After his encore earlier this year as Fifa President, world football’s governing body announced today (20 July 2015) that Sepp Blatter will be standing aside on 26 February 2016.
Commenting on developments in Zurich, Dr David Webber, an expert in the cultural political economy of football at the University of Warwick, remarked:
“A political master until the last, the seven months that remain of Blatter’s reign mean that he will be able to continue to set the reform agenda and stage manage his exit. It also means that, privately at least, he will be able to exert some influence over the identity of his successor.”
The announcement does however offer a glimmer of hope for those pushing hard for reform of Fifa, says Dr Webber: “While this further delay may unsettle many of Blatter’s critics, it does present a golden opportunity to develop a genuine and coherent vision for the world game.
“As well as addressing the issues of corruption that have blighted Fifa for decades now, it is crucial that the unifying spirit of the game is reflected in a new commitment to human rights, particularly in Russia and Qatar where the next two World Cup tournaments will be held.
“That corporations and national football associations – including the English FA – turned a blind eye to the human rights abuses in Russia and Qatar shows that they cannot be trusted to lead on reforming Fifa. It is time to give the ‘people’s game’ back to the people.”
Notes to Editors:
Dr David Webber is available for interviews. Contact Lee Page, Communications Manager, Press and Policy Office, 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