’Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely, absolute power attracts the corruptible.’ Frank Herbert
The quote is from from the author of the Dune novels and perfectly describes the situation that occured at FIFA. The scandal sorrounding the international organization arose after the announcement that Russia and Qatar were hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively. The events escaleted quickly, and ended with the arrestment of seven FIFA officials, the resingnation of ’Sepp’ Blatter and his prosection for ’criminal mismanagement’. Platini, who seemed the favorite for replacing Blatter was also banned from the organization, alongside former FIFA Vice President Chung Mong-joon, which signifies the amount of corruption inside the organization. The corruption is deeply rooted in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, this is not debatable. The question is however, how this scandal is going to change the way we look at football, the circumstances of players, teams and national football associations. Furthermore, will it change anything at all?
In my opinion football as a game will not change at all as a result of recent events. The same applies to the players, who are going to continue to play in the same level. Football as a game will still have the same unifying effect on people and the supporters will not leave their teams because of the hocus-pocus of some Swiss guy.
What will be effected, are the football associations and the international tournaments. The great sponsors have already expressed their concerns regarding corruption even on the highest levels, and if this will not change they may even leave FIFA, which would cause a huge financial deficit. Therefore the background for great sport events would disappear and it would be unpossible to hold the World Cup or the Champions League. So the change is requested by the financial market quite clearly.
The football-loving community has always been against corruption and has continued to fight it. The protests that arose following the scandal forced Blatter to resign and call for a new election, for which the final vote will be on the 26th of January, 2016. If corruption will not be eradicated, or even completely exterminated the supporters will loose their faith in the football organizations. I picture the football-universe as a complex, multileveled construction. The first level are the fans, then the players, the teams, national associations and the international associations. If the link broke between the different levels, the whole structure would collapse.
But there seems to be no developement. One of the candidates, Gianni Infantino, already envisioned a World Cup with 40 teams, and with the planned change, one thing would be sure: even more slush-fund. Deep changes are required – but for now, there is noone who potentially forces these changes through the masses of corruptible officials.