After more than two years away from this site, it's good to be back writing at HexagonalBlog.
And what a time to return! The US Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, and Federal Bureau of Investigation drop the boom on soccer executives in North and South America, the Swiss - the Swiss! -- cooperate with sensational early morning arrests, Jack Warner spends the night in jail, and Sepp Blatter remains in power but not without a not-so-small protest at the FIFA Congress. It's a week that will keep professional, armchair, and laptop pundits occupied for months and years to come.
But where do you start with a story such as this? I would start with the tale of the ultimate survivor in football, Joseph S. Blatter. Like any long-serving autocratic leader, Blatter is exceptionally good at surviving, and he is equally good at manipulating the bureaucratic machinery and financial largesse of FIFA to form an unbeatable bloc of supporting national associations in Africa, Asia, and the forgotten pieces of the football world. Yes he's cynical, yes he tolerates the stuffed envelopes, and so what? In most of the world outside of the G7 countries, that is standard operating procedure in the public and private sector. And in an organization where their vote counts just as much as the votes of financial heavyweights, World Cup participants, and champions, the latter group will almost always lose.
What is next? I don't know, and I'm not sure CONCACAF, UEFA, or FIFA know either. What are next are the investigations and justice proceedings in the USA and Switzerland, and the results could be just as sensational as this week's. There is so much to write about, and there will be more to write about in the months to come.
I will get to writing about football eventually, with the U-20 World Cup starting tonight and the Women's World Cup to kickoff next week. Despite the politics, the cynicism, the complicity, the slime, and all that nonsense, it is still a beautiful game.