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Sports

Opinion: Time for FIFA boycott is now

FIFA has again defied the wishes of football fans around the world and the most basic dictates of ethics and reason. DW's Jefferson Chase says that it's now up to football associations to put an end to the madness.

Let's play a game of free association. I'll say a word, and you tell me what immediately pops to mind. The word is FIFA. So what did you think of? Bribery? Corruption? Blatter? What about "nauseating?" That's the word that great English striker Gary Lineker used when he was asked about football's world governing body.

Speaking to the BBC, the mild-mannered and well-spoken Lineker, who never received a card in his playing career, went on to say: "Either FIFA needs to become totally transparent and pretty much start again, or [football] needs to be taken out their hands. The major federations of world football need to get together and boycott FIFA. You should get the English, the Germans, the Spanish, the Italians, the Americans, the Brazilians and the other major forces in world football to come together and say 'We've had enough of this.'"

Seeking for a solution to the corruption problems within FIFA? I think we have a winner.

German Minister of Justice Heiko Maas agrees. Ahead of Friday's circu...er, vote, he wrote on Twitter: "Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes, and at the end @GaryLineker is always right."

There will be a tremendous amount of ink spilled about Friday's proceedings, with Blatter's characteristically bizarre and meandering thank-you speech as its high/low point. There needn't be. The facts are that FIFA is an endemically corrupt organization, the man who has headed it for 17 years refuses to leave, and FIFA's members refuse to get rid of him.

Chase Jefferson Kommentarbild App

DW Sports' Jefferson Chase

There's no need for any discussions, dialogue or compromises. It's is now up to the world's leading football nations, acting alone or with in organizations like UEFA, to sever their ties with FIFA. They should immediately begin discussions about where to hold the "True World Cup," or whatever they want to call it, in 2018 and 2022. Can you imagine what the sponsors' reaction would be? And how Blatter supporter Vladimir Putin would like that?

Money makes the world goes round, and that goes double for football. If there's a serious threat that the world's top teams might not play in the World Cup, Blatter would be forced to tender his resignation within a matter of days, and Friday's FIFA vote would essentially become an act of institutional suicide. Which, in a better world, is what it should be.

Will the leaders of the football federations have the courage to follow Lineker's suggestion? I doubt it. But they should. Otherwise, when all is said and done about tackling the farce that is FIFA, we will once again find that all has been said, while absolutely nothing has been done.

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