Maybe Chuck Blazer has found Jesus.
That’s a popular theory to explain why the American ExCo member has suddenly started to throw around accusations of bribery and corruption at the highest levels of FIFA and CONCACAF. It’s popular because it’s all a bit random after years of seemingly looking the other way.
A trusted source told me last night that they had a hard time believing that particular theory, however. In fact the source described Blazer as “being a big douche.” Crude, but it does paint a picture.
One thing is certain, the man is a bit of an enigma. With suggestions that top CONCACAF officials have been scalping World Cup tickets from as far back as 1994, it is hard to understand how it’s taken Blazer this long to come forward.
Unless he has another agenda. Allow for a moment of pure speculation:
[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]What if Blazer is after the top job at FIFA?
It’s well known that, if elected, this will be Sepp Blatter’s last term as FIFA president. It’s also well known that Blatter, for all of his faults, is a brilliant politician. He had the votes to defeat Mohammed Bin Hammam of Qatar and he, up until recently, appears to have enough influence to handpick who follows him.
Bin Hammam’s vote for the devil you don’t know was never going to be successful, but anyone that is looking to overthrow Blatter they will need to consolidate any and all opposition to him. Otherwise it will be the same old, same old in four years time as another (allegedly) corrupt soccer boss will take over and continue the same back-scratching “leadership” that the sport has been run (nearly into the ground) with over the past 20 years.
If you want to truly terrify yourself think for a moment who Blatter’s great power-broker has been over the years -- the man Blatter would most likely work to see elected FIFA boss?
Jack Warner. God help us all.
So, Blazer needs to take Warner out of the picture. He knows where the skeletons are hidden and he knows that his hands are just clean enough that he can escape judgement, especially if he appears to be coming at things from pure, what’s good for the sport perspective.
Bin Hammam is both in the way and a great scapegoat for the mess that was the Qatar win. Blazer knows that it would be a disaster to take the World Cup from the Middle East now, but that if he takes down those that conspired to fix the vote for the bid that he will come off as the man in the white hat.
As stated, Blatter wasn’t going to lose the 2011 election. But, Blazer doesn’t need him to. He needs to discredit him and that might take a couple more years. Once he has though, the door could be wide open for the American to walk through. It seems farfetched that a Yank could run FIFA, but if that Yank was the man that (appeared to?) end corruption...well, then it seems a little less absurd.
The weakness to this suggestion is that Blazer is 66-years-old and, well, not really a vision of health. He might not have the time to wait.
It’s more than a little cynical to suggest that Blazer’s motivation isn’t pure. Maybe he knows he’s at the end of his time anyway and wants to go out with a bang. Maybe he really did find Jesus. Only Blazer knows.
All that said, if Blazer’s chosen route to power is by cleaning up corruption then does it really matter to us?
That’s a question for another day. In the meantime we wait to see how this plays out.