Brian Glanville has been a persistent critic of Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini; vindication appears to be close at hand.

Don’t say filth, say FIFA. More and more ugly vermin are crawling out from under stones almost every day.

Scarcely has Jerome Valcke taken to his heels after being accused of making packets of money out of a ticket scam than Blatter is in the frame over a sweetheart deal with the ineffable Jack Warner.

The ultimate irony of which is that Warner having promised to share any profits made somehow forgot to do so, meaning FIFA is still owed the money on what was in any case a profoundly dubious deal.

And now Platini, under the spotlight for receiving that hefty payment from FIFA for services rendered between 1998 and 2002. All £1.35 million of it. His attempt to explain it away has been pitiful.

A grovelling and evasive letter to all 54 members of the UEFA organisation which he is such an inadequate president of which the dubious theme is, ‘not me, Guv’. The pathetic attempt to throw up a smokescreen utterly fails to explain why the allegedly due payment for “consultancy” was made fully nine years after it was agreed.

Platini’s circumlocutory apologia does nothing to explain away the bizarre circumstances of the payment. Insisting that it was due lamentably fails to clarify why it was made so ludicrously late.

Great footballer though he unquestionably was, Platini as alas we know has been a wretched administrator, with what you might call the opposite of the Midas touch; in that almost everything he proposes and promulgates on examination turns to dross.

Above all, or perhaps we might say below all, is his support for Qatar as the hosts of the 2022 World Cup; the dates for which have just been scandalously announced by FIFA. We know that Platini was under pressure from Nicolas Sarkozy then the President of France; we also now know that there was a meeting between them and a senior Qatar panjandrum.

That Platini should have betrayed his trust by agreeing to the staging of the tournament is bad enough, condemning as it initially would his European teams to play in the 50 degree centigrade heat. That he should compound his surrender by subsequently agreeing that the finals be staged in the European winter to the confusion and detriment of the clubs he is meant to represent and protect poured oil on the flames. Meanwhile his son now enjoys a privileged post with a Qatari organisation.

It is the Swiss attorney general who has now put the finger on Blatter for this oddly named ‘disloyal payment’ to Platini. Not that just as the FBI brought the shocking charges against FIFA members accused of corrupt voting, so it is another body outside FIFA which has put Blatter in the dock and embarrassed Platini over the belated pay off.

The implication of which is that for any kind of justice to be done, any kind of criminal investigation to be implemented, it has to be done outside FIFA itself.

A further element of farce is introduced by the fact that the FIFA executive committee have stonewalled so far a request from their ethics committee (don’t please laugh, it does exist) over clarifying whom they are investigating.

The committee want the request to be reviewed by FIFA’s legal committee, presided over by the Spaniard Angel Maria Villar, himself under investigation by the ethics committee since last November!

But what of our own ludicrous leaders? Greg Dyke, the Chairman of the Football Association and its chief executive, the former driving force behind Walker’s Crisps, have come out strongly in support of Platini despite his Qatari surrender not to mention the absurd way in which he has expanded the European Championship finals, and his initiation of a bloated and distorted secondary European tournament.

These two colossi have quite happily been endorsing Platini for FIFA president despite the dire evidence against him. Now, of course, they have to back track. Incompetence rules.

Oh, for a Stanley Rous. In passing, let it be noted that FIFA’s so-called Ethics Committee (please restrain your laughter) are seemingly now investigating the rancid case of Jerome Valcke and his misdemeanours over those tickets.

Blatter, of course, will also be asked why he struck such a soft deal with Jack Warner over these tickets; and why pressure wasn’t executed on that miscreant when he hadn’t even paid the share of profits which he made from the deal. Valcke, as know, having, with big fat corrupt Chuck Blazer, disgraced himself in a New York court which called both of them liars over the Mastercard Visa affair, was in due course promoted at FIFA to the top executive position without a word of complaint from any federation.

Now he has been run out on a rail. Why do I keep thinking of Lenin’s infamous coinage of “Useful Idiots”?

And if not Platini, then who? There is no one obvious in sight. Then you have to remember that the notorious Joao Havelange, having corruptly defeated Rous, stayed in conniving power for 24 years. No one raised as much as a whimper. Just as in the old saying, war is too important to be left to generals, so football is too important to be left to the misguided world of football.

  • Mark Rojinsky

    Sir Stanley Rous would surely have offered some patrician assurance and objective points of reference. A propos of the ‘distorted and bloated’ Europa League the former Uefa Cup and Cup-Winners’ Cup were more to my taste. There was a compelling economy about them. From a ’70s British perspective one can reflect on such rarefied horizons as Manchester City’s success in 1970 in Vienna, Chelsea’s triumph in Athens in ’71, Rangers victory at the Nou Camp in 1972 and Leeds’ perversely tantalising and intriguing defeat against Milan at Salonika in 1973.