Ian Wright thinks it is time for England to make a stand against FIFA in order to save football. Ian Wright refers to the issues facing FIFA right now, which includes corruption, bribery, backhanders and now a presidential election where Sepp Blatter is the only choice. Wright goes on to compare the situation at FIFA at the moment to the Mafia.
Ian Wright’s suggestion is the FA leading national associations with a boycott of FIFA until this mess is sorted out a drastic step indeed – but a move the former Arsenal and England striker feels is necessary to force FIFA into change. Wright has concerns about the possibility of England pulling out of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup – but feels there are bigger issues at play here and safeguarding the way football is run being the most important thing.
The recent suspensions of Jack Warner and Mohamed Bin Hammam support the theory of corruption at FIFA. Wright feels that even if Blatter wasn’t involved in the corruption himself that doesn’t mean that he is innocent; surely Blatter must be questioned for failing to realise what was going on. As well as all of this is the continued questions on the Qatar World Cup bid and exactly what went on there. Of immediate concern is the fact that Blatter is the lone running for re-election.
We know that the FA had wanted the election to be postponed until someone to challenge Blatter can be found – but despite these calls it appears the election will still go ahead on Wednesday as planned. Wright suggested that Blatter has too much power for one man and treats world football like his own personal play thing. National associations must pull out of FIFA events and take the power of football back from one man and given back to the world.
It appears that Wright may have a point and pulling out of the FA may be the only way for FIFA to sit up and take notice. But surely it is only going to work if other Nations follow from the example in England. However, FIFA will want England at the World Cup and if other top Nations such as Spain, France, Germany…also pulled out then surely FIFA would have to act, wouldn’t they?
FIFA may also have other problems with the news that major sponsors Coca-Cola and Adidas are growing concerns – if either or both were to pull out it would be interesting to see what sort of impact that would have. But I think Ian Wright is right in order to reform FIFA someone needs to take drastic action, I have my doubts if that someone will be the English FA. But I would be reasonably confident that if someone else was to pull out – the FA would also do so.