Dr David Webber, from the University of Warwick’s Department of Politics and International Studies, studies the cultural political economy of football and has been providing reaction to the Fifa corruption inquiry.
He said: “Rather than calling for a postponement of the Fifa presidential election tomorrow [Friday], Europe’s governing body, Uefa, has instead agreed to back Sepp Blatter’s rival, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein. It hopes that the current vice-president of Fifa will be able to oust Blatter or at least secure enough support to launch a vote of ‘no confidence’ should he cling on to power.
“If Prince Ali does manage to secure what remains an unlikely victory, he will be viewed by many as a ‘caretaker manager’ whilst the US and Swiss investigations are ongoing. Prince Ali offers some hope for reform but as a member of the Jordanian monarchy, he is hardly best placed to provide the impetus of democratisation that Fifa – and indeed its national associations – so badly need.
“Should Blatter win Friday’s election and retain control of Fifa, Uefa and indeed Fifa’s chief sponsors will be faced with a difficult decision. Will they go for the nuclear option and withdraw their association with Fifa? Or will Uefa instead decide to stay in the organisation and be part of the reform process, yet risk its own credibility as a powerful actor in its own right? The early signals suggest the former, with Uefa chief Michel Platini intimating that his representatives on the Executive Committee will resign in the event of a Blatter victory.
“Friday’s election is therefore crucial for the future direction of the global game. These fresh investigations have blown Fifa wide open and there is now the very real possibility of reform. However, upon whose terms these reforms will take place remains far from certain. What is clear is that this story is far from finished.”
Notes to Editors:
Dr David Webber is available for interviews. We have in-house broadcasting facilities for TV and radio. We have an ISDN line for radio and a remote camera (Globelynx TV Ready Network) for television interviews.
Contact Lee Page, Communications Manager at The University of Warwick. Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255. Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communications Manager, University of Warwick
Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255
Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221