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European leaders tell Blatter not to run? Don’t take too much from this development

Jun 10, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT

FBL-FIFA-WC2022-QATAR

A UEFA revolt against Sepp Blatter is the first step in reforming FIFA. At least, that’s the theory some espouse. With much power concentrated in Europe, FIFA would have to bend if the soccer world’s most important region rose up against our corrupt overlords.

It’s a nice thought — a dream, even — but it doesn’t reflect the reality on the ground. Like FIFA itself, UEFA is a diverse organization made up of may different views and motives. Assuming the collection of federations form one big, cohesive voice won’t lead to anything but empty rallying cries. Given situations like the lives at risk in Qatar, people need real, more practical solutions.

Consider today’s report from the Associated Press, which multiple outlets have posted with the tantalizing headline “European football leaders call on Sepp Blatter to stand down as Fifa head.” For many fans opposed to FIFA, it’s a dream story, though there are two caveats:

  • “European football leaders” only means Dutch and English, within the story. Other executives have voice varying levels is dissent, but UEFA has 54 full members.
  • The term “stand down” doesn’t mean resign. It means pull out of the upcoming FIFA presidential election, to take place next year.

There is another important note from the report – information that keeps this from being a needle-moving development. According to the AP, “Blatter met Uefa delegates on Tuesday after getting support from Fifa’s five other confederations.”

Blatter’s power base has always rested outside of UEFA. That he maintains that support makes any dissent from a Dutch official a small ripple in an ocean of voices.

There’s very little about this update that reflects a change in the soccer landscape, which is unfortunate. Blatter is still likely to run for reelection, and he may retain the support needed to secure his post.

Unless there’s more opposition in UEFA’s huge body, there won’t be a significant deterrent to Blatter running for another term.

  1. mikeevergreen - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Run! Run Away! NEVER RETURN!

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