Home » Sports » Has Blatter Exposed Dube?

FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s dramatic announcement yesterday that he was quitting his post, just four days after being handed a new four-year term, was a slap in the face to those who backed his candidature, including under-fire ZIFA boss Cuthbert Dube.

The veteran Swiss football administrator is leaving his job amid a massive corruption scandal and his decision to step down was welcomed by one of FIFA’s biggest sponsors, Coca-Cola, who said it represented “a positive step for the good of sport, football and its fans.”

“We respect Mr Blatter’s decision. The announcement today is a positive step for the good of sport, football and its fans,” the soft-drink manufacturing giant said hours after Blatter announced he was stepping down.

“Our expectation remains that FIFA will continue to act with urgency to take concrete actions to fully address all of the issues that have been raised and win back the trust of all who love the sport of football.

“We believe this decision will help FIFA transform itself rapidly into a much-needed 21st Century structure and institution,” said Coca-Cola in a statement.

McDonalds, another FIFA sponsor, said they were hopeful the changes at the organisation would bring back public trust:

“We’re hopeful that the changes being implemented within Fifa will be a big first step in positively reforming the organisation and gaining back trust from fans worldwide,” the company said.

However, the positions taken by Coca-Cola and McDonalds appear to be in direct contrast to the 133 candidates who voted for Blatter last Friday, with the majority of them being African and Asian delegates.

A third of the FIFA membership, though, felt that Blatter wasn’t the right man to take their organisation, rocked by a raging corruption scandal that continues to grow with each passing day, forward.

Dube, the under-fire ZIFA boss who was helped by FIFA to survive a boardroom coup a few weeks ago, attended that Congress in Zurich and told the world, in a television interview, that he would vote for Blatter.

“Can I ask who you will be voting for today?” asked the Sky Sports journalist as Dube prepared to board a bus taking delegates to the auditorium where the voting was going to take place.

“Blatter,” declared Dube.

“So you are not trying to change?” the reporter responded.


Last night, CNN anchor, Richard Quest, said Blatter’s resignation, and his confirmation that he did not enjoy the support of the football world, exposed those who voted for him as a “ridiculous” group.

“All those organisations, confederations, who voted for him, who defied the warnings, look ridiculous now,” said Quest.

The Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters Association last night said Dube should follow Blatter’s lead, because he has lost the support of the majority of the game’s constituency in this country, and walk away.

“Clearly, Cuthbert Dube has just been given an example of how a leader, when you face a crisis where the majority of the constituency that you lead say you are not the right man to lead them, should react and he should follow the example that has been set by Blatter,” said ZNSSA leader, Eddie Chivero.

“The message is loud and clear that there comes a time when every football leader, no matter how powerful they are, should put the interests of the game ahead of their personal interests and, if Blatter can do it, why should Dube not do it?

“At least, one can say that Blatter was leading an organisation which, although troubled by corruption, was a profitable one and FIFA have a lot of money generated in the past 20 years when Blatter became the leader.

“The same cannot be said of Dube given that ZIFA currently have a mountain of debt, which has accumulated under our leader’s watch, football in this country is in a crisis to the extent that we even needed Swaziland, whom we had knocked out, to offer the Young Warriors transport for them to travel to Johannesburg to connect their flight.

“Our boys were almost stranded in Swaziland, because the $400 that the delegation had was not enough to hire a bus from Mbabane to Johannesburg and when you need the sympathy of the association, whose team you have just knocked out, to provide your team with transport to enable them to catch their plane back home, you should know, if you are the leader of the organisation, that this should be game over.”

Chivero said if the ZIFA leaders felt that the outcome of the elections in Zurich on Friday would provide them with protection, after Dube made his public declaration that he would vote for Blatter, last night’s events showed them that the game could be up.

“I think tonight’s events are a victory for the Councillors who have been fighting for order to be restored at ZIFA, who were brave to meet at that meeting and announce that they had ousted Dube only for him to be saved by FIFA,” said Chivero.

“That is the beauty of football, things can change quickly, and we had already seen that some of our officials who were in Zurich returned feeling like they own the world and were starting to threaten the councillors.”

Source : The Herald