Sepp Blatter, the international dictator disguised as FIFA president, wrote a letter to Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport this week to warn the world that a failure to reelect him to a fourth term on the June 1 vote "could cause a tectonic movement with irreversible damage." Let's defer to him to set the stage for the early-onset soccerocalypse:
What is this really about? In the case of FIFA's presidential elections we are not really talking about candidate A versus candidate B, but about whether in future there will be candidates at all. The election of June 1 could cause a tectonic movement with irreversible damage. What is at stake is nothing less than the survival of FIFA. The issue of whether this world footballing organisation, developed with success over the years, will continue to exist after this date, or whether it will instead be sucked into a black hole.
'Is the situation really that dramatic?' you ask. The answer is yes, in theory it is.
Blatter is concerned that Mohamed Bin Hammam, president of the Asian Football Federation, might pose a threat to the title he's held since 1998. He might also be feeling a bit vulnerable this week, ever since news broke that — surprise! — the World Cup voters were accused of asking for bribes, and that his FIFA VP and CONCACAF president Jack Warner is very involved in the charges. On Thursday, Bin Hamman took the opportunity to publicly accuse Blatter of allowing FIFA's reputation to be "sullied beyond compare."
Today, Blatter proved that he is prepared to use words, and probably also swarms of locusts, to protect and restore honor to his presidency:
A world organisation like FIFA can only be run with a pyramid structure. For this reason, I am often accused of acting in an anti-democratic way. And yet the truth is quite the opposite. Whether you are talking about Italy or Papua New Guinea, every one of the 208 associations has one vote and equal rights. In fact, I should be accused of practicing extreme democratic thought – only this way is it possible to guarantee the universality of football, the decision-making power, however, can and must be exercised on a central level, as in any international group.
Football works because it is based on one rule of play that is shared and valid on every continent. If it was not this way, everyone would do what they liked. To put it another way: who would decide which rules to impose if the decision-making powers were delegated to the six confederations? The principle that every carpenter goes by is valid for us too: the roof will do its job only as long as the foundations are doing theirs. If the ground slides, the whole building will fall down. And this is what June 1 is about: all or nothing!
And after threatening apocalypse and claiming extreme democratic values, Blatter signed off with a "cordially." You have now witnessed the ultimate manic delusion in writing. But do beware the black holes.