Sepp Blatter has had a pretty… well… questionable career as the head of FIFA to say the least. Blatter has certainly annoyed people from all over Europe, but he seems to have a certain bias against England. England fans have fought an uphill battle against Blatter for years to have ‘Goal-Line Technology’ implemented after having so many choices go against English teams. It’s not just Goal-Line Technology that has been a sticking point, UEFA and FIFA have a shady history of choosing controversial referees and overruling controversial calls made by their officials (Chelsea vs Barcelona / Liverpool vs AC Milan / Manchester United vs Barcelona / Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich) are a few matches that spring to mind.
More recently Blatter has been rocked by racism controversies (Euro 2012 so far has been plagued by racism claims), highly controversial results of World Cup hosting bids (England over Qatar..?) calls to have the ‘Penalty Shootout’ abolished in cup finals (After Chelsea, an English team, beat Bayern Munich, a German team, in a shootout in the Champion’s League Final?), and yesterday… making a solid call for the ‘Necessity’ of Goal-Line Technology… right after a decision of the sort actually GOES England’s way!
If I were to pinpoint a time when relations between the English FA and FIFA hit an all-time low it would probably be the winter of 2010 when the BBC aired a highly controversial Panorama Expose on the inner workings of Blatter’s organization. Panorama is known for pursuing some controversial subjects relentlessly, but this time they chose to air this expose just before the World Cup hosts for 2018 were to be decided. England was in the driving seat until this was aired, then everything went pear-shaped. In true English fashion the BBC became the scapegoat for England’s bid to host their national game crashing in flames at the finish line. But really… think about it, hadn’t FIFA just proven the point the BBC was trying to make? Was a fundamental change needed in the way international football is managed? Should there be a major corruption probe into the higher-ups of Blatter’s crew? Are the events that plague the Italian leagues just the tip of the iceberg? The timing of the expose was no coincidence and neither was England’s hosting bid evaporating before everyone’s eyes. Blatter’s cage had been rattled by the BBC and he wanted revenge; he had been whittled down by the constant complaints from England’s FA and the English media, especially about the conditions surrounding England’s exit from South Africa 2010.
The tension between the FA and FIFA simmered as Europe prepared for Euro 2012, which was to be controversially held in Eastern Europe, which thanks to ANOTHER BBC Panorama Expose was shown to have deep-seated racism problems. Just before the tournament kicked off Blatter was involved in even more controversy. Blatter was present at the Champion’s League Final which saw the English underdogs Chelsea defeat Bayern Munich during a penalty shootout despite Bayern dominating the majority of the game. Immediately after the game Blatter publicly stated he wanted penalty shootouts abolished in international competitions as a means of deciding the outcome of a game, right after an English team finally beats a German team at their own game – in their own stadium. Keep in mind that it was not only Chelsea celebrating winning the Champion’s League in such a satisfyingly spectacular fashion, 99% of English clubs (The 1% being Tottenham Hotspur) could not help but applaud Chelsea’s efforts, noting the significance of a German team losing on penalties. Blatter managed to rain on Chelsea’s parade by essentially saying he wanted the German team Bayern Munich to win, as the head of FIFA – an INTERNATIONAL body… that’s a bold statement to make.
Relations between FIFA and England only got worse as Euro 2012 got going, England had been unable to get a frankly deserved ban overturned for Wayne Rooney and England seemed to struggle in the early stages of the tournament as a result. England finally sprung to life in their second match against Sweden who by all means should have put the diminished England team down. Then yesterday another bombshell hit the battlefield between FIFA and England; Ukraine were denied a goal that clearly crossed the line but had been cleared by John Terry. Blatter was absolutely furious that Ukraine might have been robbed of a goal that might have changed the pace of the game and again publicly backed the team who opposed England by deeming Goal-Line Technology was “now a necessity”.
NOW IT IS A NECESSITY!?
Go back in time two years to South Africa 2010, to the infamous quarter-final between England and Germany. England are getting an absolute battering from the Germans who rightly deserve to be 2-0 ahead. Then… out of nowhere England pull a goal back to make it 2-1 and barely a minute later Frank Lampard’s epic volley clearly crosses the German goal line but is ruled out because it apparently did not. Instant-Replays all told a different story and even the German pundits were amazed that Lampard’s goal had not stood. England went into the 2nd half still trailing 2-1 but by this point all the fight had sagged out of the team and Germany proceeded to crush them 4-1. England were going home because they had a crucial decision go against them. In the wake of this, Blatter and FIFA stood their ground and said they had no intentions of introducing technology to stop this happening to another team again. Yesterday… the same thing happens but this time it is in the England goal and the Ukraine goal does not stand. Blatter is incandescent with rage and vows the introduction of technology in the near future.
If you’re an England fan you can probably see a trend emerging here; ‘Unfair’ is not such until it is used and benefits England, the ones that have caused you considerable hassle.
England are in the running to host the 2018 World Cup? That’s fine…?
English media expose how blatantly corrupt our organization is!? DISREGARD THEIR BID NOW! MAN THE HARPOONS! GIVE THE HOSTING RIGHTS TO AN OBSCURE NATION NOBODY HAS EVEN HEARD OF TO SPITE THEM!
England constantly losing at penalties at club and international level? That’s fine!
Chelsea defeat Bayern Munich at penalties and as a result win the highest honor in European Football? CHANGE THE RULES NOW!
England beaten by being denied a goal that by all means should have stood? That’s fine!
Ukraine have a goal denied against England under the same circumstances? CHANGE THE RULES NOW! TECHNOLOGY IS SUDDENLY ESSENTIAL! THIS CANNOT HAPPEN AGAIN!
This could all be a massive coincidence but the timing of the incidents and Blatter’s knee-jerk reactions are just too close to be such. FIFA has certainly shown bias against England not only at the international level but at club level as well ever since the BBC rightfully exposed the dark underbelly of the beast. FIFA needs a fundamental change and needs to have actual former-players and referees making these major decisions, not corrupt bureaucrats out for revenge when their dirty laundry is thrown around.