End of football? World Cup 2002 afterword

First of all, the forecast that was offered by the author of this article was a complete failure. Second of all, I would like to confess that I wanted Germans to win in the final match with Brazilians, although I have had an affection to the Brazilian squad for really a long time. The reason of such a personality split was too serious for me – I wanted a dull, absolutely not interesting team to win the World Cup, which would be remembered as one of the most scandalous championships ever.

Brazilians deserved their victory, but at the same time, they unwittingly helped Sepp Blatter and his company to push FIFA’s escapade into the background. The things, which took place with the world football in Japan and Korea (in the offices of FIFA officials, to be more precise) can be called “the end of football.”

The point of championships in this kind of sports is to find out, which team of which country can score the biggest number of goals – that’s it. I have an impression after the World Cup 2002 that this point has been changed. The point has been altered not by those people, who played ball, but by those, who organized those games. The latter determined the winner as they wished, with the help of referees and anti-dope services.

What’s so strange about the Korean team missing goals? Those goals were canceled – simple as that. What’s so strange about the Korean players using stimulants and herbal substances? I am not talking about doping, I am talking about stimulators, as it was acknowledged by the doctor of the Korean squad – the players were taking them for several months before the championship. The FIFA anti-dope service never made any comment on that.

The World Cup has obtained another destination – money. The more money the Korean team has, the bigger profit the football federation gains. This substitution is leading the world football to its end. What’s the point for national teams to play with each other, if officials plan everything in advance? The organizers of the World Cup of 1998 were doing their best to help the unintelligible French team to climb to the top and get the cup. They did it, and the world has swallowed that. The truth has been recently revealed, and everybody knows, what the French squad can do – zero.

Football officials did not dare to make Japan or Korea win the World Cup – this would be too dramatic, but those teams got the things that they could only dream of – cancelled goals and penalty kicks. They did not risk to run such an open fraud in France, but the mess was reigning in Korea and Japan.

The audience was not stupid, as FIFA officials could think. The viewers understood everything! When billions of people see the national squads of Italy, Spain, Belgium, the USA being condemned, when referees do not wish to notice violation of rules, then was it possible to make up a true forecast? If money makes the football world go round, then there is a sad perspective for FIFA: offended Europeans might leave the association, Sepp Blatter might be ousted. I would like to say some more about the Russian national team. I would dare to assume that Ruslan Nigmatullin (the Russian goal-keeper) chose the right time to move from Locomotive club to Italy. It seems to me that he was aware of the situation from within, he was apparently expecting, what would happen to the Russian team in Japan. Another thing: why did Vyacheslav Koloskov (the president of the Russian football association) react in such a peaceful way to the defeat of the Russian team? In the event that the Russian team leaves the group, then the money, which would be earned by the squad for entering the list of 32 best teams, would get divided equally : 50% for the Russian squad and 50% for the Russian football association. But if the squad remained in the group, then the association would get (and it got) 70% from what the squad earned. Finally, about the position of the Russian coach, which was handed over to foreigners. Any coach, even a foreign one, would always depend on the influence of the Russian Football Association's administration. The last thing I wanted to say: there were Russia’s best players and Russia’s best coach in Japan and Korea.

Sergey Filatov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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