FIFA-Foe-Fum: European (UEFA) World Cup Boycott?

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 6/01/2015 01:30:00 AM
If they only knew Adidas' history, they'd know it isn't easily cowed.
Imagine going to a Three Stooges show without Larry, Moe, and Curly. It would be pretty pointless and misleadingly titled besides, right? Well, consider this: how about a World Cup without European footballing powers like France, Italy, Spain, and Germany? It would not be much of a "world" competition just as the American World Series is just two US-based teams competing for that sport's top prize. However, the European football association UEFA is considering just that in light of Sepp Blatter's re-election as FIFA president. OK, so it's a bunch of folks from European football's present-day hinterlands calling for a boycott, but hey, England did invent the sport.

Former English Football Association (FA) Chairman David Bernstein is floating this idea. Whether the rest of the continent would listen to Ye Olde England is another ballgame entirely
Fifa is driven by power and money, and both of these emanate from the World Cup. Thanks to its actions, there are currently two ongoing inquiries into World Cup bids. I distinguish a little between the two – at least the Russian bid is from a real footballing country and a major power in every sense. But the Quatar bid is another kettle of fish entirely. Even at the time, many people around it felt it was a disgrace it won the tournament. Frankly, a country with a tiny population, a climate that is absolutely inappropriate for such play, and a bid that was initially based on summer and has now been switched to winter is laughable. On top of that you have all its alleged human rights abuses. It taints the good name of the tournament.

So the moment of truth has come, and if we in Europe feel as strongly as we say we do, now is the time for action and not more words. In short, Uefa has a duty to walk the walk and seriously consider pulling out of the World Cup. The competition would be fatally weakened without the participation of Uefa and create the pressure for the change we all want.
Pulling out would be a brave decision, indeed. A big decision. But a World Cup without Italy, Spain, France, Germany, England and many others would be a second-class tournament, which nobody would want, and be significantly devalued in the eyes of sponsors.
The current FA head, Greg Dyke, is thinking about the same thing while highlighting the need for other European nations to support the boycott. He, however, suggests that a Latin American boycott may also be in the cards. An event without Europe would be bad enough, but one without Latin powers would be well nigh unthinkable:
Greg Dyke has ruled out a unilateral boycott of future World Cups by the English FA but says he would enthusiastically support any such action taken by Uefa. The FA chairman also understands that most South American countries voted against Sepp Blatter in last Friday’s election and warned concerted action from the two major football continents could effectively scupper a World Cup.

“I am told that most of Europe voted against Blatter and all of Latin America,” Dyke said at Wembley before the FA Cup final. “If that is the case then the two biggest football continents said: ‘We don’t want you, Mr Blatter.’ And those are the two continents that are the World Cup. We won’t be pulling out of anything on our own, because we’re jolly good chaps, because if the FA did that Fifa will just carry on, won’t they? But if Uefa wanted to pull out of the World Cup, we could certainly do it with them.”
I am old enough to remember the 1980 US boycott of the Moscow Summer Olympics and the 1984 Soviet boycott of the Los Angeles Summer Olympics in return. The interesting thing is that present-day sporting quarrels resemble current geopolitics in being not ideologically but commercially driven. Already, the English press is fantasizing about hosting the 2018 event as a replacement for Russia after its original bid was laughed off [1, 2]. Despite no less than Prince William spearheading that campaign, the England bid received 2 out of 22 votes. Money talks, and Blatter has spread the wealth to his African/Asian cronies to ensure the desired results in the past. However, he has gained many powerful enemies in the process.

I smell the blood of an Englishman, indeed.