Recent efforts and circumstances involving the US Soccer Federation (responsible for the National Teams, development/promotion of the sport, representation in FIFA, and other duties) have become a sore spot for many soccer devotees in this country. And there are more and more of us every year.
Questions abound, criticism flows freely, on topic large and small. We will attempt to summarize and analyze some of these – in order of relative importance. One theme at the heart of many questions/criticism goes back to cold hard cash – how much does the USSF have, and what are its priorities for raising and spending money? Some of that information is likely available if we were to scour the tubes for it, but perhaps that’s another blog post.
- Qatar 2022 – What are the chances? If you listened carefully to USSF President Sunil Gulati recently, you heard a man dancing a careful geopolitcal verbal jig. Yes, he voted for Sepp Blatter instead of abstaining (like England and some others) amidst a flurry of corruption charges. Why? Because it was politically smart to do so. Bin Hamman, the other guy in the FIFA Presidential race had been suspended from running against Blatter for attempting to bribe our Caribbean friends (with the help of suspended CONCACAF strongman, Jack Warner). It is widely assumed that Bin Hamman, head of the Qatari Federation employed the same corrupt tactics to buy votes for the 2022 hosting rights. But nothing has yet been proven,and FIFA has a way of sweeping unpleasantness away. Are Gulati and American FIFA Executive Committee Rep Chuck Blazer shrewdly biding their time and building up cache? Everyone knows the US could host a hugely successful World Cup, and would be next in line if Qatar were found culpable. And if you ask anyone outside an Arab country, they would much rather come to America for the World’s Greatest Sporting event in eleven years (and probably some of your wealthier Arabs would also agree – anonymously)
- What more can the USSF do? What should they have done? Can the USSF bring pressure and enormous conglomerates like McDonalds, Visa, Coca-Cola, and Anheuser Busch In Bev – huge FIFA sponsors one and all? Could that possibly help? Can Gulati and Blazer, shrewdly falling in line with Sepp Blatter again, forge the alliances necessary to force a revote or reallocation if the Qataris prove guilty. Could such an alliance at least help insure a decent investigation? What about the whole bid process last year? If you thought Bin Hamman and his cronies were out there buying votes, why not hire an investigative/intel/security outfit to follow them, document their activities, so you’re ready to provide evidence? Did the USSF not anticipate this? Did they have the money for such an endeavor? Continue reading