Lay down your mandate, Sepp, you’re drunk.
“Only those who know the past can understand the present and shape the future,” Sepp Blatter reportedly told a Swiss newspaper. “Or in other words: the ball is round – but only those who come from outer space know the actual dimensions of our sport.”
“For me personally, the museum is a labour of love. But do not get me wrong: I’m not ready for the museum nor for a waxwork yet.”
What does this mean? That Blatter’s bizarre incoherent ramblings indicate he now spends his time imbibing schnapps in his office, feet up on the desk, telling anyone who’ll listen about the good old days and gazing fondly at framed photos of him with Nelson Mandela and Vladimir Putin, as he waits for the feds to break down his door and take him away in bracelets?
Is he saying that only aliens are capable of running FIFA? In which case, shouldn’t we blood-test him and see his birth certificate?
Most intriguingly/scarily, the FIFA president added, “I have not resigned, I put my mandate in the hands of an extraordinary congress.”
For a man who’s famously careless with what emerges from his mouth, Blatter’s being a stickler for precision about this particular technical point relating to his promise to step down, likely by the end of the year.
If Blatter’s been drinking anything, it’s the ultimate elixir: power. POWER. And so his latest comments invite even more speculation that, like the knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, he believes he’s only suffered a flesh wound and can carry on fighting, even as his appendages are lopped off.
It’s possible that Sepp is just messing with us, though. That he’s having some mischievous fun at our expense, and that he’ll keep teasing us for the rest of the year with the nightmare scenario of him standing for re-election after all, because he’s the best man for the job and really, it’s his duty to the sport and to the world.
As the Guardian points out, if that’s his strategy, it creates uncertainty that may hurt potential candidates for that election, whenever it comes. Given the wide support Blatter enjoys from FIFA members in Africa and Asia, it could be hard for his wannabe successors to get any momentum in their campaigns if voters think Sepp might stand again.
And the less he seems like a lame duck, the more influence he’ll have for the rest of the year on FIFA reforms and on the election strategies and pledges of his opponents. Clinging to power, or the impression of having power, for as long as possible makes it easier for him to anoint a favored successor, who will likely need his patronage to get the votes.
He’s quite right about one thing, though. The ball is round. No arguing with that.