SPORTS

9 Reasons No One Will Miss Sepp Blatter When He's Gone

06/02/2015 06:24 pm ET | Updated Jun 02, 2015
VALERIANO DI DOMENICO via Getty Images

Longtime FIFA president Sepp Blatter voluntarily resigned on Tuesday after nearly two decades at the helm of perhaps the world's most important sports organization.

But while everyone is focusing on the overwhelming evidence of corruption within the organization, we just couldn't let Blatter drift into obscurity without first recounting his many shortcomings throughout the years.

He suggested female athletes "play in more feminine clothes."

In 2004, he offered a suggestion to boost the popularity of women's soccer: "Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts." More than a decade later, the women's game is doing just fine without his knucklehead advice.

He noted women should talk as much at work as they do at home.

In 2013, he tipped the sexism meter to idiotic while boasting that three women out of 24 members then served on the executive committee. "We now have three ladies on the board," he said. "Say something, ladies! You are always speaking at home. Now you can speak here."

He said gay people shouldn't have sex at the World Cup.

He's stuck his foot in his mouth on other issues as well, like gay rights. After Qatar was awarded the World Cup for 2022, Blatter had this tip for gay fans visiting the country, knowing Qatar's strict laws against homosexuality: "I’d say they should refrain from any sexual activities."

He implied that Africans are less honest than Europeans.

Some might say he was racist, too: In 2006, he told an Italian newspaper that reported match-fixing in Italy's soccer league would tarnish the game's image. "I could understand it if it had happened in Africa," he said, "but not in Italy."

He said a simple handshake could cure racism.

Yet this is the same man who told CNN that racism in soccer could be cured with a handshake. Oh, wait, that was at the same time he said racism wasn't a problem on the field at all. "There is no racism. There is maybe one of the players towards another -- he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one."

At the very least, he showed cluelessness.

While many believe the investigation into bribery, fraud and racketeering will eventually hit Blatter directly, we can perhaps all agree that he wasn't running the tightest of ships.

In 2011, FIFA opened an investigation into its own organization. It absolved Blatter of wrongdoing in 2013 while conceding that he did have "clumsy" oversight in a bribery matter.

He dismissed words to the wise.

He apparently wasn't much of an advice-taker, either. In 2011, Blatter's own commission of an independent study into reform at FIFA resulted in the recommendation that he have a system for "disclosing cash payments to officials." According to the Wall Street Journal, he ignored it.

He said Russia's World Cup could help peace.

Blatter seems to have a skewed view of diplomacy as well. He said in March that Russia hosting the World Cup in 2018 would stabilize the region. Right, 'cause the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi worked so well to bring peace to Ukraine.

He didn't know a soccer star when he saw one.

The exiting soccer chief could be pretty oblivious too. U.S. national team star Alex Morgan said Blatter didn't even recognize her at a 2013 banquet to award the FIFA Women's Player of the Year. Morgan was one of the finalists. "Sepp Blatter didn't know who I was," she said. "That was pretty shocking."

Soon enough, he won't be your problem anymore, Alex. Oh, how the mighty has fallen.

blatter

Sepp Blatter tumbles off a stage in 2010.

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS