Sepp Doubles Down, European Feds Planning Protest

In separate addresses yesterday, FIFA embarrassment Sepp Blatter launched his reelection campaign with a two pronged approach that was met with repeated standing ovations.

His first message was that anyone who agrees that Qatar bought the World Cup by handing out big piles of money is a racist. His second was that after FIFA gets done reaping $4.5 billion from Brazil 2014 he'll be handing everybody big piles of money.

In fairness to Qatar, it must be pointed out that at least when they buy people's support they do it with their own money.

Blatter spoke to the Congress of the African Confederation in the morning and to the parallel meeting of the Asian Confederation in the afternoon, delivering the same speech to wild enthusiasm both times. 

He told them that after the World Cup he will be giving everybody even more money than last time around when in addition to the standard $200,000 World Cup Bag O'Loot every one of them also got an additional $300,000 "special bonus", which Sepp handed to each of them personally.


And since no one is ever required to demonstrate that the cash is used for any legitimate footballing purpose, very little of it is. So the news that this time around there'll be even more was met with standing ovations from the assembled Presidents. And likely their wives.

Then, after making it clear that a vote for Sepp will be a vote for a much fatter personal  retirement account, he launched a truly despicable, dishonest and disgusting assault on the truth.

Never actually identifying what he was talking about - he didn't need to - he told the cheering delegates that the whole Qatar/bin Hammam bribery kerfuffle is actually an attack by a mysterious unnamed "they" who "want to destroy, not the game, but they want to destroy the institution, because our institution is too strong"

"They" are ""plotting to destroy" FIFA because of "discrimination and racism" and Sepp says the whole thing "really make me sad".

In response the CAF unanimously approved a magically appearing resolution expressing their "gratitude to FIFA president Mr Joseph S Blatter for his continuous involvement in the development of football in Africa and his personal commitment in the fight against racism" and condemning "the strategy of using African sport movements and its leaders as scapegoats by those who are trying, at all costs, to acquire a good conscience for themselves".

Whatever that means.

It was "they" this and "they" that and "they" something else. Fortunately, Sepp told them, "they" will not succeed in their "plot to destroy FIFA" because FIFA "is too strong" and if they all "stay together in unity" (ie. vote for Sepp Blatter) they will "prevail".

Blatter never addressed the actual charges, even indirectly. Never denied them, never called them lies or distortions or misunderstandings, which is probably just as well in a room full of people who had themselves accepted huge sums of money. 

No, it's not that the charges aren't true, just that repeating them or believing them makes you a racist.

As much as anything, Sepp is clearly drawing a line he has been tiptoeing around for several years now: Europe is the enemy of world football and he is the only one who can stand up to them and keep the money flowing their way.

The bottom line is that Blatter has already written off UEFA's votes. He knows he doesn't need them if he has the CAF, the AFC and 90% of CONCACAF.

So he can go ahead and demonize the UEFA federations all he wants.

In response, UEFA is organizing a little rain for Seppy's parade.

The way the script is written, Blatter will address the Congress, "ask" them for their "consent" to run for another term, sit quietly while a line of speakers lauds his stewardship and then the assembly is to rise as one in a show of lover and support, bringing down the heavens with cheers and applause.

The UEFA Presidents say they will not rise, not applaud, not move a muscle. roughly 25% of the room will not be cheering or standing or showering love on the Swiss Gasbag.

Sepp has chosen to play the game this way, and I believe in the end he - and the sycophants who are in this only for the payoff - will regret it.