Former United Executive David Gill declined taking up FIFA vice-president post yesterday following Sepp Blatter's re-election.
This is the year he said he would step down. After four terms Sepp Blatter promised he would not run in 2015 for four more years at the helm of FIFA. After the US-led sting operation orchestrated by the Loretta Lynch, my new favorite person in the world, in conjunction with Swiss authorities that led to the arrests of some key officials from the Americas, you would have thought Blatter would seize this opportunity to gracefully bow out.
On the backs of terminally crooked federations in Africa, Asia, Central America, and Oceania who have enjoyed the benefits of the ‘football outreach’ (wink wink) strategy of FIFA in recent years. Blatter was able to garner enough votes to discourage his sole opponent Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein from proceeding to the second round of voting. The prince accumulated 73 votes in the first round of voting, enough to prevent a Blatter majority but not enough to sop the inevitable.
Sepp Blatter won re-election for an unprecedented 5th time admist outcry of an increasingly corrupt federation.
It is now evident that Blatter is simply power hungry, a 79 year old dinosaur clutching to the last strands of influence for reasons that could be more sinister than merely staying at the top of the Fifa hierarchy. Maybe the Fifa offices are the best sanctuary against future graft probes, at the pinnacle he can subvert attempts to disclose how deep and how high the culture of corruption has reached global footballs glass house. Upon winning re-election, Blatter promised to bring the Fifa boat back to shore, back to the beach. He highlighted that Fifa needed someone experienced, who knows “all the ins and outs of the situation”. If so then how could he, as the ultimate inside man, claim any ignorance of several years of allegations of corrupt going-on’s within the federation he headed.
Prince Ali bin al Hussein of Jordan conceeded defeat after getting only 73 votes mostly from EU federations.
David Gill, former United chief executive during the Alex Ferguson era, who had been handed the opportunity to serve as a vice-president at Fifa yesterday declined to take up the position if Blatter successfully won his bid for re-election. The ex-United man has followed through with his promise, showing distinctive leadership attributes that made him so effective while at Manchester United. Other so-called leaders should take note, and follow suit by acting on their convictions.
UEFA Boss Michel Platini had asked Blatter to step down and persuaded EU nations to back his opponent.
Michel Platini, the UEFA chief, leading up to this election had said UEFA would back Blatters opponent – they did. However, he also said that the European confederations could withdraw its co-operation from Fifa, and even boycott the next World Cup that was awarded to Russia in a process that reeked of the same corrupt dealings that have recently rocked the federation. The Greg Dyke-led English FA must turn snide comments, and feign of shock to actual action. These leaders must stand up and act visibly just as David Gill has done.
Prince Ali bemoaned in his concession to Blatter, “If he has a minimal of decency, he will resign in the next few days.” A laughable notion - Mr. Blatter is quite clearly not a decent man. My sincere hope is that these raids from global judicial institutions around the world continue, till the thieves are all ran out of town and their chief along with them.