By Bill Archer on May 11, 2017 at 9:34 AM
  1. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
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    #1 Bill Archer, May 11, 2017
    Last edited: May 11, 2017

    FIFA Trying to Kick the Can Down the Road, While Giving Women a Kick in the Can

    By Bill Archer on May 11, 2017 at 9:34 AM
    After a five hour behind-closed-doors meeting which has been described - probably very accurately - as "tense", the soon-to-be-defenestrated FIFA Council labored mightily over the Palestine Football Association's complaint and decided:

    Not to decide.

    Our man Tokyo Sexwale, head of the commission which has taken two years and spent literally millions of dollars talking with all the parties and examining the facts told the Council "beats hell out of me, man". That may not be an exact quote.

    So the Council - at $300,000 per member times 37 members plus unlimited first class travel and accommodations worldwide, which adds up to, by my close calculations, one whole shitload of money - voted to not do anything for at least another six months and, in particular, not hold a vote in Congress tomorrow.

    Talk about earning the money.

    The only problem is that the PFA, led by convicted terrorist Jibril Rajoub, is not inclined to go along. FIFA has been stalling them for years on this very subject.

    In fact, today marks the two year anniversary of the first time Sepp Blatter met with all parties in Zurich and convinced Rajoub not to insist on a vote. But Blatter was nothing if not the King of schmoozing and, if that failed, pulling out FIFA's checkbook and asking "how much"?

    It remains to be seen whether Infantino holds those kinds of cards. The question of the PFA's territorial rights is currently on the preapproved, published, official Congress agenda and it can't simply be skipped. Rajoub will have to agree to take it down.

    Stay tuned.

    Meanwhile, in an outrageous development that has even the shameless satraps of FIFA running from media questioning, the Asian Football Confederation managed to dump the incomparable giant of women's world soccer, Australian Moya Dodd, from the FIFA Council.

    The mandated AFC women's representative will instead be someone named Mahfuza Akter Kiron, who is listed as the "Deputy Chair of the Women's Wing of the Bangladesh Football Federation".

    Be still my heart.

    Stupidly, FIFA immediately trotted Kiron out to meet with the media - "see, we've got, like, women and stuff" - whereupon a BBC reporter politely inquired whether she could name the winner of the last Women's World Cup.

    Her first answer, "Korea" created a deadly silence in the room. After a pause, and possibly seeing FIFA media people having heart attacks in the back of the room, she quickly corrected herself: "no, wait: Japan".

    Finally, third try, she managed to guess "the US" although there's some suggestion that an AFC aide may have prompted her.

    But then, Kiron's relationship with the media has always been somewhat problematic.

    The Bangladeshi press has been particularly harsh in their comments about the ineptitude of the national team - which, to be fair, is utterly dreadful - and she doesn't like it.

    Earlier this year for example, after an embarrassing thumping at the hands of lowly Bhutan which eliminated Bangladesh from all regional and World Cup qualifying until the 2022 cycle, The Dhaka Daily Star, under the headline "Humiliation in Bhutan" wrote that the result was:

    "...good news in the context that football fans in this part of the world will be spared of being witness to further humiliation ...."

    And then it gets ugly.

    [​IMG]

    (Note to MLS: one helluva spiffy stadium here)

    Kiron blames the media for - well, it's hard to say what exactly, but now the Bangladeshi media refuses to attend any press conference where Kiron is in attendance and she refuses to let the media talk to either players or coaches or even take their pictures without her permission, which she does not grant.

    Dodd, on the other hand, has long been the world's leading voice and strongest advocate for equal opportunity for women's soccer.

    A lawyer and former Australian team player, she led the fight to allow women from Muslim nations to wear head covering during FIFA sanctioned matches, she demanded that national federations not be allowed to skip having a women's program because "no women in our country want to play" and has been extremely vocal in her battle with Saudi Arabia and other countries which previously refused to allow women to even attend men's games.

    [​IMG]

    And among other things, she was one of only three ExCo members who, when they opened their goodie bags in Rio and discovered two $25,000 watches, immediately sent them back as violations of the Ethics rules. (To his credit, Sunil Gulati was one of the other two).

    The Asian Confederation managed to get rid of her once before by "reorganizing" their ExCo and eliminating the seat Dodd occupied. Now they've managed to keep her off FIFA's council by getting the other two candidates to drop out so that Kiron - "undistinguished" seems as kindly as I can put it when I really want to use words like "stooge" or "sock puppet" - can soak up the salary while looking entirely female.

    I've written about my almost limitless admiration for Dodd previously; unlike, say, Julie Foudy who campaigns for women in soccer by writing ponderous, unreadable, sophomoric feminist boilerplate for ESPNW, Dodd has been on the front lines, standing up to men from cultures where women are property, forcing FIFA to make changes, demanding what's right and taking some serious hits.

    Dodd is a true leader and in a world that made sense, she'd be President of FIFA today. Instead, she can't even get in the door in Zurich.
     
    Zamphyr, FLSoccerGran, rslfanboy and 7 others repped this.

Comments

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Bill Archer, May 11, 2017.

    1. The Franchise

      The Franchise Member+

      Nov 13, 2014
      Bakersfield, CA
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      Real Salt Lake
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      United States

      FIFA Trying to Kick the Can Down the Road, While Giving Women a Kick in the Can

      By Bill Archer on May 11, 2017 at 9:34 AM
      Well, FIFA desperately wishes to avoid anything that substantially resembles leadership, so the question is how Dodd got as much done as she has.
       
    2. winster

      winster Member

      Jul 7, 2008
      Club:
      Besiktas JK
      Country:
      United States

      FIFA Trying to Kick the Can Down the Road, While Giving Women a Kick in the Can

      By Bill Archer on May 11, 2017 at 9:34 AM
      The Bangladeshi article is really worth a read. Just skip to the coaches comments in the last 3 paragraphs. Among the gems:

      "I don't know if I should protect the players"

      "We had an opportunity to make it 2-2, if it was 2-2 I think we could have qualified" Did the coach not know for sure if Bangladesh could advance on away goals?

      "I think some [Bangladeshi] players wanted Bhutan to qualify and they didn't deserve to be in the team."

      "It was my fault. I selected these players.”
       
    3. blacksun

      blacksun Member+

      Mar 30, 2006
      Seoul, Korea
      Club:
      San Jose Earthquakes
      Country:
      United States

      FIFA Trying to Kick the Can Down the Road, While Giving Women a Kick in the Can

      By Bill Archer on May 11, 2017 at 9:34 AM
      Who was the third?
       
    4. Bill Archer

      Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

      Mar 19, 2002
      Washington, NC
      Club:
      Columbus Crew
      Country:
      United States

      FIFA Trying to Kick the Can Down the Road, While Giving Women a Kick in the Can

      By Bill Archer on May 11, 2017 at 9:34 AM
      Prince Ali of Jordan.
       

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