December 17, 2003

FIFA head calls foul over international scouting and recruiting. : Sepp Blatter condemns as "neo-colonialist" the habit of rich Euro clubs going to developing countries and recuiting their most promising players. Is this indeed a problem? If so, shouldn't FIFA be the organization doing something about it, instead of blaming the for-profit clubs? And if he's right, what about US hockey's, baseball's and basketball's similar behavior? Original opinion piece in the Financial Times (, if you have access.

posted by deadcowdan to soccer at 09:18 AM - 9 comments

what about US hockey's, baseball's and basketball's similar behavior? Here's a link to the NBA's Africa 100 Camp, which seems to me to be the basketball version of the same thing. Neo-colonialist? Sure. Free global markets? Sure. It depends on whatever stance you want to take. What can be done? I don't know. FIFA might have the power in football, but if FIBA tried to step down too hard in basketball I think they would get blown out of the water since they simply aren't strong enough to take on the NBA head-to-head (in the article above, however, they are complicit with the NBA in putting on the camp).

posted by smithers at 12:05 PM on December 17, 2003

"If we're not careful, football may degenerate into a game of greed - a trend I will vigorously oppose." Has Rip Van fecking Blatter been sleeping for the last 50 years?

posted by squealy at 12:15 PM on December 17, 2003

This is absurd. The original clubs "are left with nothing but cash." Well what the fuck else should they have? These clubs are in business to make money and, until other sectors of their local economies change greatly, the money to compete with the top European leagues will simply not be there. Much less if America ever starts spending serious money in the sport. Puh-leeze!

posted by billsaysthis at 01:40 PM on December 17, 2003

Bear in mind this buffoon relies heavily on African votes for his position before looking for reason in anything that spews out of his mouth.

posted by Fat Buddha at 01:47 PM on December 17, 2003

I don't see how it's "neo-colonialist" to pay people hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to play a game, especially in poor developing countries.

posted by gyc at 03:24 PM on December 17, 2003

That's a great point Fat Buddha.

posted by smithers at 03:27 PM on December 17, 2003

What about countries recruiting talent? Where would Zidane be right now if he wasn't recruited by France?

posted by StarFucker at 01:13 AM on December 18, 2003

SF, I agree. Look at how many players move around to the country that will be their best shot, especially players born in completely uncompetitive nations. One nice thing that seems to me, from my uneducated POV, to be happening lately is the development of several African national squads as well as South Korea.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:12 PM on December 18, 2003

Did you hear about THIS crap, bill?!?

posted by StarFucker at 01:28 AM on December 23, 2003

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