Editorials 25.8.2016 08:26 am

Blatter muddies soccer’s water

FIFA President Sepp Blatter gives a press conference on September 26, 2014 at the organistation's headquarters in Zurich | AFP

FIFA President Sepp Blatter gives a press conference on September 26, 2014 at the organistation's headquarters in Zurich | AFP

Sepp Blatter, the discredited former head of football’s world controlling body Fifa, cannot be faulted for a lack of tenacity.

The 80-year-old Swiss goes to the highest legal authority in sport, the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport today in an attempt to overturn his ousting as Fifa president and the six-year ban – reduced from the original eight years – from any Fifa-related activities.

But while we affirm the belief that everyone has the right to recourse of the legal processes available, the oleaginously smooth Blatter would seem to have little chance of his suit succeeding.

Blatter, along with Fifa’s long-serving secretary-general, Jerome Valcke – sacked from his post in January – is facing criminal investigation in Switzerland and has persistently been dogged by claims of corruption and financial mismanagement throughout his close on 18 years at the helm.

In the background, although this will be unlikely to be raised in Lausanne, is the still unfolding scandal of match-fixing in the build-up to the 2010 World Cup, in which former SA Football Association president Kirsten Nematandani has been handed a six-year ban and a fine.

The question must surely be asked: is it not time for global football to move on from the mess left behind?

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