Powerful football figures from across the globe will this week ascend to the Swiss city of Zurich with only thing in their minds, the highly anticipated FIFA president elections. They carry with them mandates from their respective associations or confederation to cast that elusive vote for their preferred candidate.
The badly damaged world football organization (FIFA) has been in the spotlight since the arrest of football and marketing officials amid allegations of fraud and money laundering charges. These fat cats were attending FIFA’s congress last May, wherein the disgraced former president Sepp Blatter was re-elected for the fifth time at the helm of FIFA.
The running and operations of FIFA has been clouded in secrecy, with this knowledge only entrusted to a handful key of trusted figures within the Blatter regime. Calls for transparency have been growing loud from outside stakeholders, and less from inside the footballing fraternity.
On par with transparency, other stakeholders were calling for a complete serious reform within the organization, unfortunately those calls fell on deaf eyes as Blatter and his cronies continued to ignore and silence those that seem to be rocking the boat.
It was to be expected that all FIFA presidential candidates would put transparency and reforms at the top of their respective manifestos.
The candidates have cris-crossed the globe in order to reach all the 209 associations, in persuading them to sway votes in their favour. At this late stage the scene is set, and most of the confederations know which horse they are betting on come Friday 26 February.
To put spanner in the works and play some devil’s advocate, whoever is eventually voted in to become the new FIFA president will find it difficult to bring in about changes on issues of transparency and reforms? FIFA is a big organization with a long standing entrenched culture or ways of conducting its affairs, in lay man’s term it is befitting to liking it with an elephant that which takes time to turn around.
If this was to be a public vote surely that would have seen the organisation changing its ways. Unfortunately only the 209 member associations would be delegated with electing the new president, if you fall in that category like myself I suggest you keep on glued on the news wire to hear of the final elections. Hopefully the elections will be free (of any bribes, briefcases et al) and fair (no rigging etc.)
After all has been said and done, the current UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino would be announced as the new FIFA President on 26 February.