FIFA: Stop the presses

….yeah, how the hell IS Edson Buddle supposed to get a work permit?

Okay, the only Becks who matters has spoken out. How’s this for a headline – “Franz Beckenbauer attacks Fifa over World Cup voting process.” Finally, we’ll get some action. He played in the United States. He’s in our Soccer Hall of Fame. Give it to them, Kaiser!

Yeah! Bring it, Franz! Don’t stop now! Tell us what really happened!

Yeah! That’s…wait.

So, the problem was that the process wasn’t secret enough. There’s too much transparency in FIFA. If only England didn’t realize how few votes they managed to buy – I mean, earn – they would have been fine with the result.

That makes sense. Say, can anyone tell me why my desk has a big forehead-shaped dent in it?

Australia? God damn it. The NASL made you, Becky. You were nothing without the Cosmos.

A day later, Chuck Blazer talked to Jack Bell of the New York Times. God, Blazer will talk to ANYONE, won’t he?

Okay. I’ll look at it from the point of view of other members of the FIFA Executive Committee. The ones that weren’t caught on tape selling their votes.

If I’m an honest FIFA voter, I’m pissed off that votes are being sold. And eight out of the twenty-two represented countries who were bidding. But the real FIFA Executive Committee – the good ones – shot the messenger.

Hell, they didn’t even shoot the messenger. The English press is not the English FA. Apparently the FIFA Executive Committee has a serious problem with the free press. I’m a little surprised someone working for the New York Times didn’t ask Blazer to elaborate.

Okay, I didn’t spend a lot of time following up with Blazer, either, mainly because I’m not the god-damned New York Times. And in the comments of the article, Bell took some unfair criticism from people who thought he should have asked “tougher” questions.

Look, “Did you take a bribe?” isn’t a tough question. It’s a rude question, but it’s not difficult to answer. Any FIFA member with a pulse, including Adamu and Temarii, are going to say “no.” Neither is “Who did you vote for?” If you don’t believe him when he says “Russia and the US,” again, then what’s the point of asking? Do you think you’ll get him to confess on the stand, Perry Mason?

(I wish I could remember the television critic who blasted Sam Donaldson back in the day for asking a “hard” question to the first President Bush about whether he thought Clarence Thomas was qualified. What was Bush going to say? “No, Sam, I believe Anita Hill now.” Same deal here. It’s probably first day of J-school stuff, but it seems a lot of famous journalists, then and now, don’t understand the difference between a tough question and a good question.)

So no, Bell’s job wasn’t to bring out the thumbscrews, I get that. But it was Blazer, not Bell, who brought up the subject of the yellow press. You’d have thought Bell would have at least ventured an opinion on his own profession. But, he had other questions he needed to get to.

That one, Bell followed up on when Blazer gave a dissatisfactory answer. (Probably because Blazer has no idea – is there anyone farther removed from the day-to-day workings of MLS, the USSF, and the lower division killing floor than Chuck Blazer? It’s not like he’s working the phones trying to make a season ticket sales quota.)

What FIFA should do is make the bid process an actual bid process – sell the World Cup to the highest bidder in a public auction. It would at least get rid of the hypocrisy.

Oh, and one way to keep the press from saying bad things about you is to stop doing bad things. Just a thought.