Sepp Blatter is a great example of how not to lead an organization. This is no secret, but how many like him are out there right now leading other powerful organizations?
For a rundown on his "leadership" abilities check out this Inc article. My interpretation was that the article is about how to gain and retain power, not to lead an organization.
One of my main takeaways was a quote, "I appreciate and love FIFA more than anything else, and I only want to do the best for FIFA."
Blatter should be talking about football, not about FIFA. It's about the beautiful game and its religious followers. Do what's best for them.
His words can mean so many things, but one thing it did not mean was improving the game itself. There have been countless opportunities to make improvements and little to no progress has been made.
For me - the most prominent example is the pervasive disease that has plagued the game for decades, diving and acting. It is now largely accepted as part of the game and culture, which is a huge shame because that will make it so much harder to address. Quite literally everyone is guilty of one or the other at some point for those who compete at the highest level. As a fan I expect to see a display of diving or acting at least once every game.
Diving and acting can be reduced, if not prevented. I don't have the answer, but I do have some thoughts that will come in a future post.
It will be fascinating to see how much damage was done and what effects it will have on the organization going forward. FIFA has traditionally had all the power at the bargaining table. Will that continue?
Let's examine FIFA's mission from their website:
To develop football everywhere and for all, to touch the world through its inspiring tournaments and to build a better future through the power of the game.
I think even during Sepp's reign FIFA managed to accomplish their mission with varying degrees of success. However, I would argue that so much more could have been done.
Would Brazil agree with the final part of the mission statement?
Would the rest of the world agree with Qatar winning a bid for the 2022 against all odds and common sense?
I am all for giving each region and country a chance to shine in hosting the cup, but they must be ready and certain standards must be met.
The first being that no one should die as a direct result of preparing for the tournament. Some estimates for deaths in Qatar are in the thousands.
Other standards should include plans for addressing any weather/safety concerns (it will be in the 120's) and reasonable construction.
Brazil is a perfect example of unreasonable construction plans. The Manaus stadium cost $300m for 4 games. No way the influx in the local economy from the stadium and tournament reaches anywhere near that amount.
Qatar is Manaus time 8 as the entire country isn't set up to host the tournament. Let alone use the facilities afterwards. The Olympics have a similar problem.
The question is what's it going to take before we do something about it?