FIFA: What's Next?

One item that's been overlooked in all the Sepp-ousting and Gianni-electing in Zurich last week is that nobody has determined just how much the new President is going to be paid.

However, a couple of principles have been agreed to: first, that he will be paid about half of what Blatter formerly made, although nobody is able to say exactly much that was. (Which of course was one of the problems).

Secondly, the new General Secretary ("GenSec" in FIFA parlance) will be paid much more than the President will since, as per the new operating concepts, it is the GenSec who is the CEO of world soccer, assuming much of the power that President Blatter formerly enjoyed.

In fact, the reform committee recommendations use the term "CEO" but reportedly not much of anybody favors changing the title.

The next logical question then is who exactly the new GenSec will be, and there's no ready answer for that one either, beyond Infantino's pre-election pledge that he will not name a European, which will be another break from tradition: FIFA has had ten GenSecs in its history and all have been Europeans.

In the runup to the vote, Infantino was reported to have hinted that he'd name an African, although on further investigation his actual quote was "Why not an African?" which isn't exactly a pledge.

Nonetheless, the emerging early favorite is Hicham El Amrani of Morocco, the 36 year-old GenSec of the CAF. Educated in Paris, he received the "Young Leader of the Year" award in 2015 from the 'Leaders in Sports' organization, and is described by an independent Swiss sports consultancy as "very, very capable".

The feeling is that Infantino will take his time on this.

In the Fun With Geography Dept, Infantino and Blatter were born on the same Swiss mountain; their birthplaces are less than six miles apart.

Some wags are suggesting that FIFA has a secret lab in the Alps where they are breeding and nurturing future FIFA presidents, but clearly that's a joke.


Just so you won't be concerned about his welfare, be advised that former Blatter is being allowed to keep his official FIFA Mercedes until all appeals have been exhausted.

FIFA will also pay for First Class airfare whenever he flies, although of course currently he doesn't go anywhere except Russia out of fear that the US DoJ will have him tossed into a jail cell.

He also gets to stay in his Official Residence but going forward he'll be asked to pay market-rate rent on the place.

And although FIFA continued to pay him his estimated $6 million a year salarywhile he was suspended (the Compensation Committee did decide to stop paying him his ludicrous "bonuses") - that ended as of February 26 since he was officially replaced as President.

He is still, however, entitled to the same deal that all FIFA bigwigs are contractually granted regarding legal fees, namely that FIFA covers all expenses related to any legalactions resulting from official actions.

In other words, all those expensive lawyers Sepp sends around by the busload are still being paid for by world soccer while kids in third world countries kick balled up rags.

However, now that he has "retired" (albeit involuntarily) he will begin to receive his FIFA Presidential pension, details of which are, of course, rather sketchy.

Bottom line, Sepp won't need to be looking for the Meals on Wheels van to show up with soup anytime soon.

While Blatter may be more or less content with the status quo for now, Michel Platini is decidedly in a hurry. He has asked the CAS to expedite his hearing so that, should they agree that he has been woefully maltreated, he can resume his office in time to preside over the UEFA Cup finals.

On Sunday, less than 48 hours after replacing Blatter, Gianni Infantino presided over the opening of the new FIFA museum in Zurich.

Long a pet project of Seppy's, who pumped an ungodly $140 million into the thing - note that currently FIFA's income projections are a disastrous $500 million behind and growing - he was eagerly awaiting the opportunity to personally cut the ribbon on his latest gargantuan effort at self aggrandizement.

Cruelly - which is to say comically - FIFA delayed the scheduled opening until after the election, so that no last minute reprieve could propel him onto that stage.

Even worse, due to his ongoing suspension, Blatter was banned from even sitting in the audience. Reportedly there was a lot of last minute exhibit shuffling, reducing Blatter's presence to a few photos of him handing out trophies and the like.

Not exactly what he had in mind.

We can always rely on Diego Maradona to provide rational, intelligent commentary, and the FIFA election is no exception.

After telling reporters that "Having so much evidence against (Blatter and Platini) and having seen how they were robbing for so many years, they should have given both life imprisonment" (although I'm not positive that FIFA's Ethics Committe actually owns a prison), he went on to call new Infantino

"an absolute traitor because he kept working as if nothing was happening while his boss (Michel Platini) was between a rock and a hard place, or almost behind bars"

Thanks for the input, Diego.