…fifa to now reduce poverty and promote healthy living?…

…imagine the possibilities…

The news is that sponsors, all US, having suddenly discovered corruption and other naughty deeds at FIFA, and as the US also sees a very lucrative market it must control, are obliquely suggesting withdrawing their participation in FIFA.

But a brief digression. The traveler, as will be any de Tocqueville, to the US is struck – occasionally, physically; even occasionally, mortally, but not that – by some stark reality. On leaving the airport and arriving at one’s destination, the first thing strange, disquieting is the ‘locals’ – very many are, as clinically defined, obese. Not only that, since that last visit, economic well-being seems to have fallen, and drastically. A casual glance at US vital statistics would suggest that mortality rates are higher than in many a much less prosperous country. Despite that one is often subjected to lectures on the superiority of the US in all matters imaginable, clearly not by those who have traveled outside the US.

So, then, the news: Major US sponsors upset with FIFA, and threaten to withdraw endorsements, sponsorship. Among the major ones, Visa, on the one hand, and Coca-Cola, Budweiser and McDonald’s on the other. Let us examine the thing. Commercial TV stations that televise FIFA matches bombard the viewers to use Visa to get into debt, gorge on Coca-Cola, Budweiser, McDonald’s, and even KFC (?) to ensure healthy obesity, hefty medical expenses (health care in the US???) and premature death, before even  paying off the ever mounting debt. (Evidence is scant that any group of football fans will opt for US junkfood during any match, World Cup or not.)

Now, then, if FIFA wants to hold onto its fans, and increase viewership, what choices does it have? If having totally healthy and debt-free viewers is too drastic an option, one can recommend advertising of a few better quality meals and drinks. In the besieged, maligned, much less affluent Concacaf region, after all, one can find superior home-cooked meals and snacks, and mango and other fruits. Beer? No comparison – beers such as Dos Equis, Corona, Presidente, Red Stripe and Carib. (Oh, why not water as beverage? Simple, that will certainly spark a lively discussion on some MNC polluting some watercourse somewhere.)

Visa, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, McDonald’s? Or even Nike? What would we really and truly recommend that our besieged Sepp tell these folk? Question answers itself?

That recurring nightmare. We shudder at, dread the thought of US intrusion in the sport: a US National ‘Football’ League styled FIFA, where the World Cup Final, mostly between the US and England, or the US and some occasional but large European country (markets!!!), would be mainly about the half-time show and the voting for the best TV commercial. The fact of the matter: since the US and its Nato allies are mightily upset with FIFA (for their not having absolute control of it or its lucrative market), they can just leave the field to the ‘great, even if impoverished, unwashed’ and, instead, just go create their own market and play that more violent US ‘football’ that so fits their belligerent disposition?

…sepp, something truly memorable for that legacy: a healthier football world! ‘ils ne passeront pas!’….

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