Home Global Game Rest of the World Morals vs. politics: Why Canada won’t stand against Blatter

Morals vs. politics: Why Canada won’t stand against Blatter


We know that the Canadian Soccer Association did not abstain from the vote as FIFA President Sepp Blatter was endorsed for another term Wednesday.

Blatter, running unopposed after his rival, Mohamed Bin Hammam, dropped off the ballot — and was later suspended — over bribery allegations, stood alone for re-election and was affirmed by 186 of the 203 voting members.

FIFA contains 208 associations, but not all have full voting rights.

Earlier in the day, a motion by the English FA to have the vote postponed received only 17 votes of support in a secret ballot. We know that England and Scotland both voted for the motion.

The English FA had been vocal in its call to delay the vote, after Bin Hammam and CONCACAF president Jack Warner were suspended Sunday, as FIFA felt there was enough evidence to pursue an investigation into allegations that they passed over bundles of money to Caribbean Football Union delegates in exchange for votes.

Warner, despite the suspension, made a vocal call to CONCACAF members to support Blatter, just days after promising that he would stop Blatter. Because Warner made a statement to CONCACAF members Tuesday, the region’s general secretary, Chuck Blazer, reported the shamed president for violating his suspension. In turn, the acting CONCACAF president, Lisle Austin — considered to be Warner ally — tried to fire Blazer yesterday, but learned he didn’t have the power to do so on his own.

(Yes, this is the confederation Canada calls home.)

But, despite all of the scandals at FIFA heaquarters in Zurich and at CONCACAF, it would have been difficult for the Canadian Soccer Association to add its voice to England’s calls for a delay. Because the ballot was held in secret, the CSA will never need to tell us if it was one of those 17 nations that called for the delay. But, we know that at no time did Canada add its voice to England’s in challenging the Blatter coronation.

Morally, it would be nice to think that the CSA could make a stand against FIFA. Politically, though, it would be very difficult.

Remember that Canada is getting the 2015 World Cup. We got the U-20 World Cup in 2007. We’re not the United States. We aren’t England. Quite the opposite — FIFA has awarded this country two major events. And, that’s the thing about politics — there’s no doubt the CSA understands that FIFA has been good to it. It’s not about morality, it’s about politics.

Yes, FIFA did warn the CSA to get its act together when the Alberta courts got involved in the ongoing leadership dispute with that province’s association. Canada was warned that, if the courts got involved, we could be suspended from FIFA.

But, if the CSA was to ever make a public stand against the FIFA status quo or Blatter, for sure it would be reminded by delegates about the plums it has received in the last decade.

When dad raises the allowance and let’s you borrow the car, it becomes awfully hard to tell the old man he’s being unfair when he asks you to do some chores on a Saturday. Canada got the allowance and the car. On Wednesday, we did the chores.

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