The title to this piece were the key words expressed by Price Ali of Jordan in his speech to the FIFA Congress before the election process took place earlier today. Sepp Blatter won his reelection bid after the Prince bowed out of the race following the first round of voting that saw him trail 133 to 73 votes. This may seem like a dark time for world football because its leader embroiled in a sea of corruption has been given more time in charge but there could be a light in the distance as the seeds of change have been planted.
Price Ali has been the most successful challenger to Blatter’s power since he first gained the FIFA presidency and there are at least 73 football associations across the world that are unhappy with his job performance. These FIFA arrests were a major event but they are not the change because as Price Ali said change is a process. I believe this week could very well be looked at as when the process of change started. Corporate sponsors of FIFA and the most powerful football nations in UEFA are reevaluating their association with the Swiss based organization. This will force some level of change because FIFA would be absolutely nothing without the cash that their sponsors and the top teams in Europe provide.
The longstanding Swiss FIFA president is a smart man and a master politician who has built up a great level of trust with the smaller and developing nations of FIFA to consolidate his power even through this great turmoil. These nations have votes that count just as much as the powerful footballing stalwarts in Europe and South America. It will be very difficult to erode this level of trust between Blatter (or his hand-picked successor) and these nations but the seeds of change have been planted even though Prince Ali has failed as most journalist and pundits predicted.
Change is very much a process; let’s hope that process has been kicked started through the prism of scandal because the future of world football depends on it.