July 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
We have been awestruck by the fantastic global support for changeFIFA. Despite what FIFA would like you to believe fans, players, clubs, journalists and even some FIFA workers from all over the world have had enough of the way the game is being run. This morning we received this message and these pictures from Edgardo Obregon in Mexico, we hope you enjoy them:
“I think you will enjoy the attached photos taken today at the U17 World Cup matches between England vs Argentina and Mexico vs Panama that took in Pachuca, Mexico.
It has been raining in Mexico lately, but today it rained harder, so FIFA representatives wondering around the stadium were too wet and cold to bother to remove the banners from the many fans that wanted to get their picture taken with them.
Use the photos as you wish as it is clear that Mexican fans want changes at FIFA too. Brand awareness of @ChangeFIFA was accomplished. Over 17,000 fans attended the games.
Cheers from rainy Mexico!
Later today we will compile a post with the other fantastic images sent to us from around the world. Your support is essential and valued by us, Thank You.
December 15, 2010 § 6 Comments
You can still be a hero.
At this moment the future of football lies in your hands – and it has nothing to do with legacy projects in new frontiers. It has everything to do with the people who feel alienated from FIFA. Sadly, that is just about everyone who watches and plays the game.
It is no secret that you would love to end your career with a Nobel Peace Prize. That is quite some aim, but a noble one. Two of the five main parts of the Prize, as stipulated by Alfred Nobel are that the winner must show their best work towards the promotion of fraternity between nations and the holding and promotion of peace congresses. At this moment in time it is fair to say that you are falling way short in those two areas.
FIFA’s convoluted voting processes, backroom deals and secrecy hardly allow for fraternity between nations. In terms of holding peace congresses your recent press conference and answers you gave to reasonable questions about homosexual fans and players travelling to Qatar fell way short of promoting peace. Many people were deeply offended and angry about those comments, whilst there is barely a football fan with any passing interest in the game who isn’t suspicious about the machinations of FIFA decision making, transparency and motives.
It does not have to be like this. If you were to call for a complete restructuring of FIFA which led to a democratic, transparent and fair FIFA – one which valued and respected those who make it the wonder that it is – your Nobel Prize would be nailed on. If you were to radically modernise the Presidential voting process and allow fresh ideas to enter the FIFA system you would be a hero to those who have grown disillusioned and depressed at the state of the game. We are talking hundreds of millions of people.
Think about it on a personal level. Does being deeply unpopular feel good? Imagine how it would feel to be the hero of the game as opposed to quite possibly the least popular person in its history. The choice is yours, openly and vigorously modernise FIFA and the positive effect would be your lifetime legacy, a legacy to be extremely proud of.
You can still be a hero.
December 10, 2010 § 6 Comments
(Update, see below)
We are working to set up a live debate on the future of world football governance. The plan is to hold this in Barcelona sometime in early 2011 and broadcast it live over the internet and television. FIFA and Blatter will be invited to attend, as will key people in the football industry from players, coaches and managers to politcians, journalists, administrators, agents, sponsors, tea ladies and most importantly – the fans. Ideally we would like to be able to provide fans the opportunity to vote online on propositions put forward. The ability to submit ideas and thoughts will also be hugely important.
The aim of the debate is not to generate lots of hot air that will evaporate, but to define a clear plan for the direction of the governance of world football that is workable, democratic and transparent. Our belief is that rather than fawn to FIFA, politicians must stand up and demand change on behalf their electorate. They need to take an active role in demanding democracy, just as they do so forcefully elsewhere – this is why we believe they must attend. An equal share in The Beautiful Game has to be a right of any lover of the game whose pulse has raced at the thought it, their electorate. That FIFA operates as an unaccountable organisation in 2011 is plain wrong and unfair – this debate will be a major step on the road to ending the failed status-quo.
We are committed to helping to return the game back to the people; we believe an open, high level debate with a purpose is a great place to start real hard nosed visible change.
We will post more information as the plan develops.
We are getting closer to announcing a date and venue. We have also been working hard to find a broadcaster and panelists (including Mr.Blatter). Our main drive is the belief that it is good to talk before making decisions, it is also good to ask fans what they think. One of the things we are also working on is a live voting system so viewers can vote on motions and ideas put forward.
Again, we’ll keep you posted as and when we have news.
December 5, 2010 § 2 Comments
ChangeFIFA is extremely grateful to all those on Twitter and Facebook who are supporting the drive to create an open and transparent world governing body for football. It is important to make a couple of points clear: ChangeFIFA was not created as a backlash against England’s failure in the bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Nor was it created as a negative response to Russia or Qatar’s successes in their respective bidding processes. It was created months previously, as a campaign to create a world governing body for football that anyone who loves the sport could be proud of.
As many have pointed out, legally challenging FIFA’s hold on football could be a ‘minefield’. There are two choices: either do nothing, or act to make a positive change. Doing nothing allows the failed status quo to continue and that is no longer acceptable. This is why ChangeFIFA will not stop until fans and players get a world governing body that respects them.
Currently there are two clear options to achieve this goal:
1. Form a new world governing body for football. This would almost certainly require national associations to break from FIFA. They would do so because of their belief that FIFA no longer has the best interests of football at heart. They would insist that any replacement organisation must be both democratically appointed and independently audited. They would also insist that this new governing body must be financially transparent.
2. Reform FIFA in its current form. A reform of FIFA is the most workable of the two options, but to be successful the organisation needs a complete overhaul. The ‘house of football’ will require a purge and rigorous renovation. Half measures will only lead to doubt.
Option 1 is the most ambitious, yet most dynamic option. To work it would need at least 3 national associations of high stature to come to an agreement. This would force a tipping point and almost certainly lead to a mass breakaway.
There is little to no chance that FIFA would voluntarily agree to either transparency or a complete restructuring. This means that option 2 would require a combination of intense legal and political pressure alongside the current force of mass public desire for change. It is probably true to say that trust in FIFA for the majority of informed fans and players has reached breaking point. As a consequence, it is probable that any moves on FIFA’s part to self-renovate or restructure themselves would be met with a high degree of cynicism.
Over the coming weeks we will seek to expedite the process of change. Now is the time to see it through. We have already spoken with current players and retired legends of the game to seek their opinion and support. In all cases they believe in what we are working towards. We have also approached national associations and politicians. We understand that many fans have severe misgivings about them, but the reality is that for complete reform to take place they must play their part. The most important people in the transformation of world football however, are the fans — and that includes those who work in the media. To change FIFA we need your support and input. ChangeFIFA IS the fans. Your continued support is not just massively appreciated — it is vital.
Please visit our facebook page…
A note on FIFA:
In any large organisation, controversial leadership can lead to ordinary employees suffering by association. FIFA is no exception. There are many decent and honest people who work for FIFA. We do not bear any grudge against these people, nor do we believe it is fair for them to be tarred with the same brush as the Executive Committee. In the event of a new governing body of world football being created, these talented, football-loving people will be key to its success. After all, the majority of good people who work for FIFA do so because of the same passion for the sport that we all share.
August 20, 2010 § Leave a comment
Joseph S. Blatter cannot be FIFA President forever. As you ponder which players your team might sign before the window closes, men in dark suits with agendas the size of 100 football pitches laid end-to-end are sneaking into position to take the throne when he leaves in 2013. These men want to conrol the wonder that is sometimes called ‘The People’s Game’. That name is a slap in the face to anyone whose pulses race when their team runs out onto the pitch.
The selection process has nothing to do with you. You have no influence over who pulls the strings from the sport that decides your mood patterns every weekend. This is wrong. Very wrong. It would be bad enough to stomach if the Presidential elections were transparent, but they aren’t. Do you really know what goes on when they make the selection? You don’t, unless you find yourself on the inner circle in Switzerland with a whiskey in your hand and friends in the right places. That papalesque smoke floating out of FIFA HQ isn’t a sign, it’s cigar smoke. And it stinks.
It is time this stopped and football was transformed into a modern, democratic organisation where everyone would be welcome to input their vote. This is not a whimsical, unrealistic pipe dream. A new FIFA is possible, but change will not come from within the organisation. Why would they force change? To paraphrase George Carlin, FIFA forcing change is like fucking for virginity. It is really not hard to blame them for wanting to keep things the way they are, it is entirely human nature.
Those men eyeing the prize want the same. FIFA needs to change, not more of the same. But how? The people who love the game are football’s only hope of meaningful change. A few boos in 2002 were enough to unsettle the President, imagine what the boo of every fan who loves the game would achieve? It would be a deafening roar, one which would blast the system into a million pieces. By standing together and demanding change football can be transformed. If things carry on as they are nothing will change and we will simply be left in the dark forever.
August 19, 2010 § Leave a comment
There is a scene in Ron Fricke’s excellent film ‘Baraka‘ that shows the process chicks go through to become battery birds. It’s both disturbing and strangely hypnotic. Thousands of fluffly little freshly hatched baby birds are shown rolling three deep down a conveyor belt and into aluminium funnels. They career down a series of chutes and through tagging machines until they end up in the hands of a brusque lady who melts their beaks. They are then unceremoniously hoyed back onto another belt where they end up dumped off a precipice into their cells. Fricke then shows us the hopeless fate of the grown birds sat miserably dropping eggs and waiting to die. He juxtaposes their sad fate with commuters rushing through a busy station. He’s making an interesting statement, but the humans squeezing like those same chicks into confined spaces are free. A station is the ultimate symbol of freedom. The chickens aren’t free. At all.
Watching this sequence should be compulsory viewing for anyone who eats cheap chicken meat. It should also be compulsory viewing for football fans, because we are exactly like battery chickens, just without feathers. Football fans sit neatly in a cage, unable to make a noise against our captors whilst dropping money into their laps like warm eggs. Unlike the commuters in the station we are rooted to the spot. We don’t want to leave football so we’ve been jumped on and captured.
Can we ever go free range?
It’s unlikely that we will break out of our cages and peck the factory owners eyes out anytime soon. Our feet have been cut off and our beaks have been melted rendering us helpless to our fate. It doesn’t have to be like this, there is a way to break free – all you need to do is press the join button on a Facebook group. Even a mangled old battery hen can do that given access to the internet.
August 18, 2010 § Leave a comment
Since this article was written we are incredibly encouraged by the attitude of journalists who are deciding that enough is enough and FIFA must be tackled.
Somebody, probably Roseanne Barr, said “the key to change is letting go of fear”. That’s easy for her to say, but her survival doesn’t depended on accreditation and tickets for the big games. Sadly for ChangeFIFA the very people who could really help spread the word and get the campaign out in the open are paralysed by fear: Sports Journalists. If they show themselves to be crossing FIFA then it’s a cert their careers would be in jeopardy. Their bosses who rely on reports from the big international games would never allow it. Over the past few weeks many superb journalists have confided that they love the idea of a movement to force change and create a new democratic FIFA, but that they couldn’t possibly get involved. Their fears are understandable on several levels, but this isn’t the Lives of Others, it’s our favourite game we are talking about here.
It is also possible to see FIFA’s position. They do not want what they perceive as divisive journalists stirring up trouble, especially those wanting ‘their’ tickets. So, we are left with a situation where everything just carries on going around in circles of negative energy. The cycle needs to stop. FIFA needs to invite change, journalists must be free to express their fears constructively. At the very least they must be free to align themselves with movements calling for change in the way football is run.
Will this happen? Absolutely. Too many people love the sport for it to continue to be run in such a closed way which inhibits freedom, afterall ‘freedom of the press’ is what draws so many great minds into journalism. It is wrong that intelligent writers who feel passionately about the sport of which they write feel afraid to comment on FIFA, especially when it concerns championing transparency, democracy and modernisation. Football is not East Germany and I think even Roseanne Barr would be able to see that.