Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Absurdity, FIFA Style

In case anyone was wondering what I was talking about when I said FIFA is all screwed up, how bout this for an absurd, though telling, example:
The long arm of [FIFA President Sepp] Blatter even reached into the stands. A thousand Dutch fans showed up for a game against Ivory Coast in bright-orange dungarees that were adorned with lion's tails (the lion is the national symbol of Holland) and the logo of a Dutch brewery. (Picture Bert Lahr's cowardly lion going hunting.) FIFA, which is receiving millions from Anheuser-Busch to make Budweiser the official beer of the World Cup, told the fans that if they wanted to enter the stadium, their trousers would be confiscated.
This story is, in a nutshell, illustrative of 2 of the 3 major complaints people have with FIFA. There's the obvious money grubbing (read up on former president Joao Havelange and you'll see graft to rival anything perpetrated by a tin-pot strongman, K Street politician or IOC flunky) as well as the iron-heeled dictatorialism.

The 3rd complaint, that the brain wizards have no feel for football itself has been well and truly demonstrated by the refereeing in this otherwise spectacular Cup. Other instances were requiring mid-day start times in the '94 Cup. In Dallas. In July. Of course this ties in with the power of the almighty Swiss Franc, but soccer is a fall, winter and spring game throughout the rest of the world for a good reason - you can't play 90 minutes straight at high tempo when it's hot. But screw the players, and the fans, their are sponsors to be appeased, money to be made and bureaucratic fiefdoms to defend and expand.

As to the original subject of this post, at least there was a happy ending:
"I watched the game in my [under]pants," one supporter said. "Fortunately I had quite a long T-shirt."

1 comment:

QUASAR9 said...

So, who is gonna win the World Cup this year? - Q.