21 December 2015

After a drawn out controversy, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini were today banned from football for eight years.

Whilst Platini has remained tight-lipped on the process, Blatter has increased the controversy surrounding the whole saga.

sepp blatter

Sepp Blatter – image from @HuffingtonPost Twitter

In my honest opinion, Blatter should to prison. An eight year ban from football activities simply isn’t strong enough – especially when the man is now intent on appealing the decision which could reduce the outcome significantly. He is a con artist, simple as that.

Former FA Chairman David Bernstein  today told the BBC: “There’s a bit of a kangaroo court feel about some of this. Perhaps more relevant for Platini than Blatter because there’s a distinction between the two.

“Blatter has presided over a corrupt organisation for many, many years. The Swiss authorities and US authorities are after him… he’ll get what he deserves.

“Platini is very different. He’s presided over a very straight organisation. Uefa is not mired by corruption. Platini has got wrapped up with Blatter, he’s got too close to him. What an amateurish way this payment has been handled. It makes you feel Platini has been naïve.”

I couldn’t agree more. It is incredibly sad to see one of the world’s greatest footballing talents fall from grace. He has been brought in to this and down to Blatter’s level who, it seems, has clearly paid him to keep quiet.

Blatter’s press conference was rambling at best and he clearly is not seeing bigger picture.  He is a drowning man and no one is going to reach out to him, and it serves him right.

His smoke and mirrors, diversions, and lack of straight answers highlight his dishonesty rather than helping fight his corner.

Great leaders show integrity, admit their mistakes and learn from them, they set an example to their team and they leave a legacy that helps those who follow in their footsteps; that is the opposite of what Blatter has done here. He has brought a globally renowned organisation to its knees.

His lack of apology – merely saying he is sorry that he is a ‘punching ball’ and eventually saying he is sorry for his team – is extremely disrespectful to the team of hundreds of people of which he has been at the helm for 40 years.

Luckily football as a sport and as an industry is strong enough to bounce back from this, team loyalty keeps fans buying tickets and shirts and merchandise and keeps that economy rolling.

What do you think? Is eight years enough? Is it too much?

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