Friday, January 28, 2011

Bin Hamman Says What We're All Thinking

The Asian Football Confederation President Mohammed Bin Hamman has blamed FIFA President Sepp Blatter's age as the reason for the recent accusations of bribery towards Qatar's winning 2022 bid. Blatter has been in office for a whopping 35 years, and he is up for re-election in June. As we speak, no one is running against him. Bin Hamman has hinted at the possibility of running against the dated and aged Blatter, but would rather more vibrant and charismatic leaders compete for the post as he is 61.What's more perplexing about the article is that Bin Hamman is speaking publicly against the captain of the organization that granted a nation under his eye the highest honor of holding a World Cup. Qatar's bid committee must be feeling Hamman should have kept his thoughts inside.
Hamman also touched on the premature discussions about FIFA's plans to move the 2022 World Cup to January, allegations of FIFA executives Amos Adamu (Nigeria) and Reynald Temarii (Tahiti) of taking bribes and trading votes, and the implementation of goal-line technology for the 2014 World Cup.Who should run against Blatter for the post in June? Is Mr. Hamman crazy or brave to be bringing discussion of Blatter's age to the public?

Please accept this as an invitation to respond, and to do so passionately.

Finally, I came across this sentence on ESPNsoccernet's World Cup 2022 page oozing with suspicion and anticipation.THE QUALIFICATION PROCESS FOR THE 2022 WORLD CUP HAS NOT YET BEEN ANNOUNCED.

(Clockwise from bottom right: the man I feel would make a good replacement as FIFA president, Amos Adamu, Sepp Blatter, and Reynald Temarii, Middle: Mohammed Bin Hamman)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter World Cup Adds Salt To The Wound

Sepp Blatter has come out and explained the rationale behind the push to host the 2022 World Cup in the months of January and February. Players would be protected as the conditions would be far more playable than in the months of June and July—when the tournament is traditionally held.
The 2011 Asian Cup is being played out this month, and the conditions have been more than desirable for playing the beautiful game. However, the World Cup involves far more parties than the regional AFC tournament.
Two points from CNN World Sport's media reaction stand out to me:

- Mr. Rynecki's comments point to the biggest issue—scheduling. He also is quite right in asserting FIFA acting like an owner giving way too many treats to his/her dog.
- 79% of World Sport readers believe FIFA made the wrong call in electing Qatar as hosts

I understand Mr. Ozalp's comment all too well. I enjoy the sport way too much to boycott watching FIFA tournaments, but for now, the conversation has plenty of maturing and consideration still to come.

Friday, January 14, 2011

December 2, 2010

FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the committee announced on December 2, 2010 the winning bids for World Cups 2018 and 2022. As the anxious bidding committees sat together in FIFA's Zurich convention center like film crews at the Oscars, the results were, to put it bluntly, odd and unexpected. David Beckham and all of England collectively whined, Bill Clinton, Drew Carey and the hodgepodge American bid committee were all left in obligatory applause while the Russians and the Qataris burst with delight. The Russian victory was only a mild surprise—they have top-notch stadium, financial security (Roman Abramovich, that's all you need to say), and Andrei Arshavin. Qatar? Well, they have oil, nice hotels, and camel. Their footballing tradition is in its fetal stage, and to FIFA, it was a vote nodding their heads at promise and potential rather than proven ability and tradition.