It has been awhile since friend of the blog Sepp Blatter opened his mouth to
make a stupid statement, but that all changed over the weekend. During a conference in Paraguay to discuss ways to reduce government interference in South American soccer, Blatter took time out of his day to criticize the Egyptian government.
Now any sensible person would think that Blatter’s criticism would be aimed at the government for the tragedy that occurred at Port Said last week. Unfortunately Blatter was more concerned about the fact that the Egyptian government decided to fire the head of the Egyptian FA, as well as the board of directors.
For those of you who have been under a rock during the past week, at least 74 fans were killed in Port Said, Egypt, when supporters from home side al-Masry and Egyptian power Al-Ahly clashed following the home team’s historic victory. Many fans were crushed against locked gates, and some fans ended up dying in locker rooms as that was the only safe place for them to be brought for medical treatment.
One of the factors that allowed the fights to become so widespread was the police and military permitting supporters to fight. Video evidence shows law enforcement standing idly by as supporters rush to the confrontation. There has been all sorts of speculation about the political dimension of this riot, for more informed opinion you can go here, but for now we are going to get back to vilifying Sepp because let’s be honest, it is a lot more fun.
Blatter actually wants to reinstate the fired federation officials. He reached into his book of standard responses to decry the interference of the government in soccer. Regardless of if the political dimensions to this riot are true, the head of the Egyptian FA is ultimately one of the men responsible. Apparently Mr. Blatter does not feel a soccer official should be punished for a riot of this magnitude.
Now granted, we should not be surprised at Sepp’s actions. Year after year he has inundated us with stupid statements, bizarre positions, and a willingness to look the other way as long as his pockets are filled with money. Surely though there has to be a limit to his madness? Seventy plus human lives have to be more important to Blatter than a few soccer officials who were negligent in their duties.
Sepp himself is not even consistent on eliminating government interference in a countries FA. Look at communist countries China and Cuba. By their very definition any FA for these countries is controlled by the government in some way. The reality is that Blatter just doesn’t care about Egypt, and he is content to apply his arbitrary laws to them, unless that check clears his Swiss bank account soon.
At the end of the day, this is just another sad tale and example of hypocrisy we can add to Sepp Blatter’s long list of poor and irrational decisions. May he one day no longer hold office.