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Now We're Talking Football

Change FIFA - David Larkin

Saturday, October 20, 2012

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Anto is joined by ChangeFIFA Co-Director and General Counsel David Larkin to take a look at the biggest issues of the day involving world football and it begins nowhere more important than the continued failures of administrators and organizations in their handling of racism at every juncture of the game itself. As much an indictment on self-interest as it is seriously placed ignorance, we explore how racism has become yet another key political wedge issue that can be used as currency in the battle for control and commerce rather than a real instrument for change. The recent events all across football, including the outrageous incident in Serbia for the England U21 team is just one more example of how federations and their administrators keep players at arms length, choosing yet again self-interest over the public welfare of fans and players alike, and why now the player associations and player unions will now have to take on this issue because governance has failed even its own members. Recorded before the protests in England over the weekend and the wearing of anti-racism shirts, what is becoming very clear is that people of color and the supporters of anti-racism and anti-discrimination causes are no longer asking for change - they are demanding action from their FAs and governing bodies, and we may have finally hit the important tipping point in this regard. Players and fans appear ready to take action themselves. We also examine how even FIFA and UEFA continue to fail the anti-racim and anti-discrimination efforts worldwide, essentially undermining the process for change because the monopoly of administrators in the game show little to no regard for people of color, minorities or even the cause for women, working on a perverse calculus where even the press is used as tool for collecting cheap political points. In part two we begin to examine Michel Platini who is positioning himself and UEFA for his bid for the FIFA Presidency and we look at his record since 2007 on a macro level to consider whether he should be considered a viable candidacy based on his record as UEFA president, associations with QSI and if he has adopted a Financial Fair Play that seems barely enforceable given the behavior of several clubs already. Also discussed here is the ongoing case of Mohammed Bin Hammam with the AFC in crosshairs, how this case could be a flashpoint that can be exploited by both Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini given their political connections and motivations as 2015 comes into view. We explore why Mohammed Bin Hammam is such an important figure, what his case tells us about sports governance and sporting justice inside football and how journalists such as James Dorsey are becoming shocking casualties throughout this process as football continues to subvert the concept of transparency by controlling information and shooting the messenger, even threatening them with legal action over sources. This is a massive episode that examines the monopoly of football administrators and federations over the players, the fans and the game itself and why we might just be arriving at a key tipping point that could just result in governmental intervention and a wake up call for players unions worldwide.


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