Gary Littman


Garry Littman is the owner and director of The Language House in Geneva which organises English language training for professional people, companies and students. He was a radio and newspaper journalist in his native Australia and ran a restaurant in Kathmandu in his younger days. He is an English language trainer and an aficionado of pétanque.

The old Swiss goat is on a slippery slope

A week is a long time in politics and football.

Earlier this month Sepp Blatter, the Swiss head of football’s governing body FIFA, was likened to Jesus Christ and Martin Luther King Jr.

As well as Abraham Lincoln and Moses. And Nelson Mandela. And Winston Churchill.

Most people, including the incredulous Luis Figo were astonished by these accolades delivered by some of Africa’s top football officials on the eve of the FIFA presidential elections.

Today, the words that echo around Blatter’s fief-a-dom are racketeering, bribery, corruption, fraud and money laundering. Most people are not, in the least, surprised.

These allegations have been building for decades.

Yesterday Swiss authorities and the FBI raided the FIFA annual meeting in the five star Baur au Lac Hotel in Zurich. At this stage at least 15 people have been charged; FIFA officials and sports marketing executives.  

Mr Blatter who will be 80 next year has not been charged. If he is not charged within the next few days he may be re-elected as FIFA president for the record fifth term. He will have well and truly earned his title as the Robert Mugabe of football.

The Father of Football has a slightly more modest appraisal of his own qualities. The Valaisan refers to himself as a Swiss mountain goat, a humble and meek creature that rarely loses its footing, no matter how slippery, steep or dangerous the slope.

But this is an avalanche that must overturn the tables in the temple of football. It must be a game changer.






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