FIFA Corruption Expanding Beyond International Tournaments

It has been a rough few months for FIFA recently as the organization has been under scrutiny. The announcing of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup’s to Russia and Qatar sparked the debate of corruption, but Monday’s award ceremony brought the organizations misconduct and scandal back to the lime light. During the year of an international tournament, there’s an unwritten rule that the FIFA world player of the year is one who had the most impact or dominance throughout the World or Euro cup. Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was awarded the B’allon D’or (Golden Ball) despite a poor performance during this years World Cup. Messi did have an excellent year for Barcelona scoring 58 goals in all competitions, but that does not compare to the year Wesley Sneijder had for Inter Milan and the Netherlands.

Signed by Inter in the sumer of 2009, Sneijder has led the club to domestic and international success. The Dutch international had a spectacular year in 2010, helping Inter to become only the fourth team in the world to achieve the quintuple (five trophies). During the World Cup, Sneijder earned both the bronze and silver boot along with the tournament’s top scorer with 5 goals, and picked up four man-of-the-match honors in eight games. Xavier Hernandez and Andres Iniesta two of Spain’s most important players of it’s World Cup winning squad were out done by Messi. The Argentinian’s year was impressive on all factors during club play, but throughout the international tournament Messi had little to no effect on his team’s performance.

In the last four World Cups, each winner of the B’allon D’or were a major reason for their countries success. In 1994 Romario helped Brazil win the World Cup, the following winners from 1998 through 2006; Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, and Fabio Cannavaro each won player of the year. Although Sneijder and Netherlands weren’t world champions, he was clearly the best player in 2010 regardless of what level of competition he was playing. The reasoning for Sneijder’s exclusion from the finalists’ list is unknown, he wasn’t shortlisted or in the top ten which many analysts, players, and managers didn’t agree with. The board of directors, and higher authorities of FIFA have been under scrutiny, and the B’allon D’or has made things worse.

Lionel Messi is known to be soccers poster boy, face of the sport, reason for the sports increased popularity. Messi is comparable to the NHL’s Sidney Crosby, NBA’s Lebron James, and the NFL’s Tom Brady and FIFA is going to support, protect, and continue to promote their top asset. The two-time golden ball winner has been FIFA’s number one money-maker while increasing the sports, and organizations popularity world-wide. It’s unfortunate and unfair that players who had comparable or better seasons than Messi were either not acknowledged, chosen, or didn’t compete in the voting session. Sneijder has proven himself as an elite world-class athlete both on and off the field, FIFA’s protection and continuing promotion of Messi caused the Dutch international to be ripped off. FIFA has become one-sided, which is beginning to ruin the fans, and coaches trust, support, and belief in the organization.

    • Your Partner In Crime
    • January 12th, 2011

    Very well-written, BUT…

    I deserve to win the B’allon D’or!

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