Every time we hear a commentator use the words “Under The Cosh” we all tend to giggle like school children. Today I received an email from my dad with the subject: “FIFA UNDER THE COSH.” The subject line was brilliant and gave us an idea on how to approach this touchy subject. To sum this up, under the direction of Attorney-General Loretta Lynch, the United States Department of Justice and the FBI have arrested 14 FIFA officials and are investigating them on corruption, bribery and racketeering charges. Lynch states that the investigation goes back twenty years. We won’t re-hash this whole thing because the media has done a good job of explaining it over the last few days. The aspect of this story that hasn’t been captured is how football fans feel.
Below are some of the best reactions.
Here at Cosh HQ we couldn’t be more delighted. Rishay had a hilarious and passionate outburst. We also decided to have some pun (intended) at FIFA’s expense. It should be noted that any ridiculous puns on twitter are usually Alex’s fault.
@FootyHumour had us in stitches with rapid photoshop skills. Special praise must go to the genius who came up with #betterpresidentsthanblatter because this tweet from @HipsterManager is brilliant.
Contributor @MoeSquare thinks the punishment should fit the severity of the crime. We tend to agree.
Here we have sobering dose of reality from friend of the Cosh, Marco.
Why the strong feelings? Since Rishay had the most emotional reaction on Facebook, it’s only right that he summarizes the majority’s feelings on the organization.
Time and time again we, as a blog, have reached conclusions in our discussions that FIFA is a serious threat to the credibility of football. We talk about ownership models in football and where the power lies, governing bodies and figureheads and it ultimately always leads to a wall of the hierarchy that has seemed – until now – immovable. These old men who make judgement calls by the seat of their pants to discern what direction the sport will take with no real regard for the greater good. Is there any shame in FIFA’s actions? We have had rumours of many events over several years of corruption, probes into match fixing and bribery…. and at the top of it all the talking head of Sepp Blatter, bullying his way into his seat of power time and time again since 1998. Only in recent years did I become aware of the severity of the situation – as I grew to see the bigger picture as an adult.
Let’s face the facts: The world as Sepp Blatter and his gang knows it has been long expired. A new age has dawned upon us where we have access to a plethora of information at our fingertips. Seeing the next two World Cups in Russia as well as Qatar does not sit well with the vast majority of football fans. Read our alternative idea for a World Cup in the Middle East here. Qatar’s atrocious and unacceptable human rights abuses have heaped even more pressure on Blatter and co., but instead of reforming, like any good dictator Sepp silences his critics. He once – through the courts – threatened a whistleblower to keep his mouth shut or face a significant threat to his livelihood.
The women’s game also lost confidence in FIFA over the flagrant sexism in refusing to install grass fields for the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. We all know that men would never play a World Cup on turf but FIFA sees women as an obligation more than anything. Blatter once said that women should play in tighter shorts akin to volleyball to help promote their game.
The timing of these arrests and the information spewing out could not be better, as there was a planned election just later this week in which Blatter was obviously running, and more than likely to win. Simultaneously, the Irish and Swedish football associations have decided to vote against Blatter, showing that there are numerous bodies in football that have had enough of this megalomaniac. His time is over, and with any luck, justice will be served in due course. There will be no hiding for FIFA. Change is necessary and can only breathe fresh air into this great sport that has been damaged by corruption for far too long.
As the FIFA presidential election draws near, the best outcome for the footballing world would be for Sepp Blatter to step down from his lofty throne. The world’s most popular sport needs reform. Despite the continuous flow of money into the game, football is a laughing stock. Will the best efforts of the U.S. Department of Justice finally force FIFA to change? If so, it could be the greatest moment the sport has seen in decades. Fingers crossed.