Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Curious Pages of Sepp Blatter

You always know there is something a little interesting about a person when their main Wikipedia page has a link to a separate Wikipedia page to list their life time achievement and given honours. And this weeks topic of conversation, Mr Sepp Blatter, happens to be the proud owner of one. Twenty four honours from different countries plus six separate doctorates and honorary citizenship of East Timor (and no, I don't know if they have an extradition treaty). And the Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun was bestowed upon him by Japan. 

The awards ceremony, and very nice associated dinner, was attended by yours truly, and the Prime Minister of the time, Yukio Hatoyama, and a Princess (who was a charming lady with perfect English by the way, and does a significant amount in her own right to promote sports in Japan). The latter two I didn't know would attend but got an inkling something was happening when the hotel concierge opened my taxi door and greeted me by name. Not bad considering how many people were there. And before you ask, I was a last minute stand-in, sadly neither famous nor important.

There are many hard working and highly dedicated people committed to spreading the word of football across Asia. It is the beautiful game and it does bring people together whether in professional competition or on the school playing field. And one of them is actually speaking sense. Kozo Tashima (also an excellent English speaker) is making that rare thing for Japan. A well crafted global statement. His point "if he's innocent he should stay, if he's guilty then he should go today". Nicely said Tashima-san, very nicely said.

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