SeppWorld

If you happen to be one of those people who watches carefully for signs that the apocalypse is drawing near, a big budget commercial release movie on the subject of what a spectacular gift Sepp Blatter has been to mankind surely has you as giddy as a schoolgirl.

I give you: United Passions, due for general release in about a week.

Warning: do not watch this trailer on a full stomach.

It's a movie about FIFA, but soccer serves as merely the background for the real action and drama, which is the story of how the vision and financial genius of one Sepp Blatter saved football from history's dustbin and made the World Cup the greatest sporting event in the world.

If you're wondering who in God's name would finance a ridiculous monstrosity like this, well, wonder no more: FIFA itself (J. Blatter, Prop.) covered the entire $27 million production cost, including the salaries of the A list stars:  Gerard Depardieu as Jules Rimet, Sam Neillas Joao Havelange and Tim Roth as Sepp Blatter.

Someone at imdb has a wonderfully dry sense of humor, describing the film as being about

"A group of wholly honest and ethical men who had a dream and, to achieve that dream, established the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Driven by their determination to lead football into a brighter, bigger future, the trustworthy and wholly honest Sepp Blatter, Jules Rimet, and Joao Havelange overcame their doubts and fought obstacles and scandals to make FIFA and the World Cup a reality."

Some people have pointed out that while poor children the world over play football in the streets using bundles of rags for a ball, spending $27 million - roughly the same amount as FIFA spends on it's entire global "GOAL" development program - on a vanity movie about Sepp Blatter is nothing short of wholly obscene.

But as previously noted, Blatter's main personal goal - aside from being President of FIFA forever, and you'll note that unlike in 2011 he is not promising that this will be his last term in office - is winning the Nobel Prize, and this movie, portraying him as, basically, world football's answer to Nelson Mandela, is just another brick in the wall.

Surprisingly, they forgot a few characters. For example, I think Jamie Foxx as Jack Warner, the crusading pioneer of sleaze and theft, would have added real depth to the production.

And surely having Jeff Bridges as Andrew Jennings, chasing Blatter around the streets asking where all the money went would add a touch of riveting realism, particularly when Sepp's goons bum rush him out of a press conference as he protests "Careful man, there's a beverage here".

Toss in Sean Penn in a supporting role as Mohammad bin Hammam - "OK, who wants a bag of cash?"-  and I smell Oscars all around.

The movie project dovetails nicely with the announcement that construction on the eagerly anticipated FIFA World Football Museum has finally begun.

The museum, located in Zurich (of course) which "will embody all facets of the football world", is due to open in early 2016. '"The interactive, multimedia 'World of Experiences' will demonstrate how football touches people’s lives and the world every day, while FIFA’s extraordinary history and the unique experience that is the FIFA World Cup™ are also major areas of the exhibition concept.

I wonder how many enormous photos of Sepp Blatter they can stuff into one building.

 

In other SeppNews, The Founder and Patron Saint of World Football had an up-and-down day on Tuesday.

First he met with the CONCACAF Congress, where he repeated his promise to pass out "hugeassed piles of lovely money" - that may not be a direct quote, but close enough - after the World Cup to a stomping, cheering room full of people who want beach houses.

He told the delirious attendees that his desire to be FIFA president "burns stronger than ever". Sort of like a case of the clap.

Then he met in a presumably much smaller room with the 11 members of the Oceania Confederation, meeting tumultuous approval with his dual promise of "truly gargantuan truckloads of cash" (again, possibly an error in translation) and a dedicated World Cup spot - instead of the current 1/2 - in the future for whichever team wants to get their brains beat out by actual soccer teams made up of professional players.

Unfortunately he was then scheduled to address the UEFA Congress, and since his limo has a massive police escort which whisks him about the city he couldn't claim he'd gotten a flat tire or been abducted by aliens, he was forced to show up.

In what Reuters described as a "tense and frosty"closed door session at the UEFA headquarters hotel the delegates reportedly, to put it bluntly, ripped him a new one.

They reminded him that back in 2011 he told them that he would not run again in 2015, clearing the way for Michel Platini. Blatter told them that he "changed his mind", adding that "people are allowed to do that".

Various speakers, including Dutch FA President Michael van Praag, pointed out how ludicrous it is for the man under whom so much corruption and ugly publicity had been generated to ask for yet another term in office.

Former UEFA president Lennart Johansson, who lost a FIFA presidential election to Blatter in 1998 said that it's time for him to go, adding that while he has "done some good things for football...16 years is enough."

Apparently none of them have seen the movie.