Thursday, 2 June 2011

Xenophobia, Ignorance or Selective Morality?

Sepp Blatter has, unsurprisingly, been granted his fourth term as President of the biggest sports governing body on Earth after campaigning, standing, and inevitably winning, alone.
His rivals, whose histories were briefly outlined in the increasingly popular and unashamedly biased Win Finger Blog, were supposed to be Grant Wahl and Mohammed Bin Hammam. Both of his potential adversaries were unable to stand when it came time for the elections due to a series of inarguably suspicious events.
I’m not here to discuss the ins and outs of FIFA’s much-maligned hierarchy, it doesn’t take a biased outlet to help you reach your own conclusions on that, but I am here to show an example of apparently respectable media’s xenophobia, ignorance or selective morality. 

Sir Stanley F. Rous
This example comes in the form of the repeated mentioning across the British media of Sir Stanley Ford Rous, who became FIFA President in 1961. He’s mentioned often, especially at times such as these, in the context of “the good old days,” the implication being that things were good when an Englishman was around. It’s fair to say that in some respects, BBC’s John Motson was right; things went rapidly downhill in terms of corruption in FIFA when Joao Havelange took over in 1974, but did it go downhill in every way?
It’s easy for us to sit in our incredibly wealthy country with our rich (albeit checkered) footballing history and say, “Our Stan wasn’t corrupt, not a single law was broken under him!” but that would be overlooking the incredibly controversial moral code employed by Rous.
Rous’ morals and ethics are infamous and nobody has ever questioned the validity of arguments made against them. While he may not have been a criminal by law, he was a criminal by nature. He championed South Africa while the rest of the world boycotted and was a fervent supporter of an organization that saw the principles of Apartheid, the segregation of Blacks and Whites in South Africa enforced by law, brought to football. Combine this with his successor Havenlange’s distain for this kind of flagrant racism, and it shows this apparently negative change to FIFA’s Presidency in a new light.
As always, I’ll try not to push my opinions into this blog too much; but personally, I would rather a financially corrupt FIFA than a racist one. Perhaps John Motson and others feel differently, and that’s fair, but it’s remiss of them to routinely ignore Sir Stanley’s immoral side.
Either they’re choosing to ignore these undisputed facts about English hero Stanley Rous, or they’re unaware of them. Either is inexcusable and even dangerous when presenting your opinion as fact in the way the BBC does so frequently.


  1. Well spoken good sir. I know little about the FIFA scandal personally but today I learned more about it and for that I thank you because knowing is half the battle! Keep up the excellent work because I'm going to follow this blog and I'd love to see more posts of this caliber.

  2. Awesome looking blog, great use of links.
    Do you know how to SEO?

  3. I'd love to say yes, but unfortunately I've not even heard it! Always eager to learn though, I'll get googling unless you have a moment to explain?

    Thanks for the interest!

  4. I can't stand FIFA or any soccer league.

  5. @LegendaryFun - I'll keep my opinions on it to myself haha, I think the conclusions are obvious though.

    @Joe Clark - Don't worry, last football/soccer blog for a while I imagine!

  6. i totally agree with you. its all about the fifa, man.

  7. xenophobia is such a bad thing today. i mean they drink coffee everywhere over the whole world so why cant we be friends?

  8. i guess soccer is just a game that makes you feel bad so you start hating on other people...

  9. "whiel he may not have been a criminal by law, he was a criminal by nature," I like that.