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FIFA rewrite needed, but who holds the pen?


With so much ado about FIFA's risible descent into farce, there's a lot of accusations and blame being thrown around.

While it's fair to say FIFA and its head-honchos have stuffed up big time, many are also casting a jaundiced eye over those who have dipped into the FIFA trough and who would likely benefit from the status quo. Among them are the 180 or so national football associations who failed to join the English FA and others standing for ethics and call for a cessation of the entire voting process - including for the latest World Cup votes - pending a complete review of the corruption allegations (although the FA, to be fair, has a vested interest in having a recount on the World Cup bid as it may have a chance of winning it this time).

Among them, I'm sorry to say, is the Australian FFA, rightly lambasted by former player and now commentator Craig Fozzie Foster in the local Australian press (and on his TV spots) on the weekend for falling into line and disgracefully backing Blatter's nomination.

But, while playing the blame game is warranted and makes us all feel a little better about the shameful state of the world game's administration, there has to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Simply calling for recounts or mass sackings (no matter how justified) have to be bolstered by a roadmap for a post- Blatter, post-corruption future.

To this end, the Change FIFA organisation appear to be onto something. Note the word "appear" as here too, no concrete direction is set out. Calling for an politician-led revolution, as Change FIFA seems to be doing, looks destined to replace one bureaucratic coterie with another.

Yet, the organisation's website invokes the Barcelona model - whereby membership is open to all, is relatively cheap and where all members have a vote in important matters at the club - it's backers seemingly disagree with calling for a full democratisation of FIFA along similar lines.

So, why not open FIFA up to all of the world game's billions strong family? Why not break the paternalistic and parochial culture of the body and generate an interest in the globalising and border-fading potential of the game? Why not depoliticise FIFA by pushing for an alternative body which features cheap or non-existant membership fees - perhaps through local clubs not regional associations - and which gives one vote to each individual?

Of course its a crazy idea and probably unworkable, but why not look deeper into it to see what can be done in this direction? At least this might be considered as a basis to elect a new executive body to run the world game.

If we can't try something like this now - with all the communication technology we can now lay our hands on - then when? Surely its better than simply replacing one leadership elite with another, and better than doing nothing other than dither and complain?

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