Home » Sports » Blatter Ouster Was Long Overdue

There were wild celebrations following the resignation on Tuesday of Fifa president Joseph Sepp Blatter.

The celebrations were premised on the fact that African countries never benefitted from the Swiss during his 17-year-old reign.

The consensus was that Blatter was no different from a typical Zimbabwean MP who only visits his constituency during election time, makes big promises and disappears after winning the election, only to resurface when the next election is around the corner.

Blatter came to Zimbabwe on July 4 2011 and pledged to financially support Zimbabwean football. Four years down the line, the promises are yet to be fulfilled, despite the support Blatter received from Zifa.

That Blatter liked Africa was just a gimmick, as he played divide and rule on the world football stage.

He knew that his power base was in Africa where he got away with fulfilled promises.

The much-talked about annual $250 000 grant under the Fifa Goal Project was nothing, but a token to consolidate his power.

If Blatter was honest, he should have given Africa more support than he gave to the developed world, considering that Africa plays second fiddle when it comes to football development.

Importantly, Blatter did not bring the World Cup to Africa in 2010. Had it not been for him, the World Cup would have come earlier to Africa in 2006 when German hosted the global festival.

If New Zealander Charles Dempsey had not abandoned his duties and voted for South Africa as per instruction, votes could have been shared 12-12 for Germany and South Africa. Blatter as Fifa president would have been forced to cast the vote that decided the destiny of the tournament.

In 2006, the Swiss allegedly discreetly promised the World Cup to Europe and Africa. Casting the decisive vote was going to expose him and so Dempsey was sacrificed to rescue the Fifa boss.

Sadly though, it is Uefa and their American counterparts who pressed the button for Blatter’s departure, while African football federations saw light in the man — despite years of negligence.

This is because Africa is still being led by people like Issa Hayatou who still believe in imposing candidates on national football federations.

I remember how Zimbabwe was stripped of its right by Hayatou to host the African Cup of Nations in 2000 after Zifa chairman Leo Mugabe defied a CAF order to vote for Blatter and opted for Lennart Johansson in the 1998 Fifa presidential polls.

Hayatou has been in office since 1988. Time is now ripe for African football to follow the footsteps of Uefa and throw Hayatou out of the train?

Zifa and the Fifa brown envelopes

Word is doing rounds that those who attended Fifa congresses over the years may have benefitted financially. Were Zimbabwe representatives part of those who were rewarded financial rewards?

We wait to hear from those who attended the congresses if there is any truth to this allegation.

Parting shot

Rafik Khan who was in office between 2004 and 2006 is the only Zifa president who did not attend any Fifa congress. He left before the 2006 congress could be held.

Ironically, it is under Khan that Zifa enjoyed its best financial years and its best successes on the football field.

Under Khan, the Warriors qualified for the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations finals and by the time he left, the Warriors were also on their way to the 2006 Nations Cup tournament.

Source : Zimbabwe Standard