Odious moron Sepp Blatter has described himself as “a godfather of the organization of women’s football in FIFA.” Apparently, he didn’t consider an offer to quell the controversy about artificial fields at this summer’s Women’s World Cup by replacing the turf with grass—free of charge, mind you—an offer he couldn’t refuse.
This revelation comes via Abby Wambach, one of the leaders of the group of women’s players who sued FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Federation over the turf issue in a gender discrimination suit. Wambach and the others ultimately dropped the suit, but Wambach revealed to ESPN’s Julie Foudy that FIFA actually had the chance to remedy the entire situation and refused. From the Washington Post:
“There were companies (that) offered to pay for these grass fields to be put into these stadiums… They offered FIFA, offered the Canadian Soccer Association to do it for free (in) all the stadiums,” the 34-year-old forward told ESPN’s Julie Foudy in a video interview posted to ESPNW on Wednesday. “To me, it wasn’t about that there was grass or no grass, it was about FIFA not wanting to do anything that anybody else wanted except them wanting to do what they wanted to do.”
Rejecting a simple fix to a PR debacle of their own making out of nothing more than cussedness? Yep, sounds like the FIFA we all know and loathe.
But fuckery like this is to be expected when the head of the organization has both an inflated image of his own impact in the game and a low opinion of its current state. From the Guardian:
“Women’s football must market itself. It’s a product and the product must have quality. Now it’s up to the ladies in this World Cup to show that it’s a great event because the television coverage will be done exactly like the Fifa World Cup.”
Blatter recalled that Fifa started focusing on women’s football in 1988, when he was the association’s top administrator. The first Women’s World Cup was played in 1991.
“I consider myself a little bit as a godfather of the organisation of women’s football in Fifa,” Blatter said, while accepting that “there is still a lot to do”.
“Women’s football is still limping a little bit behind,” added Blatter, who in 2004 suggested female players could wear tighter shorts to help market their game.
You’d think the president of FIFA—the very organization tasked with popularizing the men’s and women’s games—would take a more proactive stance on pushing women’s soccer than lazy suggestions to show off a little more thigh, but then you remember that he wouldn’t even take free money to improve the quality of play in this coming World Cup, you and realize he really couldn’t care less. This is the natural course of events when your sport’s Godfather is actually Fredo.