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Go from Bad to Better

Blatter and Corruption in FIFA


Go from Bad to Better – In This article, Poraic draws an interesting simile between a well meaning priest and the head of FIFA.  Action or inaction? I guess we will see.


Question to the two readers of this column; what do you think the primary need of the Homeless in Rome is?

If you thought food, you are in good company as the Papal Almoner (Monsignor Conrad Krajewski), who has been giving support to those on the streets of Rome for years also thought along the same lines. But like Father Conrad, you will have to think again.

This correspondent recently read (in the Vatican Insider) of Father Conrad having his eyes opened to what the Homeless most need, by an encounter with a Sicilian man called Franco. Father Conrad had met Franco outside the Church of the Holy Spirit in the Vatican City last October, where Franco had told him, it was his Fiftieth-birthday that day. Father Conrad invited him to dinner at a restaurant, but Franco declined this request on the grounds that he (badly) smelt. Father Conrad took him anyway and it was there, Franco explained to Father Conrad, that after living on the streets of Rome for the last ten-years, he found food relatively easy to come by, but not so with places to wash.

Father Conrad subsequently visited ten-parishes where homeless people reside in Rome, and asked that shower facilities be built if the parish halls did not have one (would be paid for by the Pope’s charity). He has also amended renovation plans to the rest-rooms for pilgrims that are located outside St Peter’s Basilica, to include three showers, for use for the homeless.

The above tale reminds your correspondent of another who also thought cleanliness was well down the pecking order of needs, only for his eyes to be opened to its importance by somebody else.

Sepp Blatter (President of FIFA) had thought the priority when publishing findings into alleged corruption of the bidding processes for the 2018 & 2022 World Cups was to make sure any findings published did not breach the defamation laws of Switzerland (where FIFA are based) or FIFA’s own laws on confidentiality.

Consequently a summary of the investigation’s findings, instead of all the findings was published by FIFA.

However when Michael Garcia, the lawyer who investigated the alleged corruption, told Sepp that he was resigning his position from the Ethics Committee of FIFA because the summary published (into his findings) by the German lawyer Hans-Joachim Eckert had inaccuracies & also misrepresentations in it, Sepp realised that he would have to think again (on his publishing priority).

Sepp & his fellow members subsequently decided to publish all of the investigations findings at a future date to clean up the inaccuracies and misrepresentations of the published summary.

Franco’s (bad) smell stimulated Father Conrad into action which led to the beginning of building washing facilities for the homeless in Rome within two months.

The (bad) smell from the published summary that Michael pointed out, has also stimulated Sepp into action, which led to the decision to publish all the investigation’s findings on the alleged corruption in the bidding processes of the 2018 & 2022 World Cups at a future date. But what will that future date be? Judging by the length of time it took FIFA to decide to publish Michael’s findings (he finished his investigations in September), it’s a safe bet that by the time Father Conrad’s finally completes the last of his rest-room renovations for the homeless in Rome, we’ll be still waiting for FIFA to publish Michael’s findings.


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