Volume No. 2 Issue No. 26 - Friday January 18, 2008|
For the good of the game?
By Rupert Sorhaindo
The sad state of affairs which now exists on the national football scene reflects what is wrong with the administration of football generally.
The Dominica football team gets ready for Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in 2004.
CONCACAF and FIFA do not appear to be in any position to provide the moral leadership required for living up to the much used FIFA motto �For the Good of the Game�, judging from the disclosures which continue to be made in the excellent, no holes barred investigative reporting of reputable and well-respected award-winning sports journalist, Andrew Jennings; and from the most recent dictatorial actions of Mr. Jack Warner.
In his widely acclaimed best-seller �FOUL: The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote-rigging and Ticket Scandals�, as well as in the well received BBC Panorama series exposing corruption in FIFA.
Mr. Jennings provides very convincing evidence of �dirty deals� and �arm-twisting tactics� of many of the FIFA functionaries that make a mockery of its �For the Good of the Game� motto.
Mr. Jennings� regularly updated websitetransparencyinsports.comcomplementary, independent playthegame.orgwebsite should be required reading for all sports journalists, football administrators, fans and players who are really interested in understanding the extent to which some persons will go, in their quest for money and power, using sport as the means to their personal, selfish ends.
The current situation with the DFA Executive being dogged by former DFA executive members - who are quick to make reference to the threat by FIFA to expel the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association and to bar its team from the World Cup qualifiers, conforms to the �modus operandi� of those in the FIFA fraternity who are prepared to use their apparently unfettered power, to bring to their knees those national associations that they perceive to be straying from their sphere of influence.
When Mr. White, the former DFA Treasurer suggested in a recent statement to the media, that Dominica, like Antigua is likely to be expelled from FIFA (with the concomitant termination of the national team�s participation in the qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup), he should have informed the public about the details of the Antigua and Barbuda situation - including Jack Warner�s ultimatum to the Antigua and Barbuda Football Association to settle a claim by the former General Secretary of that national association for payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars, for work-related expenses, by January 17, 2008 ,or face expulsion from FIFA.
For those interested, the disturbing, sordid, eye-opening
details are available on thetransparencyinsports.com website, as well as at playthegame.org.
It would not be far-fetched to assume that Jack Warner may well have �conspired� with the former DFA executive members to ensure that they regain control of the DFA.
Last year, Mr. Patrick John was installed into the CONCACAF Hall of Fame; and at the award ceremony (to which the DFA Executive was apparently not invited), he was cited for his �loyalty� to Jack Warner!
In the lucrative world of sports, the corrupting influence of money, power and perks, has without doubt, led to the replacement of the promotion of the interest of athletes and protection of the integrity of the sport as the motivation for many persons seeking positions in sports organizations.
The FIFA motto should maybe be reengineered to read: �FOR MY GOOD; AND TO HELL WITH THE GAME�!
Editor�s note: Rupert Sorhaindo is a former minister of education and sports, educator and executive member of the Dominica Olympic Committee.