Monday, 30 May 2011

FIFA Own Goal: Blatter Battered

I have just witnessed the most amazing press conference I have ever seen in a life peppered with colourful events. Sky News gleefully transmitted a live feed of the entire Sepp Blatter FIFA press conference and it was a display of the most breathtaking arrogance I have ever seen in my professional life. I only regret the camera stayed on Blatter and didn't register the appalled, shocked and angry press in the room.

I simply couldn't believe it - why the entire press corps didn't walk out when a disembodied voice announced 'one question only will be answered please' and the mic was switched off on a journo asking infuriated follow-ups after Blatter had simply refused to answer his (perfectly valid) question was a mystery to me. Blatter's refusal to take the first question of the entire Q&A on set the tone for the whole event. His grimacing, scrunched-up face spat defiance throughout his whole haughty peroration.

How marginal media were brought in among heavy-hitters, apparently an attempt to steer away from the 'big questions' was amazing. Blatter was strutting, incredibly formal and arrogant beyond belief. His performance screamed old skool; a man obviously beyond question by us mere mortals. At one stage, he seemed to suggest that FIFA was a nation and he was its president.

The messy break-up of the whole debacle was glorious: Blatter lecturing the media on 'respect' as they shouted back at him, the final German journalist having a good old go but eventually being silenced in what must stand as an all-time low point for football. The poor old PR guy trying to get Blatter off the stage (having cut short the entire awful thing, obviously leaving an incredulous press contingent with most of their questions still unanswered) must have died a million deaths as the man grabbed the mics and started to have a go back.

At one stage, at the end, Blatter's spittle-flecked antipathy gave rise to: "Yes, you may laugh!" Wonderful - until then, we didn't know the press was laughing at him. Now we do.

I don't care much for football - I only caught this because we were having a take-away and Sarah was watching TV. But I do care passionately for communications and our media. If for no other reason than his management of tonight's appearance, it is clear that Blatter has been too long accustomed to having too much power with too little accountability. Journalists at the event, talking on air after it blew apart, were enraged and rightly so - but they really should have stood up, as a man, and left.

He must, clearly, go. He's not fit, as the Sex Pistols tell us, to shovel anything...


Benny said...

A horrible and arrogant man in complete denial. Blatter is the Mugabe of the football world.

Seabee said...

The UK Daily Telegraph says "...Fifa’s major sponsors Coca-Cola and Adidas joined the chorus of disapproval, describing the spectacle as 'distressing' and 'damaging'."

The arrogant Blatter, and the other self-serving executives, won't come down from their high horses unless the sponsors - in concert and all of them - pull the plug.

Stained said...

The corruption controversy will hopefully shake things up....or so we can hope.

nzm said...

If he was president of a small country in the Middle East in recent times, he would have been removed by now. Instead, he removed the strongest contender for his position, (Qatar's Mohamed Bin Hammad), on corruption accusations.

Pot; kettle; black...anyone?

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