Tuesday, June 2, 2015

some thoughts/questions on this FIFA thing, from a casual observer

If it wasn't obvious then, that the selection (it wasn't a choice) of Russia and Qatar were through fraud and bribery, it is now. So why don't the European soccer powers pull out? Without Europe, the World Cup is meaningless. After all, the calibre of play in the Champions' League is vastly superior to the World Cup. The very fact that summer temperatures in Qatar can reach 45 Celsius in the shade should have been a deal-breaker. Putin's Ukrainian Incursion should be another deal-breaker.
Look at the major sponsors of the World Cup: VISA: doesn't produce any meaningful product but makes its money from financial transactions. COCA-COLA: makers of a highly sugared and caffeinated drink (well, okay, they also sell Tropicana orange juice... I rest my case). NIKE: makers of overpriced, sweat-shop-made sneakers who pay to bask in, and profit from, the reflected glory of star athletes. They haven't backed out of their sponsorship deals because they may still make some money out of this mess.
And those Swiss, Hitler's bankers and all that. In the words of Tabatha Southey from the  Globe and Mail, "Swiss-based" (as FIFA is) connotes sketchy and slimy and slippery.
If its FIFA today, will it be the IOC (International Olympic Committee) tomorrow?
Say what you will about Americans but they are the only ones who time and again, save Europeans from themselves (think WWI, WWII, the Soviet Union, Putin, The Marshall Plan). This time, they come in to arrest and charge FIFA officers with grand theft. When the euro eventually sinks in a sea of bickering countries, I wonder who comes in to restructure everything? It won't be the Chinese, and it won't be the Russians. 

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