Bribery and corruption - like beauty and so many other lofty moral issues and ideals - are always in the eye of the beholder. I recall in 1980 worki...
Fifa needs to be about football, plain and simple. It is the only organisation in the world with the power to organise global mega-tournaments and use the proceeds to support football stakeholders that matter the most - players, coaches, referees, volunteers. In order to do that it needs to be re-built.
Football plays a huge role in our society, linking communities across the world in a shared passion for positive sporting values. The game has the potential to reach out to marginalised communities, improve health and wellbeing and bridge the gap between generations.
Nothing creates a desire for empowerment, success or achievement than the experience of it and the more football gives African women and girls that opportunity, the more it can help to bring about positive change in a society where women have been discriminated against for many years.
It was a big surprise to most of the footballing world when Russia and Qatar were chosen to host the World Cup in 2018 and 2022 respectively...
At the heart of Fifa is a lesson about tackling corruption that goes far deeper. Corruption at Fifa was not a surprise. For years it lined the pockets of those on the inside and was met with little more than a reluctant sigh. The world shied away from taking on the problem, until some brave British journalists and American lawyers showed that things really could change. The same is true of corruption the world over... World leaders simply cannot dodge this issue any longer. We have to show some of the same courage that exposed Fifa and break the taboo on talking about corruption. I will start tomorrow at the G7 in Germany and I will put corruption at the heart of my agenda at the United Nations in September and the G20 in Turkey, culminating with a major anti-corruption Summit in London next year.
I don't often get the chance to say this, so I'll seize the opportunity when it presents itself: I am proud to call myself a journalist. Why this week of all weeks? Because if it hadn't been for journalists - and one journalist in particular, of whom more later - the vast, stinking edifice that is Fifa would still be intact...
The cliche of football being the beautiful game is true, but tragically many of the people who run it have an ugly obsession with cash and power. The end of Blatter's era gives us a precious opportunity to change this and bring the game back to the favelas, slums and homes of people who love the game around the world. We, the people, can't afford not to take it.
If there was a quote of the week competition, Chris Bryant, the shadow culture secretary, would have won it last week with his question "Is it not a b...
There appear to be smoking guns aplenty as far as corruption and malpractice within FIFA are concerned, but there are also lots of senior administrators within English football on some very high horses at the moment.
It is a catastrophic state of affairs when the conduct of the politicians of football has detracted from the beautiful game. World football is in desperate need of individuals such as Gill, Figo, Prince Ali, and Platini to take the reigns of the organisation and guide it to a culture of fairness, transparency and ethical practice. It is imperative for the sake of the sport and the principles the governing body transfer to impressionable youths that these changes are brought about in a timely manner. Cultural change of an organisation is a monumental task, but with the departure of Sepp Blatter I believe the process can now get underway.
So what next? The immediate reaction from the media, after the palpable shock, was undeniably celebratory, as if we were all Munchkins, freed from the yolk of the Wicked Witch of the West, who had finally done the right thing and dropped a house on her own head.
In the wake of this media frenzy, there is a unique opportunity to hold Fifa to account not only for their corruption, but also for the lives their greed has cost. Blatter can no longer claim ignorance of the endemic corruption within his organisation and he must be held to a standard that does demand he "watch everyone all the time".
So, Sepp Blatter wins again. Despite all the scandal (forget the past few days, the past 17 years should've been enough), Blatter has been once more crowned king at the head of FIFA. Predictable, if still hugely depressing - this is, after all, the man who suggested female footballers wear tighter shorts, who's shrugged off stories of match-fixing, who confidently once declared, "there is no racism in football".
That's right, on the eve of England's doomed bid to host World Cup 2018 the bid director took time out to lambast the BBC for investigating FIFA corruption. Five years later with FIFA headquarters raided by police and arrests made the smell of the hypocrisy of English football adopting the role of the game's moral guardian should border on the overpowering. But almost all of this context is lost in the soft target discourse of Blatter-bashing.
Now, you might think that the protection of my teeth would be a good reason to stop drinking drinks like Coke, but since the state of my teeth mean they're probably a lost cause anyway, let me tell you why football is the actual reason... Well, not football itself, but the worldwide governing body of the game, FIFA.