problems at FIFA are too endemic; the rampant self-interest that fuels the organization will simply not allow an ‘outsider’ to come in and try to change things. Sepp Blatter has made a lot of people a lot of money in his tenure as President, and that will have bought a lot of loyalty. Remember, the US representative Chuck Blazer voted against the US bid for the 2022 World Cup. Quite why he did this has never been explained (or proven) but it just goes to show that fixing FIFA will take a lot more than getting a new nameplate for the big office in Zurich.