Monday, June 20, 2011

Today's resignation of Fifa vice-president Jack Warner shocked me.

Not because I didn't think he should go, but because I didn't think he would take that route and if he was going to go down, he'd go down all guns blazing and take a few people with him.

I'd love to be in the position to say that he took the honourable way out and it was the right thing to do to save tarnishing Fifa's reputation. Unfortunately I can't.

Fifa's reputation and standing is battered and torn beyond seeming repair right now.

They didn't help themselves after Warner's resignation when they announced:

"As a consequence of Mr Warner's resignation, all ethics committee procedures against him have been closed and the presumption of innocence is maintained".

Why close them? If you're that certain of innocence and no wrong doing, surely the absolute best way to restore Fifa's image is to prove that.

If they could.

That said. After all the allegations and media coverage into the supposed events, I think any committee investigation that found nothing would have been roundly ridiculed.

As it is, by closing the investigation, they are equally ridiculed.

What a complete mess.

The allegations are that Warner and Qatar's Fifa member, Mohamed Bin Hammam, paid bribes of around $1,000,000 to Carribean associations.

Most of us suspect that there's all these back door deals going on in football all the time. Even with that, when allegations become public it still dismays and shocks.

Since Warner is now "presumed innocent", the attention is still focussing on Bin Hammam.

Will he follow Warner's lead and resign? Will this mean anything for the 2022 World Cup?

Probably not, is the likely answer for both of those questions.

What needs to happen now is an independent investigation into the workings of Fifa (if that is at all possible).

UEFA needs to take the lead in demanding for change and threaten repurcussions if there isn't any.

Only once the fans see that something is actually happening to make things more transparent will any faith be restored in the oversee-ers of our beloved game.

Even that will be a long, slow process, if it is even possible.


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