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February 25, 2018

An Open Letter to Sepp Blatter and FIFA


Dear Sepp Blatter,

Congratulations. You managed to tick off one the largest countries and one of the best investigative bodies in the world and now you and FIFA are going to pay for it. And you’re going to have zero sympathy from the people who support the game which you and your minions have destroyed. You have put us fans in a bind between loving the game of soccer/football and the World Cup and hating with every thread in our bodies those three letters that have become synonymous with corruption and evil.

While the raids and indictments by Swiss and American officials have yet to peg you in this recent round up, don’t worry, you’ll be next. I’m more than confident that one of the nine arrested, or some other whistle-blower, will spill the beans and bring you down. It’s simply a matter of time before you too will be arrested and put away to do time.

But before all of that takes place, I have one simple question.

Why?

Why do this? Why take this game so many people love in this world and ruin it? Why turn this organization, which is supposed to hold the standard for soccer played around the world, and make the standard more about the money and less about the experience and watching, supporting and playing the beautiful game?

While it might be true that the game has grown during your twenty year run and incoming legal money has also grown, the amount of corruption has also grown. So many people have been caught for corruption and many more have been suspected, with reason, for similar actions. And it feels like there’s one common denominator with all of this: you.

And you’ve had to know about all of this happening. You’re at the top. Everyone in the FIFA organization reports to you. Nothing happens without your authorization. And heck, even your second in command, both current and former, have been indicted and arrested in this latest corruption round up. It’ll be mighty hard to explain to investigators, and then hopefully a jury, how they would have known about all of the corruption and you didn’t. So please, don’t try to play the innocent, “I didn’t know” card in all of this. No one is and will buy it.

Also, you said in a statement Wednesday about the FBI’s investigation and the subsequent arrests that you hope that this starts a process that restores trust in FIFA (I’ll just skip the part where you tried to take credit for the arrests for the time being). There’s just one problem with that. The trust issue with FIFA lies with you.

It’s not necessarily that people don’t trust FIFA, it’s that they don’t trust you. Of the nine people arrested Wednesday morning, how many could people could name those involved just a days ago. But at the same time, nearly every sports person knows the name “Sepp Blatter” and I promise you it’s for all the wrong reasons. So if your goal is to increase trust in FIFA, it is you who must go.

Which all brings me to this: why not just leave?

Why run for another for another four-year term? Why not just step down, let someone else take over, get some fresh blood into the organization and start the healing process begin?

Because if not, things are only going to get worse and one day your head will roll, figuratively of course.

So in the end, all I ask is this: give us back the sport we love and support so much. It’s not that much to ask for.

Sincerely,
A fan who just loves the beautiful game

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