England Football Association
It has frequently been observed that FIFA is corrupt. Despite all the periodic wringing of hands, no one has suggested any effective measures to remedy the situation. Indeed, the controlling bodies of football in member countries seem content to be associated with such a disreputable organisation.
It is widely accepted that the FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, and the Executive bodies over which he presides are largely unaccountable and that the processes whereby individual countries are selected to host each quadrennial World Cup are secretive, one might reasonable say, furtive; they can hardly be described as free, fair and open!
Now, the host countries selected for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments are being called into question, yet again! New evidence has emerged which seems to substantiate doubts about the propriety of the selection processes followed.
Whilst there is increasing confidence that the processes followed were unacceptable, there is no commensurate increase in confidence that the irregularities will be rectified in a generally acceptable way. Indeed, there are those who doubt that the present scandal will be resolved any more satisfactorily than have earlier complaints about FIFA’s operations. Given this situation, why does the England Football Association continue to be affiliated to FIFA and thereby affiliated to a shady organisation? The answer can only be financial.
It is not necessary to be affiliated with FIFA to play against other national football teams. FIFA might wish to restrict international matches to affiliated members, but that is not sustainable in international law where individual countries choose to play against non-affiliated teams.
As a sport, football is very important to many people, but the question is whether it is sufficiently important to tolerate standards of conduct which fall far short of acceptable levels?
After the 2014 World Cup Tournament has finished, the England FA should set an example and give notice that it is no longer willing to be associated with FIFA until it has been reformed and adopted open and honest selection procedures. In taking such action, the England FA should invite all other affiliates to adopt a similar position.
The time for cleaning up FIFA’s administration is long over due!