The FIFA Double Standard

Real Madrid are deserved champions, but their administrative antics once again prove that there are a set of rules for the world to follow- and then there are the Merengues´.

The majority of the world knows that Real Madrid will most likely hoist their first trophy in four years. There is no doubt that in a Spanish League where it seemed like no one wanted the title bad enough, they were the ones that wanted it a little bit more. They seemed to have acquired the edge that was lacking during that four-year run. That is all and good, but to there is also one thing I noticed.

When a Chelsea, or a Juventus do something that is wrong, they are either suspended or hung out to dry by Sepp Blatter. Time after time, Blatter has referred to Chelsea as the team that shows ¨what is wrong with football.¨ They have been no angels as they have been guilty (at least in some cases allegdly still) of tapping up players illegally.

Now Real Madrid, according to sources, went behind AC Milan´s back to offer Kaká a fortune. That action will probably cause any potential deal with the player and he club to not go through. How could I forget about the Arjen Robben recently? They supposedly went behind Chelsea´s back to offer the Dutch international a deal as well. In my book, as well as man others, that is called ¨tapping up¨. Although these two separated incidents would be classic cases of the pot calling the kettle ¨black¨. The only difference is that Chelsea has already had to pay for it and Milan felt the wrath of a point deduction. The latter had that blow softened as they ended up lifting some European silverware at the end of the season.

In October of 2006, Trinidad goalkepper Clayton Ince was suspended for refusing international callup and was suspended for playing for his club team- Walsall. Why do I bring this up? Well if you read the FIFA document, especially Article F, Real Madrid were given a pass on this issue. FIFA should have ruled in favor of the CBF as, according to FIFA´s own rules, his presence in Brazil to prepare for Copa América is a higher priority than the final of La Liga.

Will this problem ever be solved? Uh, probably not. As long as there are individuals who lack ethics like Ramón Calderón; as long as there are leaders who look the other way like Michel Platini or romanticize everything ¨that is right about football¨ the way Blatter does, it doesn´t matter. So Dunga could yell to high heaven in harmonious screeching alongside Peter Kenyon, Roman Abramovich, because nothing will ever happen on this one.

Let´s also look at the Mali situation as both Mahamadou Diarra and Fredéric Kanouté had to be released to their respective clubs because La Liga had a priority over the African Nations Cup qualifiers this weekend. Kanouté, whose club team is chasing Diarra´s in this race, called out FIFA´s action as despicable and ¨disrespectful towards African football.¨

Based on these two decisions, has club become more important than country or is this something that Blatter is doing to accommodate Real Madrid, better yet Spanish football? Now the big question will be if somewhere down the road, will that concession be made to another team or another league should they refuse to release a player to prepare for Euro 2008 or African Nations Cup? Is this is a recourse that Blatter is using to appease one or some of the big clubs in the world? Keep your eyes peeled. Keep your eyes peeled. I sure as hell will.

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