It appears that the FIFA will lurch along despite the serious allegations and arrests that have been made in the last few days. Sepp might even get re-elected and you know he will fight until the last day to keep his seat. The problem? Democracy. His team has allegedly been paying off the corrupt officials of all kinds of third world nations in exchange for their votes. And these nations care more about getting their share of the $5.7 Billion in FIFA revenue than they do about honesty. It’s the worst of human nature, corruption and big business, all rolled into one, gigantic scandals. (this will end up being the biggest ever)
And of course, the sponsors will continue to gripe and threaten to pull out their dollars, but when is enough, enough? Can Coke see it’s way past this scandal, forward to all of the positive exposure that comes with a few billion people seeing your product in a very emotional environment? Likely not.
The problem? FIFA is a monopoly. There’s no reason for them to change their ways. Why would they stop doing business with Russia or Qatar? What motivation do they have to take human rights into account when awarding the big prize? FIFA likes to say that soccer shouldn’t engage in politics, that it’s above it. The sad irony is that FIFA is politics and it plays the game every day, in a very dirty fashion, right up until the scrutiny starts and then they cry foul. It’s the worst of all worlds. (and of course the other candidate for President is a Prince, from a totalitarian state, that has zero respect for human rights, religious freedoms or equality of women, LGBT or any other minority. I’m not sure the OECD should even participate in a league like this.
And do you think anyone will go to jail? Do you think that Russia or Qatar will have their permit revoked? Will FIFA lose it’s monopoly status?
My prediction? UEFA and a few choice, elite countries will pull out and form their own international federation. It’s going to end up like boxing. 3 or 4 belts all being contested by smaller groups. If this doesn’t happen, FIFA will never be fixed and the companies that support it will face a catch 22 for years to come.