Ding Dong the witch is dead, but what now?
Clearly the FBI and perhaps the Swiss authorities have found evidence to involve Sepp Blatter. One earnestly hopes that both the Russian and the Qatari World Cups be taken away from them, since they should never have been allowed to buy them in the first place. England, who only got a single vote apart from their own and while bidding was misguided and feeble to a degree, certainly have a powerful case for the 2018 tournament.
But the idea of Michel Platini succeeding Sepp Blatter – though you cannot blame him for France’s inexplicable decision to back Blatter – is nonsensical. Platini was utterly discredited when he twice, as president of UEFA, backed the World Cup claims of Qatar.
First and quite outrageously when the tournament was scheduled to be played in the 50-degree heat of summer. Then abysmally, when the tournament was switched to the European winter, when a proper leader would have done all he could to oppose it, and its implicit disruption of European club football.
The evidence strongly suggests that Platini was leaned on by Nicolas Sarkozy, then president of France, anxious to maintain access to Qatar’s oil and gas. Caught on the horns of such a dilemma, surely the right thing for Platini to have done if he didn’t want to stand up to Sarkozy was simply to resign.
Who then should succeed Blatter? Desperately difficult to say. David Gill, who has just resigned from his FIFA position, would be a credible candidate but they are hardly thick on the ground. Prince Ali, who made a barely token challenge to Blatter is surely a peripheral figure. David Ginola irrelevant. With the Brazilian hierarchy in turmoil – how did Ricardo Teixeira get away with it for all those years? – we will be spared another charlatan from there. Africa, which stood solidly by Blatter, deserves no consideration. Asia little more, though the fatuity of one nation one vote, however small, still unbalances all logic.
Interesting to see Jerome Valcke dragged into the South Africa-Jack Warner $10million affair. Remember please that he and super grass Chuck Blazer a few years ago were disgraced in a New York court when the woman judge derided the false evidence they’d given in favour of Visa against MasterCard.
Valcke went back to Zurich and was suspended, but in no time at all he re-emerged as a major executive. Not a peep about that from any member country, including all the Europeans – and Britain.