FYI:: If anyone wants a good La Liga roundup from this past weekend, head on over to my buddy Striker at Spanish Football and Sports.Other people do roundups better than I do.
Now, For some more jolly fun with everyone’s favorite FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
I caught wind of this story last night right before I went to bed at the nice hour of 3am (9am Spanish time). FIFA are looking to ban Spain from all Champions League, UEFA Cup and International competition if the RFEF (Real Federación Española de Futbol ) are forced to hold elections before this summer’s Bejjing Olympics.
Jose Luis Zapatero (Spain’s Prime Minister) is ‘forcing’ all non-olympic federations to hold these elections, which would put an end to Angel Maria Villar’s reign as President of RFEF, who just so happens to hold a position as one of the vice presidents of FIFA’s Executive Committee. So is there a coincidence that Blatter may not want his friend to be given the boot? Maybe there is, and maybe there isn’t.
The heart of the matter is FIFA’s stance on not allowing governments to meddle in football related activities. Can you blame him? What would happen if footballing associations became puppets for the government. I can just see the bribes and fixed games now. 100 Euro shakes all around.
A quote from Blatter:
“It shocks me that the government has passed a ministerial order which states that the federations that will not be involved in the (Olympic) Games must organize their elections before then.”
This could all be tossed out the window if a) Zapatero (Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister) gets ousted in next month’s elections or if b) The RFEF is not forced to hold the elections in this time frame.
Greece was suspended in 2006 for a similar case with government interference in the Helenic Football Federation. The ban was lifted after 48 hours after Greece passed an amendment to rectify the problems cited by FIFA.
Sepp Blatter has a point. Governments should not be allowed to get involved in the elections or force the Footballing organizations to hold elections. Banning the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and MY Sevilla would certainly lessen the quality of football in the champions league, not to mention drive elderly men in Spain to cardiac arrest. But I can honestly say, I wouldn’t blame him for the decision. Sometimes you have to dole out punishment with an iron fist.
The government should not be involved in football, or sports, unless there is a good reason (i.e. corruption, scandal, etc). Aside from this, it is not the place for the government to be, and Spain knows that full well.
If this comes to fruition, Zapatero won’t have to worry about his presidential elections in March, he will have already lost them.
However, the quote of the day, is this gem by Mr. Blatter himself. This sums up the world footballing power that is FIFA:
‘FIFA is like the United Nations but has more members and is more powerful.”