I’ve just written about Wikileaks and Transparency. And just as the antonym of transparency is opacity, then perhaps the antonym of Wikileaks is FIFA.
This week saw the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 Football World Cup Finals by FIFA following a supposedly exhaustive yet controversial process. There was also the matter of some successful investigative journalism. As a football fan I was rather ambiguous to where the events would take place, but was glad I wasn’t a gambler when I saw the result.
Naturally being resident in Australia, it would have been smashing to see the World Cup on “home” soil, but my little understanding of FIFA said that it was never going to happen. So I tipped the USA for 2022 and Spain/Portugal for 2018. How wrong were we all.
And so the recriminations begin. From the British, the Spanish and the Americans mainly, but I’m sure the Media in the Netherlands and Belgium also had a go. I’d mention some of the xenophobic reactions from the unknowledgeable media here in Australia, but that would be a waste of my time and yours.
Much of the reaction in Britain related to how the stories in the Sunday Times and on the BBC destroyed their Chances. The sheer idiocy of that line of criticism floored me, but I’ll leave it to Simon Jenkins to stand up for the investigative journalism. He wrote:
What is intriguing is the hysteria of power at seeing its inner beliefs and processes revealed. The denunciation of WikiLeaks as an “attack on America” from the political right is similar to the attitude of Britain’s football authorities towards the Sunday Times and the BBC. Someone had broken wind in church.
In my opinion FIFA should be disbanded and started again. However, I’m keen to be clear that it isn’t because I wanted to see the World Cups in England or Australia. For varying reasons, I question both Qatar and Russia’s abilities to deliver successful football tournaments. But I also had reservations about Australia hosting the tournament.
I believe FIFA should be reformed, because I and others allege FIFA is a corrupt organisation. Without evidence to the contrary, I’m unsure if this corruption is systemic. But the opaque nature of the organisation contributes to my perception. I allege they are corrupt in the way a Government becomes after it has been in power for too long. The secrecy of ballots in the recent votes. The ongoing concerns over members of the Executive committee and finding of corruption. The lack of Accountability for financial dealings in past World Cups. And mainly that such an amount of power is concentrated in the hands such few people. All Men, and mainly over 60.
Wouldn’t it be fascinating if dossiers outlining corruption within FIFA become available through Wikileaks? FIFA aren’t exactly a government, but if WikiLeaks considered the size and global impact of the organisation, and stood by their commitment to transparency, they might accept any leaks from a source in that organisation.
And if Wikileaks did release confirmation of our suspicions about FIFA, would the objections to WikiLeaks be like someone broke wind in a church as so well described by Sinom Jenkins? Or would even the bigots who now call for the Assassination of Julian Assange suddenly be feting him and his organisation?