FIFA fiefdom ends

Cricket too replaced a czar recently at the ICC for doing much the same things.

The downfall of Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini, the man he was grooming to be his heir at Fifa, holds a stern lesson for the world of sports administration. Having built a fiefdom by bestowing sporting as well as financial favours, the colossus of soccer administration of 41 years standing was brought down by the very tools he used — via the ethics committee and such — to undo opponents. Fast and loose with rules governing fiduciary discipline and conflict of interest provisions, sporting czars tend to be a rule unto themselves, at best benefactors of the game and at worst despots.

The two million Swiss francs “disloyal payment” Blatter made to Platini in 2011, suspiciously a few weeks before his re-election as president, was to be his real undoing. With the appeals likely to consume time, the curtain has virtually been brought down on two men who ruled soccer in a world full of favouritism, questionable business and financial practices and outright corruption in allotting the World Cup and buying votes at annual meetings. Football is not the only sport suffering from this syndrome of an international federation of national sports associations being an entity accountable to none. Cricket too replaced a czar recently at the ICC for doing much the same things. Only if sport is administered by a governing board of honorary officials and an executive board of professionals will there be some assurance that its future will be free of the influence of men like Joao Havelange and Sepp Blatter, who ran football for decades without being challenged.

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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