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What the hell is going on?

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President Trump Meets With FIFA President Gianni Infantino At White House Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Seriously, what the hell?

I mean what the hell is this?

President Trump Meets With FIFA President Gianni Infantino At White House
What the hell.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It wasn’t that long ago that FIFA executives were literally terrified of coming to the United States for fear that they would be thrown in jail. In fact, the reason that dumpster mollusk Sepp Blatter lobbied so hard for Morocco to win the 2026 World Cup was because he wanted to go to one last tournament before his rotting body gives out. That’s a joke, Sepp, you can’t sue me for it.

I guess it’s just perfectly 2018 to open your carefully curated social media feed—the one that you’ve carefully scrubbed of American politics—just to see whatever the hell this is jump out at you. Fantastic. Wonderful. A+.

I get it, though. I mean, thank you Gianni for reminding us that FIFA’s entire job is to hold the world’s soccer fandom upside down like a cartoon bully and wait for the metal coins to fall out. Why not just lean into your supervillain ethos. Start wearing capes. Obtain a lair.

Huh. You guys nailed it with this look, by the way. It really says “we do, in fact, have a death ray”.

Anyways I just can’t get Gianni’s shit-eating smirk out of my head. He’s sitting there like the big lump of absolute putrid goo that he is fuckin smirking while the big wet boy shows off his new shirt like a toddler. I mean look at that face he’s making. How can that not make you go insane?

How do you not look at this scene and lose your entire grip on reality and retreat into the depths of some long-forgotten jungle to murmur to yourself softly as the aeons pass you by

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams

In death’s dream kingdom

These do not appear:

There, the eyes are

Sunlight on a broken column

If Sepp Blatter had a “throw me in the Hague” face, Gianni has “rent the fabric of reality in twain” eyes. Those eyes.

And that’s not even the weirdest part of this interaction! That’s the saddest thing! Check out this discussion, between US Soccer President Carlos Cordeiro, Gianni Infantino, and the big round news boy:

The FIFA President and US Soccer President just having a completely normal one, hanging out with their big moist buddy, and then suddenly yeah let’s build a wall to keep the Mexicans out. It’s a press conference to announce THE UNITED US-MEXICAN-CANADIAN WORLD CUP BID! That’s what’s happening! That’s what that stupid jersey they handed him was about! But yeah, why the hell not, let’s just talk about how we need to keep the Mexicans out and also Canada—bad folks, not good!

This is an article about nothing, but it’s also an article about something because, frankly, that’s exactly what sport in 2018 is. Which is also what this “new” US Soccer federation is—absolutely nothing. Let me introduce you to the new US Men’s National Team manager: great player, all-timer, played for lots of teams—his name is TBD.

And hey, while we’re at it, let’s go ahead and shoutout to all the dual nationals (especially all the Mexican-Americans and my other latin@ herman@s) who I can only imagine are absolutely thrilled about this Machiavelli Sun-Tzu brain genius move by Cordeiro.

Can’t wait for the next Jonathan Gonzalez to get a nice look at this picture, amirite Jonnyboy? Bet you’re regretting that decision to play for Mexico now, eh?

President Trump Meets With FIFA President Gianni Infantino At White House Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

It’s just * chef’s kiss *

The only solace I get is from the fact that the very good boy called Infantino “Johnny.” I don’t care if you say that didn’t happen.

As always I’m drawn back to the eyes. The faces.

We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

Headpiece filled with straw.

I mean what in the living hell is going on.

Yes, I know it’s 2018 and that’s sorta what happens in this nightmare of a year but my god what are we supposed to do with this? I can read the news about the USSF and FIFA every single day, I can read Infantino’s press statements about how excellent the Russian World Cup was, about how great the Russian government was, and how there was no violence ever and everything was wonderful and and and and they just run on and on and on and on and onnnn

And these words make sense taken individually. But the whole is incoherent babble, a husk of a long-dead being, crying out from beyond the grave. If FIFA ever lived, we know that it has now died. The US Soccer Federation is a shattered monument to its own potential, broken and crumbling.

And perhaps I’m just the madman—it certainly has crossed my mind—running into the town square in the middle of the day, bright lantern in hand screaming screaming screaming screaming

“I seek FIFA! I seek FIFA!” -- As many of those who did not believe in FIFA were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated? -- Thus they yelled and laughed.

Infantino jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. “Whither is FIFA?” he cried; “I will tell you. We have killed it-- you and I. All of us are its murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying FIFA? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? FIFAs, too, decompose. FIFA is dead. FIFA remains dead. And we have killed it.

The end of the parable of the madman is my favorite part: realizing that the world will pass him by, that the people he is urgently preaching to will not, cannot, hear his message, he turns around and smashes his lantern. I have come too soon.

It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several stadiums and there struck up his requiem aeternam morbi. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: “What after all are these stadia now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of FIFA?”

This article is intended as satire. The opinions, such as they are, expressed are the author’s alone and are certainly not those of his employer. This article does not constitute legal advice. Do not buy a lair. Gabe is not going insane. Gabe is the Editor-in-Chief emeritus of Managing Madrid and a co-host of the Managing Madrid Podcast.