Another week off from competition, another disruption to the pattern of training and playing for the season. It’s a challenging time for the players and the coaching and other staff with this on-again, off-again competition.
In the meantime, the big news in world football this past week or so has been what is happening with FIFA and, on a much smaller scale, at home with FFA.
In case you’ve been on Mars and not noticed the news, the long standing ‘smell’ that has been around the world governing body of the sport, FIFA based in Zurich, Switzerland, has finally come to the world’s attention thanks to the US authorities.
This has been something long talked about in world football circles, and those who have attempted to shine a light on this have often been ridiculed and disparaged.
These include investigative journalist (I’m proud to say he’s a Scotsman), Andrew Jennings, as well as other investigative journalists and whistleblowers including someone close to home: Bonita Mersiades. She has had the courage to stand-up and speak the truth when so many haven’t, and when so many in the football ‘family’ in this country have criticised her stand as “bitter and twisted”. I know her, and nothing could be further than the truth. She has been vindicated.
What is needed now is to start again with FIFA. The idea that the man who has been there for more than 17 years at the top, Sepp Blatter, can now suddenly develop a ‘reform agenda’ is not believable. I would like to see us start again in building a new FIFA.
I also think it’s time FFA was brought properly to account on its use of money. Regardless of whether it was taxpayers’ or the money we all give to the game, we now know they gave $500,000 to upgrade a stadium in far-off Trinidad and Tobago when that money could have been used here in Australia for our children.
Ian Ferguson is Director of Coaching of Northern Fury FC and Head Coach of the NPL team. He has previously coached Perth Glory and the former NQ Fury in the A-League. His playing career spanned 18 years, mostly with Rangers in the Scottish Premier League. He was capped nine times for Scotland.