FIFA Shifts the goalposts

The Republic of Ireland face an uphill struggle to qualify for the 2010 World Cup following a controversial ruling by football’s governing body. FIFA has seeded the teams in the World Cup play-offs to ensure that the big countries have an easy as possible passage to next summer’s tournament.

The reason for this is simply- Profit. FIFA is bending the rules to maximize the qualification chances of countries such as France and Russia as their large population will guarantee high advertising and sponsorship revenues.

Football’s money men are also desperate for big name players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Thierry Henry to be there in 2010 as it will boost TV ratings in a way that Kevin Kilbane and Bosnia’s Sasa Papic won’t. The supporters of Ireland, Bosnia, Slovenia and the Ukraine all have a right to feel angered by this rigged draw. So much for FIFA’s claims to support “Fair Play”.

This is just another example of the rotten role capitalism plays in sport and especially football. In Britain and Ireland many working class families can no longer afford to watch premiership football on TV never mind attend the games! Sport under capitalism is organized for the benefit of the millionaires and not for the millions.