Greetings from the land of sand. This is the weekly segment here on Managing Madrid where I walk around my international campus and ask random people of different backgrounds and football loyalties questions about the footballing world and Real Madrid.
You knew it was coming. Whether you care or not, Joseph S. Blatter, FIFA President, has been in the press far too often, and for all the wrong reasons. So naturally the question this week is this:
Is Blatter's denial of racism and replay technology hurting football?
Now before you make your own decision, there are a few incidents you should keep in mind:
a) His comments on racism in football:
"There is no racism, there is maybe one of the players towards another, he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one [...] the one who is affected by that, he should say that this is a game. We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands, and this can happen, because we have worked so hard against racism and discrimination."
b) His deliberate slowing of the advancements of goal-line technology (something that is finally set to be put in motion by the way).
Now before you go and vote "BLATTER OUT," please read on. This week's question isn't as simple as it looks.
I must confess that when my friend Phillip provided this question I thought I would just collect many anti-Blatter statements, post them, and move on. Well, of course I might have more than a little bias. In general, here at Managing Madrid we just aren't too fond of Mr. Blatter (see this post if you need a refresher). And personally, I dislike Blatter, not only because I think he is ignorant and makes too long speeches at FIFA Galas, but also because the workings of FIFA's inner sanctum are a complete mystery to me. I mean, how many scandals can a group of old men produce?
But soon, I noticed that there are actually a lot of varying opinions on this topic. Take a look at some of the answers:
"Blatter is delaying the advance of football; better technology vs better refs for example. And extra protection for keepers."
"Blatter's an indiot for not letting video technology for refs sooner."
" [On Blatter's delay in advance of goal-line technology] There have been many examples where they could have used video technology. Such as Chelsea vs Barcelona in the Champions League of 2009 when Chelsea has two penalty chances [that were] not given."
"I believe that Blatter is right [in his comment on racism], players should deal with each other like mature men and that's it."
Yes, you read that last statement right. Nadim agrees with Blatter. However, before you go on claiming that he makes no sense (he's a Barcelona fan, by the way, so that time comes later), let me play devil's advocate and take his side for a minute.
Define racism. The dictionary says: "a way of behaving or thinking that shows that you do not like or respect people who belong to races that are different from your own and that you believe your race is better than others." But are the comments that are being made by one player to another really racist? Or are they just like any other insult? Yes, Mr. Blatter was wrong to say that there are no racist comments in football--anyone who has been lingering around Marcelo awhile knows this for a fact--but are such comments said with the intent of discrimination at mind?
And regardless of a seemingly "misunderstood" comment, is that enough to say that Blatter is actually slowing the advance of football? So what if he's a "purist" who lives in the Stone Age regarding goal-line technology? Is he really slowing the progress of football as a sport?
This is your question of the week. You can take a vote in the poll, write a comment, or both. Just share your thoughts below. Hala Madrid!