Saturday 26 June 2010

FIFA's Political Stable Door

Olympic boycotts in 1980 and 1984, cricket tours to apartheid South Africa. It's clear that sport and politics don't mix.

Keep politics out of football, FIFA tells French

JOHANNESBURG, France — World football's governing body FIFA have said that they would oppose any political interference in French football in the wake of their World Cup debacle.

Questioned in Johannesburg over events back in France, FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke warned against any politial interference.
Quite right too.

Except that FIFA are hardly the body to call for isolation considering they've held the political stable door open for quite a while.

World Cup 2002.

Senior figures from Japan, South Korea and Fifa, football's world governing body, met in Sapporo this week and agreed to a joint draft statement on non-smoking in the 20 stadiums. The idea originally came from the World Health Organisation and has the full backing of Fifa, which is hoping to win brownie points from the international community for responsible behaviour.
World Cup 2006.

"Green Goal - the path to a sustainable 2006 FIFA World Cup"

FIFA General Secretary Urs Linsi: "This initiative means an exceptionally important goal has already been scored even before the 2006 FIFA World Cup gets underway. FIFA welcomes and supports the efforts put in by Local Organising Committees in Germany to run the FIFA World Cup in harmony with the environment, thus meeting vital ecological criteria."
And World Cup 2010.

Former US President Bill Clinton was in Tshwane/Pretoria on Wednesday to attend the crucial encounter between the United States and Algeria, and while at Loftus Versfeld Stadium he met with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.

During their discussions, both he and President Blatter stressed the importance of investing in development projects, particularly in the realm of health. “The official campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, '20 Centres for 2010', ought to leave a legacy in Africa and above all in the fields of education and health, which are two of the programme’s key areas,” said the FIFA President."
Perhaps their plea for politics to be kept out of football would be more persuasive if FIFA were reciprocal in keeping football's nose out of politics.

Just saying.

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