FIFA Reform Commissioner Defends Blatter, Calls Soccer in U.S. "An Ethnic Sport for Girls in School"
Soon enough, FIFA will need a reform committee for their reform committee.
In an interview with Swiss newspaper Le Matin Dimanche, Françoise Carrard, the head of the 15-person 2016 FIFA Reform Committee, handily proved that there couldn't be a worse person for the job, as he defended Sepp Blatter, refused to acknowledge a systemic problem within FIFA, and called soccer in the U.S. "just an ethnic sport for girls in school."
In the interview, Carrard, who formerly headed a cleanup of the International Olympic Committee in the wake of the Salt Lake City bidding scandal, contrasted the IOC corruption with FIFA's, saying "the [FIFA] case involves only a few 'rogues,' appointed within the FIFA Executive Committee, who filled their pockets outside of continental competitions."
Carrard then went on to defend Blatter, saying (as translated by Reuters),
There is something unfair in the way he is treated. I say that with complete independence. We are in the process of pillorying him. Unfortunately, it's always like that when somebody stays too long, the negative side gets noticed. This man has been unfairly treated. And if we talk about corruption... I have the whole U.S. proceedings on my table. In the indictment, there is not one word against him. Nothing. Today I am not aware of any indication of corruption against Blatter.
Carrard's language is dangerously diminutive of FIFA's culpability, leaving considerable room for speculation that he won't be looking deep enough for evidence of systemic corruption. While an innocent-until-guilty presupposition has its benefits, the released information implies that there is a deeply-ingrained history of accepting bribes—well beyond that of "only a few 'rogues.'" And Blatter should be the first person he puts under the microscope.
Carrard made sure to mention in the interview, "I was called by a major sports leader who, I might add, is not Sepp Blatter," refusing to name who hired him for the role. He also refused to say how much he was getting paid for the job. Carrard's obfuscation is the exact underhanded, backdoor dealing that he was appointed to eradicate.
And to put the icing on the cake—just when you thought he couldn't sound any more FIFA-esque—he managed to insult U.S. soccer, women and "ethnic" people in one tightly-packed, ignorant sentence. Here's the full context,
But for the US, football, soccer, does not have the same weight as baseball, basketball and American football. There, it's just an ethnic sport for girls in schools.
To me, that looks like a diverse group of grown-ass, professional, ass-kicking women who are pretty serious about soccer.
Soon enough, FIFA will need a reform committee for their reform committee, and I'll be the first to show up to the town pillory to watch Carrard take a Megan Rapinoe cleat to the head.