The debate of country laws vs Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) statutes has always been in the news for various reasons. Depending on who forwards it, usually many are left more confused with problems than actual solutions.
Yet in reality the debate starts and ends in FIFA’s mighty favour.
FIFA has never changed any of its statutes to favour a country and ease its way into joining the prestigious soccer association. Many governments, especially in Africa, have erred by omission or commission, in their efforts to influence outcomes of elections and administrative posts, by interfering with the daily running of the local federation using national laws; the outcomes are always the same.
A FIFA ban, normalisation committee and elections using the same general assembly that governments tried to overthrow in the first place.
Why do governments fail to learn from history? Many of the players in this vicious cycle are usually driven by egoistic tendencies rather than reason. Some are totally naive about how the two partners, FIFA and nations relate to each other, due to their lack of basic knowledge about football. And many just ignore all the available evidence of the outcomes of the duels that are littered all over the news in pursuit of reinventing the wheel, unfortunately, it has always ended in the same way.
Regrettably, the losers are never FIFA OR THE COUNTRY, it’s the players the fans and the various stake holders that are involved in the day to day running of the sport.
Benin’s latest ban negates all results achieved on the pitch, to the dustbin of FIFA countries that were found in contravention of its statutes. It painfully dries all the sweat of the players that was lost during the first two qualifiers and renders it useless. Being second placed and having a game against guinea in June, does not help their cause.
They were mercilessly banned, when the merciless FIFA statutes met and crushed to nothing, the laws of the land via court injunctions.
Kuwait found itself in a much trickier place, a new sports act contravened the Holy Grail from FIFA; the response was immediate, devastating and uncompromising. Kuwait was given its matching orders and they are currently sweating for readmission, not until they are made to frog jump into submission.
On the waiting list to disgrace is Nigeria and Uganda. Make no mistake the norm of FIFA beating countries into submission is not yet to stop. They have done it before, and will do it again. External influence will never be accepted and it’s the only thing that gives the game relevance and independence that is much needed for fair competition and representation, else, Belgium which is currently number one will start asking for more recognition and bigger stakes in football , than Uganda which is way below it in rankings.
What needs to be done?
Egoistic tendencies and pride have been part of humanity since ancient times; they will stay here come Blatter or Infantino. Knowledge sharing and Education of the stake holders is the way to go. If workshops are organised for club chairmen, so could they be organised for government officials and administrators directly involved in football. No one has the monopoly of knowledge but interacting with owners of an addictive monopolised sport can reduce on the friction between third world governments and the custodian of the game, FIFA.
Yesterday it was Benin and Kuwait, tomorrow is Nigeria and Uganda, in future…..? Make no mistake, if you gladly present yourself to the slaughter house of FIFA, they will gladly give you what you asked for.
By Ahimbisibwe Apollo, Fufa official