A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
Last week, FIFA learned there’s really only one rule in the 21st century: don’t piss off the Americans. The world’s #1 bully is about to meet The Expendables, and as the man said, “There will be blood.” At this point the situation is beyond complicated, so here’s the Twitter version.
It’s common knowledge that FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is one of the most corrupt organizations on the planet, rivalled only by the IOC and the Communist Party of China. And they’re arrogant about it. Their attitude has always been: “We’re FIFA. If you don’t like the way we do business, too bad. Go play badminton.” It’s a simple choice, so for decades the world has played futbol by FIFA’s rules, handed over those hefty brown envelopes and shut up about it. Even the Macho Man himself, Vladimir Putin, had to do some serious sucking up when Sepp Blatter and his boys came calling. In a nutshell, FIFA is to sports what Al Capone was to liquor distribution.
Enter the Americans, who decided in 2010 they’d like to host The World Cup again in 2022. Their main rival was Qatar. For those of you who are unfamiliar, America is a place with enough sports facilities and infrastructure to host an Interplanetary Quidditch Tournament next Wednesday, if they so desired. Qatar, on the other hand, is a roasted bit of desert. Fortunately for the Qataris though, their country is oil-rich as Croesus and located in an area of the world where baksheesh, a polite word for the hidden cost of doing business (bribery) is as common as sand castles. FIFA fell in love; Qatar won the bid. America called “Bullshit!” It didn’t matter, though, because — why? — FIFA, that’s why. So America picked up its balls, went home and quietly unleashed the FBI.
Five years later, the American legal system is kicking down FIFA doors, seizing FIFA records and papering FIFA walls with arrests and indictments. What goes around, comes around, Herr Blatter.
The incredible irony is America doesn’t give a rat’s ass for futbol. They think it’s a game played in the suburbs by soccer moms in minivans. Football — real football — is played by gigantic men in armour and doesn’t involve that much contact between the foot and the ball. Which brings us to the real reason America is about to slap the crap out of FIFA — somebody’s got to do it and no other country has the cojones.
Here’s the deal: everybody on this planet knows FIFA is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg. However, FIFA also controls billions in advertising and merchandising revenue. No country in their right mind is going to put that kind of coin in jeopardy over a few measly millions in bribe money. D’uh! However, if the Americans want to get all Rambo about it — it’s easy to look the other way. Besides, if FIFA gets taken down a peg or two, so much the better. It’s a classic case of “Let’s you and him fight.”
And this fight is going to be biblical. FIFA’s been pushing people around for so long they’re really, really good at it. Meanwhile, America, like The Expendables, is showing its years. However, at the end of the day, Stallone, Stratham and the bros can still put the smackdown on anybody who gets in the way. So, FIFA is going to clean up its act because — why? — America, that’s why!