In March 2013, FIFA opened a task force against racism and discrimination with the primary goal of “leading FIFA’s action in this key area”, according to a letter former President – and notable humanitarian – Sepp Blatter penned to the Executive Committee.
Flash forward to September 2016 and FIFA has disbanded that same task force, claiming that their objective has been met. Rejoice, sing, dance – racism has ended because, thank the heavens, FIFA has declared it so. Only maybe it has not? Some would say that Russia, which is due to host the next World Cup, is a prime example of FIFA’s ongoing absurdity. Research centres, such as Fare and SOVA, claim a rise in racist incidents in the Russian Premier League.
But, those instances have to be punished now that FIFA’s task force has completed their goals, of which recruiting and training anti-discrimination officers was a part, right? Well, no. The majority of incidents are going unpunished.
Though surely administration – now armed with their anti-discrimination handbooks made by the task force for this very purpose – are aligned and working towards ending discrimination? Brazilian international, Hulk, would probably argue the opposite. The ex-Zenit St Petersburg man claimed, “that [in] almost every game” he was racially abused. The star forward also once accused a referee of racism, but the claim was swatted away by the notoriously fair and transparent Russian Football Union.
So, obviously, that’s a non-issue. FIFA has completely solved the problem. If you still somehow believe that FIFA has not found a solution, then maybe it is possible that the money just was not there for the task force anymore? I mean there is no way that they would lie for the sake of lying…
Perhaps, in embarrassment, the only way they could think to explain the decision was to say that the task force had fulfilled its purpose? But wait: aren’t they paying their 37 FIFA Council members salaries of £300,000 each, and giving Mr Infantino more than just what he believes to be an “insulting” £1,500,000? They have to be on solid financial ground.
For FIFA is anything but a dishonest organisation. Really, we should be revering FIFA’s upper management for their altruistic service to humanity as, apparently, we have officially reached Nirvana. So, sit back and relax because FIFA has totally got this whole race relations thing under control.
America, I hope you are taking notes.
Image courtesy of Urban Explorer Hamburg