It’s been an excellent World Cup and the only thing that could have made it better was Irish involvement.
From the first goal of the competition (an own goal scored by Brazil’s Marcello in the 11th minute in the opening game against Croatia) to Luiz Suarez pressing the self-destruct button against Italy, it really has been a World Cup to remember.
It will come to an end later on this evening in the Estadio do Maracana in Rio De Janeiro when Germany take on Lionel Messi’s Argentina and boy will I miss it.
The 2014 World Cup has been bitter sweet for me because on one hand I want to be able to sit down with my friends and watch some of the best footballers in the world go head to head.
However, on the other hand, it’s self-deceiving of me or of anyone else for that matter to suggest that the 2014 World Cup in Brazil was flawless.
Earlier this week it was revealed that the son of FIFA vice-president and head of Argentina’s Football Association, Julio Grondona, admitted selling official tickets to a friend.
The re-selling of tickets above their face value is deemed illegal by FIFA but despite this tickets reported to be in Humberto Grondona’s name were among hundreds seized by Brazilian police as part of the ongoing investigation into ticket touting at the competition.
Humberto Grondona has denied any involvement in the ticketing scam.
Some of the football at this year’s World Cup has been the greatest I have ever seen on the international stage but my conscience keeps getting the better of me each time I think about the allegations over the decision to award Qatar with 2022 World Cup and most recently, the ticketing scam.
Publicly, FIFA appear ready and willing to clean up their act but what punishment will they face if it is proven that money was given in exchange of votes for Qatar’s bid to host the World Cup?
Whilst all these allegations and more hang over FIFA’s head they still continue to make serious amounts of money.
FIFA is not only a sports organisation, they are a multi-billion pound business and going on the lack of enthusiasm for change it is almost as if it has become too big to fail.
Money cannot buy moments like Colombia’s James Rodriguez receiving a consoling hug from Brazil defender, David Luiz or a small international side like Costa Rica taking such an international recognised force as the Netherlands all the way to a penalty shootout.
The above are mere instances only made possible within the realm human behaviour within sport but for me, they end up feeling awfully contrived because in the back of my head I know that there is so much wrong in the world of football that it is difficult to celebrate it. It’s not the job of footballers or football managers to hold the officials of the game to account, that’s the job for perhaps an independent organisation or journalists but if this World Cup has helped some of us to fall in love again with the beautiful game then that surely comes with a desire to protect it also.
The many allegations against FIFA should be reason enough to convince those with vision that change is the only way to win back the trust of entire planet full of football fans.