Why UEFA’s complaint about smear campaign against Platini confirm nothing will change at FIFA

UEFA has asked FIFA to look into a possible smear campaign against UEFA President Michel Platini as he begins his campaign to become new FIFA President. Reuters and German newspaper Welt am Sonntag report that someone within FIFA sent an anonymous dossier titled “Platini – skeleton in the closet” to other FIFA members that raised questions about whether or not Platini was suitable to be FIFA President.

Look, we all know Platini isn’t a complete angel as UEFA President and FIFA Executive Committee member and his close relationship to Sepp Blatter after all these years is definitely going to raise eyebrows and raise doubt that it’ll do nothing when it comes to changing the corrupt culture within FIFA, but I have some issues with the circumstances of how the dossier was released.

For one thing, the dossier was released by someone within FIFA and in the world of FIFA, I think the saying “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” applies to this situation. While there are some good people within FIFA, they seem to be few and far between and it could be likely that this dossier was from someone with an axe to grind against UEFA and/or Platini instead of giving voters information.

Another issue I have is that the person who sent the dossier decided to remain anonymous. While there is political “mud slinging” in the American political system, as well as most political systems, at least the candidates own up to when they criticize and go negative on their opponent.

Having said that, I also have a problem with how UEFA has handled this entire thing. I don’t know what’s in this dossier and how bad the dossier is on Platini. I do find it intriguing that UEFA has a bigger issue with how this was revealed and the possible smear campaign than what was actually in the dossier. While I’m sure UEFA didn’t like what was in the dossier either, considering that nobody within UEFA bothered to deny what was in the dossier, the lack of denial leaves a small part of me that thinks that what’s in the dossier is actually true.

In the end, this highlights why FIFA will not change, no matter how optimistic we are that it will. Just the mere fact that UEFA is more worried about the release of this dossier rather than what was in it, shows the political nature of how FIFA and UEFA runs. Yes, Sepp Blatter is resigning but if Platini is the favorite to win in February’s election, what happens if Platini is in charge? Also, how is this election going to change anyone to not be corrupt? When the candidates (well the main candidates) are in FIFA and each country in FIFA gets a vote and some countries have fewer advantages than others, there’s potential to be corruption. I hate to be cynical but without seeing concrete changes in the actual vote process and within FIFA itself (which there hasn’t been, even though it’s been almost three months since the indictments), it won’t matter who gets elected in February. It’ll be the same ol’ same ol’ FIFA with the facade that they’re actually doing something to stop corruption.

Reuters

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter @phillipbupp

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