Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sepp Blatter Is a Dope

Sepp Blatter, president/emporer of Fifa, really shouldn't speak in public much at all. Or not without a prepared statement.

He sticks his foot in his mouth far too often. He must have no concept of embarrassment, and his flunkies must be too afraid of him to suggest he tone it down a bit. OK, a lot.

Two Sepp stories today. Both of the same sort, though. Ill-considered statements. Actually, probably not thought out at all. That is how Sepp rolls.

In the first, he invokes sweeping stereotypes of "Latin" vs. "Anglo-Saxon" nations ... and how many years do you have to be president of the most important multinational body this side of the United Nations to understand you really shouldn't be slinging around ethnic generalizations?

In the second, he suggests criticism of the 2010 World Cup is essentially about old colonial powers looking down their noses at Africa.

And yeah, Sepp, great way to build up good feelings between European fans and South Africans by playing the "colonialism" card. The Nobel Peace Prize can't be far off.

The Latin vs. Anglo-Saxon thing is about John Terry. While in Vancouver, where the International Olympic Committee is meeting ahead of the Vancouver Games, Sepp said Terry's apparently infidelities would "be applauded" in certain Latin countries, and that the condemnation of him was about "a special approach in the Anglo-Saxon countries."

Oh, those prudish Brits. All in a lather about their national team captain dallying with the former girlfriend of a Chelsea and Three Lions teammate. If this had been the French team or the Italian team, the lads and the nation would have laughed it off. Sure.

And the colonialism thing (which is also mentioned in the Times of London story, linked first, above) ... Europe knows about colonialism. So does Africa. Do have the president of Fifa bring it up adds nothing to the discussion but, in fact, inflames it. Grand.

We could mention that Germany had a very brief and very limited history as a colonial power, in Africa. But why let facts get in the way of Sepp when he's on a roll.

And that he adds a ridiculous statement about Europe taking raw materials out of its African colonies ... and now coming down and "taking" its best soccer players, as well. As if all those guys in Europe would rather stay home and play for peanuts rather than go to the Premiership or the Bundesliga and make millions of dollars.

A few other Sepp musings, as posted by the Times of London:

March 2008 -- On women’s football: "There are gay footballers but they don't declare it because they think it will not be accepted in these macho organizations. Look at women's football: homosexuality is more popular."

April 2004 -- On women’s football: "Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts."

July 2006 -– On China inventing football: "We have to say thanks to the British associations -- especially England -- to have organized the game of association football. But you cannot deny the history that in China there is a recollection and evidence they played the game a thousand years ago."

This guy is a gaffe waiting to happen. I'm thinking world soccer would be better off with someone else in charge.
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