News from the Things That Will Never Happen But Would Be Awesome department: a plan for a live TV debate between the four FIFA presidential candidates.
Sky, the BBC and English FA chairman (and former TV exec) Greg Dyke want Sepp Blatter, Luis Figo and the two other guys who aren’t famous to take part in an hour-long debate. They would take questions from an audience of “fans representing all 209 FIFA member nations.”
Of course, in many countries such debates among figures vying for important public offices are considered key components of the democratic process. Which is exactly why Blatter won’t go for it.
He’s also the strong favorite to win, another reason why he’s got no incentive to go on TV and look as slippery as a Vaseline-slathered eel as he attempts to defend the indefensible, i.e. FIFA under his long, long rule. Least of all in an event held in England and organized by media organizations that devote a lot of time to making him look bad.
Maybe the other three could hold the event without Blatter – but what would be the point?
While a debate involving all four would doubtless be entertaining and revealing, it wouldn’t make an iota of difference to the vote. There’s logic behind holding presidential debates among politicians who are going to be elected by the general public. That way, the viewers actually hold some power. But you and I aren’t voting for the next FIFA president in May. That’s the job of the 209 representatives of the member nations.
Most of them won’t be swayed by what happens in a debate, if they even watch it. They’ll care about how big a piece of the FIFA money pot each candidate’s offering their country, how many World Cup places will go to their confederation, what kind of canapes will be dished out at the next FIFA congress. Whether Blatter gets shown up by Figo on TV isn’t going to sway them one bit.