I have never made any secret of my loathing for football. I can’t bear the sound or sight of a game and I know such a statement puts me at risk of wholesale ignominy. However, I feel some justification when I see the antics of this old man called Sepp Blatter and the recent news that lawyers are accusing a number of executives of FIFA of corruption. The sight of Russia’s Vladimir Putin supporting Blatter and FIFA simply confirms my suspicion that the head of one corrupt organisation is seeking to support the leader of another corrupt organisation.
What it is that holds such fascination for so many people worldwide about this game just baffles me but each to their own. What saddens me more is the huge business that football has become – not a sport but a huge, huge business. It pays silly money to young men, many of whom cannot handle the fame and the finances and inevitably go off the rails. It also charges families huge sums to attend a game and to buy all the paraphernalia of support that people are brainwashed to see as essential pre-requisites. It is all as bad as the National Lottery that takes money off people who cannot afford to pay it, many on benefits, in the hope of a quick win.
Football is no longer sport; it is big business and I fear cricket has gone the same way thanks to the Australian chap who dressed cricketers in coloured pyjamas. I suspect rugby and horse racing face the same threat of changing from a wonderful sport to a business with growing pressure on funding.
However, football has now gone beyond the pale in my view. It is clear that there is huge corruption in the international arena with FIFA officials accused of wholesale profiting personally from the business. Disgusting and funded from two sources: the poor old suckered fans and big businesses like Coca-Cola, Visa, Adidas, McDonald’s, Hyundai Motor, Budweiser and Gazprom who are desperate to milk the poor old fans through their advertising and marketing. What a disgusting mess. Time to pull the plug on old Blatter and the whole sad edifice. Maybe time to return to a game that is sport and not business but that may just be impossible?