President of Nobody
Amid the FIFA scandals, 5th term president of the world's most popular sport governing body, Sepp Blatter, has stepped down from his position just 5 days after he was re-elected. No reason has been giving for his resignation but we all know his name will be thrown into the fire as the corruption investigations continue.
With Blatter resignation, a new reign is on the horizon for the sport of Football. After FIFA officials were arrested in a Swedish hotel, Blatter still had the love of his “corrupted” countries, receiving 133 votes at the 65th FIFA Congress to remain FIFA President. Unlike the United States voting process, where the states with the biggest population have the most votes, FIFA has a “1 country 1 vote” system that allows countries like Luxembourg, who has a population of 530,000+ and has never qualified for a World Cup or Euro Cup, the same voting power as Spain, who has 14 World Cup appearances and 3 Euro Cup titles.
Blatter was first elected as FIFA president in 1998, preceding Brazilian Joao Havelange. He began his FIFA career in 1975 as a Technical Director and worked his way up the ranks, becoming General Secretary in 1981. Even though half the world hates Blatter, the other half reveres him, mostly smaller countries. Blatter and FIFA has set up a program called the “Goal Development Progamme” that helps less privilege countries build their football programs.
In an article by The Guardian, they examine the program's benefits to the country of Zambia. Zambia, like other African countries have benefited from this program, which built loyalty between the Confederation of African Football and Blatter. The CAF has voted for Blatter in 2002, 2007, 2011, and most recently 2015, believing he is the only one that actually cares about the continent's well being, but also in the article, it explains that money that was promised was nothing but money for votes.
Blatter was the only FIFA president to show interest in Africa, bringing the World Cup to the continent for the first time in 2010. Blatter knew in order for him to reign as president of the World's largest sport, he would have to invest into Africa and other smaller countries. Though his efforts in growing the sport globally (along with assisting less fortunate countries) should be celebrated, 209 countries apart of FIFA – more than the United Nations - his intentions will leave him as one of the most hated men in FIFA history.
CONCAF General Secretary and FIFA official, Chuck Blazer, has cooperated with authorities, telling them that the FIFA committee took bribes over the 1998 World Cup (France) and 2010 World Cup (South Africa). Blatter's name has yet to come up in those reports but my guess is that eventually it will. These reports could be detrimental to Russia's and Qatar's bids for the World Cup because if corruption comes up involving the two countries' winning bids, then FIFA has the right to vote again which the United States and England would love.
With Blazer's guilty plea to bribery, it has open the flood gates to what I think will be a long list of “snitching”, reason why Blatter stepped down. As an average football fan, I am very consumed by this scandal, mainly because it involves the executives of the sport's governing body. Usually you see the athlete or team being drug in the mud, but this time, it's the very people who control the sport who are being ostracized.