Here is the thing, as American sports fans, we love to hate the organizations that run our sports. In some cases, we have every right to be angry at those that run our sports organizations, and other times we are just looking for an outlet to relieve our anger. I can literally name at least one common example of anger for every sports organization.
- In the MLB, people hate Bud Selig and company are ruining the game of baseball by adding a challenge system, and they also hate the MLB for allowing strikes to happen as often as they do.
- In the NFL, people hate Rodger Goodell and company because they are ruining the game of football by changing the rules for player safety, and they also hate them because of all the dumb fines that he hands down.
- In the NHL, people hate Gary Bettmen and company mainly because they allow strikes to happen nearly every five years.
- In the NBA, new commissioner Adam Silver has done well, but his predecessor, David Stern was one of the most hated commissioners because he and his company were accused of making things too easy for players to score, and essentially allowing flopping into the league.
Now obviously, I did not touch on every single reason why these organizations are hated, but you get the point. However, while we have some justification to hate these sports organizations, we do not know what real hate and “corruption” is. As American sports fans, we ironically hate the biggest sport in the world. Soccer, or futbol. If more Americans, such as myself and many people I know, followed soccer as closely as they do their “American” sports, they would see true corruption and the true face of sports organization corruption looks like this:
For those of you that do not know what this is, this is the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. You do not know evil and corruption as sports fans unless you have experienced FIFA. To start with, like some of the American sports organizations that we are used to, FIFA is 100% a nonprofit organization. This essentially means that FIFA is not gaining any money, especially excess money, unless it is for operating. However, unlike the American sports organizations, FIFA has over $1.5 billion in excess money. That is a hell of a lot of money considering the organization they have.
What makes FIFA even more disgusting though, is unlike the American sports organizations that will give profits to the cities that hold the events, FIFA does not. Take the World Cup for example, FIFA expects the countries to spend billions of dollars on building new buildings and venues, and then FIFA takes nearly all the money from the tickets, food and beverages, apparel, etc. that is earned.
Not only does FIFA take your money, but they also make you change things to their liking. An example of this is with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Brazil had banned the sale of alcohol because of fan safety. However, since Budweiser is a massive sponsor for the World Cup, FIFA made Brazil change these rules so that way their sponsor, and pockets can be happy.
However, while we can rant and rave about how FIFA runs things, just like in American sports organizations, the head of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, also gets a lot of flack. The only difference between him and his American counterparts, is that Blatter is Lex Luthor to this Legion of Doom that is FIFA. Blatter is the epitome of why people hate the sports organizations and especially those at the head of it. Blatter has never admitted to ever doing anything wrong or illegal, ever! (This comment will make sense later). Not only that, but he goes out their making comments that are vulgar and appalling. They range from racism, to sexist, to anything in between. If you are curious to see some of them, someone made a top 10 list and the link for that is here:
Even though FIFA and Blatter have been bad in the past, their most recent acts have been the most horrifying and it all starts with Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup. It is here that FIFA and its true corruption have come to light. First off, Qatar should not be even hosting the World Cup because of the fact that during the summer, temperatures average over 100ºF and sometimes can get as high as 120ºF.
Not only that, but Qatar does not have a sufficient labor force to build everything that they need for the World Cup, and therefore have to import labor in from local countries. However, once those works get to Qatar, their passports are taken and their contracts and ripped apart. They work and live in horrible conditions and do not get paid what they were promised when they signed their contracts. Most organizations around the world are calling Qatar a “modern slave state” with how they are handling the workforce coming into the country.
Of course, FIFA cannot every admit they did any wrong and have done nothing less than support Qatar and the World Cup being held there. This led to suspicions by some people, and World Cup sponsors, and now FIFA is being investigated for taking bribes for Qatar to win the vote. Sure, FIFA suspended some of their top-level executives because of what is happening, but ultimately, that is nothing but a bluff to get everyone off their tail. FIFA still supports Qatar, and realistically, are still being bribed by someone.
The point I am trying to make in this rant is that most American sports fans do not know real corruption and should be happy we do not have an organization like FIFA breathing down our necks. Even though we do not have an organization like FIFA, that does not mean we cannot do anything about it. The sad thing about the sports organizations like FIFA, doing what they do, is that no one really cares. We are just too excited for the World Cup, or Super Bowl, or Winter Classic, that once we get those things that we forget all the issues that the organization that is running it is causing.
Now, I am not saying that we should stop watching or attending sports, because that would be madness. However, what we need to do is raise awareness, we need people to realize what these organizations, like FIFA are doing, and we need to find a way to stop them. Ideally, the players would go on strike and protest the World Cup, but this will never happen. So because of that, it has to start with us, the fans. We are the ones that keep the money coming in, and therefore as a united front, we can truly make a difference.
If you are curious to see a rant similar to mine, that helped inspire this article, I strongly recommend you check out the link below:
There you have it, the rant on FIFA and its head, Sepp Blatter. Do you think that FIFA is the worst of them all? Do you not? How do you feel about how sports fans react to the organizations that run them? Let us know by commenting and leaving feedback. We also ask that you Like us on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, and Subscribe on Reddit.
All stats and information courtesy of espn.com, sportsmole.co.uk, and hbo.com