It’s time for countries to leave FIFA – DW – 11/24/2022 / German News

The day after the national team blew their World Cup opener against Japan started with German fans nursing an emotional hangover. But what’s really making many nauseous is the sight of FIFA President Gianni Infantino sat watching the game with German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, who removed her jacket to reveal that she was wearing the ‘One Love’ armband that FIFA prevented Germany captain Manuel Neuer from wearing.

Sign of helplessness

Faeser did so with the intention of making a statement that Neuer, under the threat of FIFA sanctions (beginning with a yellow card) had been prevented from making. However, in truth, her ‘statement’ was just an expression of helplessness. Under current structures, Germany and its FA (DFB), the world’s biggest national sports federation, are helpless against FIFA, which has rammed through this World Cup in Qatar.

It was always clear that FIFA would not budget an inch from its “no politics” course when it comes to what happens on the pitch. Nevertheless, under pressure from the general public back home, seven national FAs elected to allow their players to express their personal and collective opinions. Such gestures will generate attention and likes on social media. But they won’t change a thing.

Nor will a lawsuit against FIFA, officially a non-profit organization, that is being mulled by some of the national FAs.

Nancy Faeser had plenty to discuss with Gianni Infantino during the game
Image: Moritz Müller/IMAGO

What would have really put the federation and Infantino on the spot would have been to run an opposition candidate in the next FIFA presidential election in March. Not a token candidate, but a credible person who seriously stands for real change at FIFA.

Revolution: Establishing a new world governing body

The moment has passed. To have any hope of being successful against Infantino, who has long since won the loyalty of many national FAs through financial channels, this process would have had to be set in motion years ago.

So what is the available course of action if you don’t want to let a corrupt, money-grubbing and value-free global governing body to destroy your passion for football? The answer is to leave FIFA.

The DFB should pull out of FIFA and, along with like-minded FAs from Europe, South America and beyond, create a new world governing body in which transparency and sustainability are paid more than mere lip service.

This would be their chance to establish an alternative body and show that those who have long been part of, and profited from, FIFA’s corrupt and value-less system, have learned their lesson. A chance to strive for meaningful and effective change.

This article was adapted from German.

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