Can Football Actually be saved by FIFA?

As football fans, we usually allow the “main men” to get on with the running of our game, while we moan and groan at how well our respected teams are fairing in their respected league. That’s the way that it has always been, but since the scandal at FIFA headquarters has rocked the world of football on a quite incredible scale, it is hard to not look into the problems that lie at the very top of the world’s most popular sport.

I won’t bore you with the in depth analysis of each scandal as it is there for you all to see. I want to write about how the scandal at FIFA has affected those who the game is all about which is the fans.

I was once one of those football fans that quite frankly didn’t care what was going on at FIFA and I was really only concerned with them putting on a good World Cup. It wasn’t until the announcements were made for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup that I noticed that something wasn’t quite right at FIFA HQ. Each candidate city will have came up with a thorough plan on how to host the most watched sporting event of the year, but I couldn’t get my head around the fact that a place like Qatar would play host it in 2022. How could a nation with no real football history have the eyes of the world watching them, not to mention Qatar would, by some distance be the smallest country to ever host? There has also been the awkwardness of having to play the 2022 World Cup in November/December due to the heat, which would be impossible to play in during the summer months. It affects every league in the world having a winter World Cup work alongside a domestic season, yet FIFA chose Qatar.

I was intrigued as in the days following the decision the British press were all over the story. England were one of the potential candidates to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments so there was that sense of bitterness from the television presenters in England as accusations of corruption began to filter in the media.

In the years since that decision, it has been the most testing period for FIFA and their colleagues around the world. Allegations into money laundering and other criminal activities have destroyed the organisation that was once trusted. If you ask a football fan now, he or she will almost certainly find the negatives in an employee at FIFA. It’s a shame that we are no longer able to trust those who run our game as even the man in charge; Sepp Blatter has been given an eight year ban from football.

I think what really plays on football fans thoughts is how the future of the game will be affected. FIFA ultimately control everything in football and talk of boycotts from World Cups and UEFA tournaments scares supporters. We all want to watch the World Cup without any issue and hope that our nation makes it. As a Scotsman it would be frustrating for my team to finally make a World Cup and for it to be played in Qatar when nobody actually wants to be there.

Now that the FBI are involved it is a certainty that more people will be brought to justice, but FIFA needs to recover from this damaging period fast. The modern day football fan should be aware of what’s gone on at FIFA and it is important to broadcast, but it there is only so much a fan can do. Ultimately FIFA are the only ones that can save themselves, therefore should go back to basics when it comes to running that corporation and working with each nation can surely be a rebuilding point.

Matt Findlay