Stop the presses.
Wire services are reporting that Prince William wants FIFA to postpone the vote for president, joining the call of the English Football Association. Of course, this is BIG news in the UK, but will be ignored elsewhere.
There have also been reports of “concern” voiced by sponsors, which the press takes as a sign of the imminent demise of FIFA. Sponsors will not abandon FIFA out of grave fear of a competitor jumping into the void. Words of concern are only that: words. Each is considering its own brand, not FIFA. All know that the game, where they receive exposure, has nothing to do with politics in Zurich.
I am amazed at how little the press understands the world of sport politics and sport sponsoring. FIFA is made up of more than 200 individual country federations, each with one vote. Each federation is run by a mini egomaniac, who rules his fiefdom with an iron hand similar in manner to the FIFA president. The English have one vote. Few, if any, will heed their call to abstain from voting, because many, if not most, dislike English arrogance (they claim to have invented the game and to being its true home), whining (about losing the 2018 bid), and demanding transparency (few federations want this).
The English press has dreams of Zurich turning into Cairo, with the dictator toppled from his throne by their urging. Sadly, they will have to pack up their gear and return home once Mr. Blatter is re-elected and their bubble is burst.
Fans don’t care about what goes on in Zurich. They look no further than places like Bernabao, San Siro, Stanford Bridge, or even a local park, where a ball is kicked on Sunday mornings.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.