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Liam's Friday/Saturday Thoughts: FIFA & Corruption

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When questioned about what I would be writing about this week I panicked as in truth I had 100% forgotten that Chris Manning had entrusted me with a weekly column. So whilst eating my morning toast and straightening my tie in my soul-destroying morning routine. I quickly scanned the room for inspiration and when my eyes set on the television, I blurted out the topic we will discuss here, FIFA.

Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images

Not much Bolton Wanderers in this piece, I'll confess - but the more I read into the weeks events at FIFA HQ, the more the location began take the mental visual image of some sort of underground villains cave in a 1960's James Bond film with the snake-like Sepp Blatter sat at the head of table with a demonic map of the world draped behind him.

Once I had snapped out of the daydream of picture tuxedo-dressed FA Chairman Greg Dyke strapped to a table as a laser-beam slowly approaches his crotch, I had to decide on an angle. There are so many ways to analyse this and by the end after some deliberation I was left with the winner, should England and the Home Nations boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia?

The global-pontifical implications of such an act are staggering so this is no easy question and it would be foolish to think that in this case football and politics can remain separate.

President of Russia, Vladimir Putin has already accused the USA of trying to threaten Russia's chances of hosting the tournament and the newly-re-elected Joseph S. Blatter has commented on the USA's relationship with Jordan as the reason for the actions to support the challenger Prince Ali-Bin Hassim of Jordan.

FIFA also were tackling the issues in the Middle-East directly on Friday as Israel were threatened with suspension over their treatment of Palestine, who have been recognised as a nation by FIFA since the 1990's.

So with FIFA's real influence on the global political can England realistically leave FIFA or boycott competition?
On their own, probably not, or at least they won't be taken seriously, like a child leaving a kickabout because his team isn't winning. Blatter is always keen to push the fact the English FA feel they are superior to others and should get preferential treatment ahead of FIFA's other 208 members. There is a little truth in this at least, the FA and UK media are always quick to point  to the bail-out in 1950 where the FA's cash injection essentially saved FIFA from bankruptcy.

Nowadays, the FA's influence is FIFA is limited as the sheer size and the equal voting system mean the FA's huge comparative financial power is diluted as footballing powerhouses such as future World Cup hosts Qatar have the same democratic power. It would be silly really to withdraw individually.

Together we are stronger and the situation becomes very different if you start to consider who exactly is also in dispute with FIFA.

It is widely reported that aside from Russia and Spain, all UEFA countries along with the  USA, Canada Australia notable others voted for Blatter's opponent Prince Ali, all citing the need for change. Enough pressure from these powerful Western countries should begin to have an influence, as for an alternative tournament, I wouldn't rule it out but I feel this may be unlikely.

Some real intense lobbying is required to get real change within FIFA, the structure is the ultimate democracy with each vote being weighted equally and the presidential vote just shows how outweighed the rebels are within the benches at FIFA HQ in Zurich.

Sepp Blatter is a resilient man and is likely to stand tall against allegations and heat generated from Western investigations and media outlets. He has huge support, particulary in Africa where his huge investment in grassroots development and delivering the 2010 FIFA World Cup to Africa.

Many within his ranks have been identified as people of interest in the FBI Investigation into Money Laundering and Corruption and Blatter, at the time of writing at least, remains, Blatter is a born survivor and it will take extreme action to change that.