I’m a big football fan and have been now for almost my whole life. And while there was a time when I didn’t pay to much attention to it it stayed with me until now – and beyond
But – and that may be due to my age and my broadened world view or whatever – I find myself struggling not with the sport itself or its rules or even fans (however annoying THEY can be) but with the officials. The ones trying to organise tournaments, leagues and cups. Those who say there interest is fair play and the idea of peace, understanding and equality through sports. I’m talking about FIFA – the Fédération Internationale de Football Association – with Sepp Blatter at their lead.
With the World Cup and the different continental tournaments only being around every other year one would think it’s mostly about the national leagues and cups in the meantime. Big transfers, losses, wins, fired managers and the like. And while all of this happened, probably the most talked about topic in football for several years now is a tournament eight years in the future: the World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
Blatter already said that the decision to have a World Cup in a country with summers around 50C was a mistake. That it took four years for that enlightenment is as sad as the alleged frauds concerning the original vote. Several millions may or may not have been paid to essentially buy the World Cup. It makes me furious that one of the most prestigious sport tournament in the world is nothing more than a sellout for a sell-proclaimed non-profit organisation.
I hate that football changed this much – or that I grew too old to believe that it’s all about the game and not the money.
I will root for Germany this year – like I always do – but I’m not sure I’ll remember the games as vivid as I remember Oliver Bierhoff’s golden goal in 1996 which took us first to the final and then to European glory…