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Blatter’s Long Goodbye dredges up the sheer scale of corruption that is killing football - Dr David Webber

Dave Webber“Fifa’s Ethics Committee yesterday (7 October) requested that Sepp Blatter and his would-be successor Michel Platini be suspended. In what could be a significant turning point in the reform of football's governing body, this intervention nevertheless reveals the sheer scale of corruption in world football,” says Dr David Webber, a lecturer in the cultural political economy of sport at the University of Warwick.

“The sorry state of football governance is reflected in the runners-and-riders in line to take over should the decision to suspend Blatter and Platini be sanctioned. Blatter’s departure is clearly a welcome step, while questions have persisted - and now appear vindicated - over Platini’s suitability to succeed him.

“However, Blatter would, in the interim period at least, be succeeded by Issa Hayatou - a figure once reprimanded by the International Olympic Committee over bribery claims. Platini's substitute at Uefa, meanwhile, would be the Spanish FA chief, Ángel María Villar-Llona, a man who himself remains under investigation for failing to co-operate with Michael Garcia’s investigation into the bidding process of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

“The stench of corruption in football goes way beyond Blatter and the top table at Fifa. Many running football’s national and regional associations are as unfit as the current incumbents to oversee the much-needed reform of the game.

“The days of a small, self-serving elite running the people’s game must be brought to an end. Their financial impropriety and avarice are killing football, and those charged with reforming the game must seize this opportunity to deliver a more democratic, accountable and transparent sport.”

Notes to Editors:

Dr David Webber is available for interviews today. 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:


Lee Page, Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)2476 574 255.

Mob: +44 (0)7920 531 221.