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FIFA Credibility Slippage Turns Into Avalanche


Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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How did we get on last night against Marseilles? FIFA officialdom up to its usual high standard? Word was that Carlo favoured a performance over a result (sounded much like the England World Cup bid propaganda preceding their recent presentation) but, with you-know-who’s mucky hands over everything these days, I’m glad to be just enquiring rather than having any greater involvement anymore…

It’s not been easy, staying out of the FIFA corruption debate on this forum until now, although I would contend that it has been an essential abstemious act on my part (due to having already experienced more than one Chels-related and UEFA-assisted mire of their making) whilst wending my way to the moral ground I’m currently perched on, high above their grubby outrages. More specifically, I will cite a certain vicarious refereeing scandal that at the time caused me to declare a complete lack of interest in our future Champions League fortunes, from that night against Barcelona, onwards, upwards…or whatever. Sounds smug, doesn’t it, but such a trenchant attitude gives credence to my early hollow-laughed dismissal of our World Cup bid prospects, a plaintive cry that I try hard to model on the one Andy Gray delivers, after every mistimed Paul Scholes tackle. My sentiments come across the same too - you appreciate it’s a hopeless attempt, but, after asking yourself one pertinent question - what do you really expect to get from serial rule-breakers who go through life unpunished? - you end up becoming the perfect apologist for almost any unacceptable aspect within sport.

That said, in all honesty [God knows someone‘s got to start the ball rolling] I expect nothing less from certain individuals on the pitch and a hell of a lot more from those in authority off it. Indeed, if we take this a stage further, the actual villains of the piece in this [World Cup] farrago are not the corrupt individuals governing the game, as they’ve been given free licence for many a year, but the selective and self-indulgent Media messengers who have been no more ’investigative’ or ’journalistic’ in their pursuit of the truth on this occasion than they have been throughout endless years of money and honey-trapped exclusives that, in reality, are the tawdry extent of their weaponry in [what is all too often] a contrived waging of war against some trumped up cause or other.

Admittedly, there will be those who point out that the Sunday Times investigation into FIFA delegates went along these selfsame lines, thereby proving the effectiveness of such methods, but the very nature of the scam meant that FIFA could easily discredit it against a backdrop of enthusiasm for a bid that was somewhat bizarrely heralded on the weekday editions of its sister publication. This was never going to be too much of a campaign for [the bid] or against [corruption] anyway, as the Murdoch Empire could blithely play the field elsewhere, through differing media outlets, whilst Australia’s own 2022 baby went missing, akin to being eaten by a Qatar dingo under an even hotter midday sun. Sky’s subsequent complicity on all things World Cup says everything you need to know about its lack of involvement every four years, compared to a season-long CL coverage that would surely be in jeopardy should delegate No.16, surnamed Platini, ever be subjected to any criticism whatsoever on SSNews.

This leads us to the BBC’s ’FIFA’s Dirty Secrets’ investigation, conducted by Andrew Jennings in time-honoured [rain-coated] pursuit of delegates he’d previously caught trousering shed loads of cash for, or in anticipation of, an odd favourable vote, or two…or, in this case, three. Now here was an old-school journalist employing traditional shoe leather tactics to track down and expose bribery and corruption in alleged high places. What’s not to be admired in this approach? Apparently quite a lot, if you are an affronted FIFA delegate, a frustrated and myopic World Cup Bid presenter , or more importantly, a fellow journo who has gone over to a darker side of selective storytelling and long since given up on the simple process of asking inconvenient questions in a relentless manner.

For me, the time has come to praise the Jennings template to the hilt and shoot the laissez-faire messengers out of the biggest cannon available, unless they can redeem themselves in the wake of this latest fiasco by doing something useful for the game in its hour of need. Reporting without agenda would be a good start and then maybe, having dragged knuckles from floor to laptop keyboard, we might even see a super-soar-away Sun journo put a readable sentence together that isn’t in any way inflammatory or downright Luddite in its construction, let alone its aims. Will this happen? Probably not in my lifetime and definitely not while football journalism as a whole fails to get its priorities right by always preferring rumour and innuendo, from the ubiquitous unidentified ’source’, to the old fashioned belief that there should be an inherent necessity to verify the facts.

Until that moment arrives, expect another deluge of Media and Fourth Estate hypocrisy, manifesting itself in hyped-up bile directed at Roman, their embodiment of Russian oligarchy. By the way, whatever happened to Arsenal’s Alisher Usmanov? Is he dead? Did he sell his shares? Or is Roman the only oligarch in town as far as our [if-it’s-Arse-it’s-unobtrusive] intrusive Press are concerned? Questions, questions and not enough of them posed by those supposed exponents of the art. It really is time for thoroughness to return to the print world and a rigorous pursuit by genuinely talented journalists could oust charlatans like Sepp Blatter, through shame or the courts, given the evidence already in the public domain plus some additional digging.

And in the meantime why not sharpen those quills on that sitting bull{****] of a target at Old Trafford, thereby doing everybody a favour by getting him to answer a few pertinent questions about the Glazers. They have already been weakened by, yes you’ve guessed it, some quality TV investigative journalism, so let’s see you reporters at least face the facts by starting to print them as well. When all is said and done, it’s your living isn’t it?….or it should be.

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Edited by Dorset
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Well said!!

The only problem with today's journalism is that there is so much rubbish spouted on the TV and in the press that the public don't know what is true or what is complete bullsh*t anymore, especially in football journalism.

Therefore many layman will not see the difference between guys like Jennings and your run-of-the-mill News Of The World journo making up transfer stories from his desk.

Lets face it, Journailsts aren't very popular people but this is their chance to improve their image. The first to sneak into FIFA and crack the whole sordid consipracy open will be deemed a national hero!!

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