Colin Bryden

Criticising Blatter is ‘profane’

2010-05-31 07:07
Colin Bryden
I have learned that criticising Sepp Blatter is regarded as profane by Fifa.

I am not in the habit of posting comments on websites, other than columns such as this which I write under my own name.

But I have become increasingly incensed by the arrogance of Fifa and the company Match, with its direct family connection (through a nephew) to Sepp Blatter.

Match must have made millions of dollars out of the World Cup yet at critical moments their systems fail.

It happened again after an announcement that more tickets would be on sale last Friday. Once again the computer system crashed, leaving would-be ticket buyers angry and frustrated.

In the hopes of adding to my limited portfolio of World Cup tickets I went online and after several unsuccessful attempts to get into the “Buy Tickets” section of the Fifa website I spotted an article headlined, “Technical problems experienced in ticket sales”.

The article invited readers to add a comment. For the first time in my life I decided to vent my feelings and wrote a comment which included some strong criticism of Match and Sepp Blatter. It also included the words, “as a South African, I feel raped by Match.”

When I pressed the Send icon I received the following message, “Sorry, your message seems to contain profanities and cannot be submitted.”

Oh dear, I thought. Maybe it was the reference to rape that offended Fifa’s electronic censor.

So I started again, writing the following comment: “MATCH has been a disgrace. The company must have made millions of dollars out of this World Cup yet they have treated South African football followers and would-be accommodation providers with disdain. It is a disgrace too that the company is run by a relative of Mr Blatter. It is time for Mr Blatter to be voted out of office.”

No reference to rape but some deliberately harsh criticism of Sepp Blatter.

Surprise, surprise. I got the same response, “Sorry, your message seems to contain profanities and cannot be submitted.”

My only conclusion must be that criticism of the Fifa president is automatically vetoed on the organisation’s website.

Incidentally, my Oxford dictionary defines ‘profane’ as “Treat (sacred thing) with irreverence or disregard.”

Perhaps Mr Blatter truly believes he is a god.

Colin Bryden is currently a disgruntled Soccer World Cup ticket purchaser, but also a former cricket correspondent of the Sunday Times and current editor of the Mutual & Federal South African Cricket Annual

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.


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