Newspaper La Razón
Juan Carlos Zambrana Marchetti
June 19, 2015
Those who think that Joseph Blatter’s promise to resign as president of FIFA will do away with corruption in that organization are very wrong. In order to understand this, it’s necessary to make a brief analysis of the situation.
Blatter said that he would convene an extraordinary congress between December 2015 and March 2016 to elect new board of directors, but, obviously, none of that will help if the same soccer country leaders are allowed to continue to vote. It would be of no help, because that leadership has long been corrupted by an organizational model that, when corruption is uncovered, changes persons but covers up for the organization.
The elections announced, therefore, keep the circus going, because Blatter remains in command and all has been arranged for another fraud – the money from the payoffs and bribes is distributed among the leaders of the national federations, who, when the moment comes, elect and cover up for the directors of FIFA. In exchange, FIFA protects as untouchables those leaders, so that as soon as someone in any country proposes to replace them, or some government tries to intervene, FIFA threatens to veto the federation in question. It’s a mafia-like corruption in which all loose ends are tied up so as to protect the members at all levels. That omnipotence, however, has turned into a vulnerability in the wake of charges brought by the Attorney General of the United States, creating a historical opportunity for authentic institutional renovation.
Such a renovation could be real only if it reached the directors of FIFA the revolutionary way: from the bottom to the top. It would start with a world campaign in the social media so that, at once, the members and fans could protest peacefully but massively against their national federations, demanding that extraordinary congresses be held immediately. Those congresses would approve the modernization of statutes through a uniform and democratic organizational model that would be transparent as to financial management and prohibit the re-election of the leaders. Only after that should a new board of directors be elected. This may seem hard to achieve, but in reality it’s not, and Bolivia could be the spark to set off a movement at world level.
If Bolivia is the country that has shown to the world the power of popular marches for purposes of throwing out governments that betray their peoples, maybe it’s time for the members of the clubs, the fans, the hard-core toughs, and the people in general to march peacefully but in masse against the Bolivian Football Federation, continuing to do so until the directors resign in full, a provisional board is designated, and an extraordinary congress is convened. If Bolivia did this successfully, that could generate a domino effect with the potential of saving the world’s football organization.
Let’s not forget that Blatter’s promise to resign is only an opportunity to begin a process of change: the change itself must be demanded by each associate as owner of the right to decide about his or her club and its national federation. Only when the national federations have been renewed will the FIFA congress become a credible mechanism of renovation.