The Washington Post

English soccer official jokingly compares FIFA to North Korea

FIFA President Sepp Blatter (Pilar Olivares/Reuters)

Although the World Cup in Brazil went off despite a few hitches, FIFA still has a tarnished reputation. Today, English Football Association Chairman Greg Dyke compared FIFA to North Korea.

“[It’s] like something out of North Korea at times — hail to the leader,” Dyke said jokingly on Tuesday to reporters after appearing before a parliamentary committee (via The Globe and Mail). He was referring to a meeting of FIFA’s congress in Sao Paulo he attended in June.

Dykes’s remarks came amid questions of FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s chances of winning another term as the head of soccer’s international governing body. Blatter’s held the position since 1998.

“If he runs again, he will win,” Dyke said, noting that not everyone shares his totalitarian view of either Blatter or FIFA.

Prior to questions from reporters, Dyke was fielding questions from England’s parliament about FIFA’s decision-making process in awarding the World Cup to Russian in 2018 and Qatar in 2022. The former is facing renewed criticism after tensions in Ukraine have escalated in recent weeks.

Criticism over FIFA’s decision to award the World Cup to Qatar, however, has dominated World Soccer commentary ever since allegations emerged charging that the wealthy Middle Eastern country offered up bribes to FIFA officials in exchange for their votes for the 2022 tournament. FIFA assigned American lawyer Michael Garcia to investigate and write a report on the matter that was supposed to be made public this month.

However, FIFA said to Monday that the association may not make report public, and for sure that the contents of the report would not be release before September.

“Please note that in accordance with art 28 and 36 of the FIFA Code of Ethics the report will be handed over to the adjudicatory chamber but only the final decision of the adjudicatory chamber may be made public,” a FIFA spokesman told World Football Insider.

In the meantime, others are ramping up their criticism of the organization along with Dyke. HBO’s Bryant Gumble is set to take aim at the decision to award the the tournament to Qatar on “Real Sports” tonight. Here’s a clip of the kind of depressing subject matter you can expect…

It seems soccer’s profile is on the rise in America after all, but just not for the right reasons in this case.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.



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