9 Oct 2015

When will Fifa finally hit the iceberg?

Some have made the analogy that watching Fifa over the last few months has been like being on the deck of the titanic.

The question is when will it actually hit the iceberg?

UEFA President Platini speaks with FIFA President Blatter and Valcke, Secretary General of the FIFA, at the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich

Here are the key dates in question:

Next Thurs – 15th Oct – Uefa holds an emergency executive committee meeting, where Michel Platini will come under pressure to prove that the 2m CHF payment he received from Sepp Blatter was legitimate.

The following Tuesday –  20th Oct – Fifa holds an emergency executive committee meeting, where they will discuss potentially postponing the presidential election.

And the following Monday – 26th Oct – is currently the deadline for presidential candidates to confirm bids.

But what happens on these days may be missing the point.


At any point the Swiss Attorney General may decide to proceed with charges against Blatter, Platini or indeed others. Blatter and Platini both maintain their innocence of course. Blatter today appealing his 90 day ban.

But what else will come out come mid-November, when court proceedings resume in the USA in the case against (among others) Jeffrey Webb, one of the senior Fifa executives arrested in dawn raids last May in Zurich.

And sometime early next year private corruption will become illegal in Switzerland.  The mind boggles that until now the act of bribery was not considered a crime in itself.

Which all adds up to one thing – the presidential election currently scheduled for Fri 26th Feb next year might not matter at all.

Because meaningful reform is the real issue here, not rearranging the deckchairs on a sinking ship. Fifa’s captain now hardly matters.


Many have called for a truly independent Fifa reform committee.

But even the outcome of that would point to an increasingly unavoidable conclusion – Fifa needs to be rebuilt from the bottom up.

And there are many who think the Swiss Attorney General should simply put Fifa into some form of executive administration. Bail the ship out now, before it ploughs headlong into the berg.

Fifa – essentially an NGO – has almost certainly broken it’s own statutes.

Imposing emergency measures now might just be the massive lifeboat world football so badly needs.