During his time, Football has become truly embedded as *the* global game. With an audience of billions and the active participation of tens of millions.
The same sponsors who now mimsy around like delicate ladies at a tea dance flooded money into the game because of its global reach and the ability to capitalise on its associated virtues of individual endeavour and team spirit.
The idea that Coca Cola and McDonalds and Visa should now wield some kind of moral arbitrage in the matter is vaguely nauseating.
The upside of the money that did flood in was the development of the game in some of the most deprived and underprivileged parts of the world. Blatter himself overseeing the creation of pitches and facilities in far flung parts of Asia and Africa.
The principle that a country like Russia or a region like the Middle East should not be entitled to host a World Cup is ludicrous. Football has been a force for good in many parts of the world and has played a part in social change. It should be allowed to continue this work.
And by the way, why shouldn’t Monserrat have the same voting power as, say, Spain? Should my vote in the General Election count less than an aristocrat’s?
The women’s game has grown in profile and stature too under Blatter. Women’s tournaments and leagues are now taken seriously. In addition, again football has helped women’s rights in parts of the world where they have been most undermined. Blatter’s championing of Iran’s women footballers a prime example of his personal commitment.
Platini and UEFA by contrast strike me as Western centric 19th century plutocrats seeking to keep power vested in the hands of the rich and the few. Witness the bloated pantomime that is the Champions League and its bastard cousin the Europa League.
The notion that the FA and Greg Dyke – Greg Dyke who brought the BBC to its knees and whose primary achievement seems to be the introduction of Roland Rat to breakfast TV and who seemed unaware that the “gift” of a £20,000 watch may be inappropriate and who introduced a deeply silly proposed restructure of English football – should be the man to lead us to some fondly imagined “Jules Rimet still gleaming” upland is, frankly, laughable.
Blatter may be cunning and ruthless and less than humble. Most successful people are. Steve Jobs for example. Or Barrack Obama. Or Alex Ferguson. Or Platini. Or Dyke. It depends how you use your skills.
This is not about the force of good but the force of power and the old European dragon stirring from slumber with its allies at Coke and Maccy D and Adeedaz colluding to crush those upstart Africans. And Caribbeans. And Arabs. And Asians.
Most of the world in other words. Why should they have any say in the running of the world’s game?
Blatter may be an old rogue but he may have brought about greater good than bad and we may – just may – miss him when he’s gone