Second Cummings: It's Time for FIFA President Sepp Blatter to Go
Even considering Sepp Blatter's outlandish history, it's been a wacky week. And by now, the act has grown stale enough that change is necessary.
From the same man who gifted the world with trailblazing ideas like female footballers in hotpants and World Cup rotation, the guy who has dodged allegations of financial mismanagement and accusations of bribery for years, the guy who managed to turn football into a debate over homosexuality, now comes this.
In a bizarre interview with Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick this week, Blatter defended his performance as president of FIFA.
It didn't go well.
ESPNSoccernet cites some choice sections, especially the part where Blatter basically accuses somebody—and nobody—of buying the 2006 World Cup for Germany.
Asked about the allegations that those World Cups had been bought, Blatter replied: "Bought World Cups... I remember the award of the World Cup for 2006 when, at the last minute, someone left the room, and so instead of the voting being split 10-10 it was 10-9 in favour of Germany.
"I'm glad I didn't have to make a casting vote but, well, that person suddenly got up and left. Maybe I was too good-natured and naive."
It gets better from the good-natured and naïve Sepp:
Asked if there was a suspicion that the 2006 World Cup was bought, he added: "No, I'm not suggesting anything. It's just something that I noticed."
Not surprisingly, numerous Germans have hit back at Blatter's claims. And not surprisingly, Blatter's claims contain a problem or 37.
First, the result of the voting as 12-11, not 10-9, as German legend Franz Beckenbauer pointed out to Bild (via The Guardian). What's more, Blatter failed to mention the fact that the eight European associations involved in the voting all opted for Germany.
Of course, as former FIFA official Guido Tognoni told Spiegel, Blatter could have stopped any improprieties immediately as the highest-ranking official of the governing body of the world's most popular sport.
"To make accusations now is rather cheap, I feel," said Tognoni. "The fact is, things have happened during Sepp Blatter's FIFA presidency that shouldn't have happened."
Maybe Tognoni won't go so far, but others will. It's not just that some events of Blatter's presidency shouldn't have happened. Blatter's entire presidency shouldn't have happened, and it's time for Blatter to step aside.
Is it time for Sepp Blatter to resign the FIFA presidency?
The bribery, the financial mismanagement, the buffoonery and everything else have become too much. This latest self-induced controversy—even his laughable attempt at clarification—only reinforces the fact.
Blatter, 76, won the FIFA presidency in 1998 and is now serving his fourth term. Upon winning his fourth election in 2011—amid controversy, naturally—Blatter vowed he would not seek the office again.
The next FIFA presidential election is scheduled for 2015, but even if Blatter keeps his promise, that's not soon enough to see him go.
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