GERMANY WARNS THAT UEFA COULD QUIT FIFA IF BIDDING REPORT IS NOT PUBLISHED IN FULL is one truly, seriously misleading headline, ITV.
Same deal with GERMANY WARNS THAT UEFA MAY QUIT FIFA IF WORLD CUP REPORT NOT PUBLISHED, Guardian.
You too with GERMANY WARNS THAT UEFA MAY QUIT FIFA IF WORLD CUP BID REPORT IS NOT PUBLISHED IN FULL AND MADE PUBLIC, Telegraph.
And here's a cookie for getting the correct headline, ESPNFC Staff.
"Germany," in this context, is not the Deutscher Fussball-Bund, but the Deutsche Fussball Liga GmbH - the Bundesliga and Bundesliga.2, otherwise known as two to three levels above most of where our national team plays. (I kid.) Reinhard Rauball is president of the latter, not the former. And therefore, "Germany" is not threatening to leave FIFA.
So don't be a newblican like me, and get all excited about headlines. Those are designed to get gullible morons to click links. *sigh*
Is there cause for optimism? Well...Herr Rauball does not answer to Michel Platini or to Sepp Blatter. So he might be the best one to float a trial balloon here.
And Germany is the one federation that might be able to drag a significant number of others along, if not all of UEFA. They have the World Cup, after all. If FIFA tried to hold the next one without them, their legitimacy would be badly damaged. Germany's clubs are also rich enough and supported well enough to weather the absence of international soccer altogether, if need be.
The DFB is also strong enough, should it carry out Rauball's threat, to overrule the compromised Platini.
Regrettably, the BBC's Dan Roan makes some very salient points. Not that it's regrettable that Roan was insightful, it's just too bad for those of us who'd like to see FIFA overthrown:
And if Uefa is so upset with Blatter, why isn't it putting up a credible challenger? Why is Platini himself not standing?
In my view, Uefa will use Fifa's current meltdown, not to turn its back on football's world governing body, but to strengthen its power and influence, especially when it comes to the presidential election next year and negotiations over 2022 scheduling.
I disagree that Russia would be a stumbling block, thanks to larger foreign policy issues - dumping FIFA before the Putin World Cup would be a bonus. It might be a little harder to get Spain and Italy aboard, but it might also be possible to tempt those nations' clubs with the prospect of a vastly reduced international calendar.
Roan also brings up the other likely result of a European boycott, although he starts off on the wrong foot:
A European breakaway would simply be portrayed as a selfish move by the wealthiest region in the sport.
Rumours coming out of the United States that the FBI are keen to press ahead with their own reported investigation into senior Fifa officials, however, should concern him more.
So should the fact that Dubai-based airline Emirates recently ended its sponsorship deal with Fifa, with South Korean electronics giant Samsung expected to follow suit. The continuous loss of the sponsors that generate billions of pounds for Fifa, rather than the threats of former FA chairmen, are what would really rattle Blatter.
These are not disconnected. The FBI investigating FIFA would have longer-term effects than simply making sure a squadron of kleptocrats are forbidden from soil within the reach of US extradition. And a UEFA boycott would turn the trickle of sponsor abandonment into a flood. Buying into a diminished World Cup at the cost of FBI scrutiny would test the hardihood of any executive in the world.
England and the US, even together, could not force FIFA to change...but Germany theoretically could.
Which is why it was so disappointing to see "Germany" referenced, instead of "Bundesliga." Germany has hosted a World Cup recently enough not to be affected by World Cup bidding controversies. Worse, there may still somewhere be skeletons in the 2006 closet. Sepp Blatter certainly remembers.
"I'm glad I didn't have to make a casting vote but, well, that person suddenly got up and left. Maybe I was too good natured and naive."
When asked outright if he was suggesting the 2006 World Cup had been bought, Blatter said no but it was "just something that I noticed".
German football secretary-general Helmut Sandrock defended his organisation and, by extension, Dempsey, fixing the spotlight on Fifa itself.
Dempsey always insisted there was nothing nefarious in his abstention, citing "personal reasons" and "intolerable pressure" in his decision to cast no vote.
Sandrock is still the general secretary of the DFB. And while they are out of the World Cup hosting business for the foreseeable future, they have high hopes of hosting Euro 2024. The DFB's incentive to rock the boat is depressingly small.
FIFA is as vulnerable as it has ever been, at least in my lifetime. But that's a long way from vulnerable. The last thing we should be doing is depending on uncertain allies.