The decision by the Football Governing Body (FIFA) on 28th of Feb, 2022 to ban and suspend Russian National Teams from participating in any international competition has raised a question on the credibility of the highest decision making of football, on their alignment with politics which have spurred many reactions from fans and raised the question, Has FIFA been Politicized?
FIFA as a body representing the football world was set up in 1904 in Europe, and it gained much more prominence during the post-second world war, as it was used as an agency for promoting world peace, and to bring members of conflicts states together through their football interactions.
Since the full-scale setting up of FIFA as a general body of the sport, it has remained an apolitical organization, with the football world differentiating itself from politics, and playing the role of non-alignment in politics.
The recent suspension of the Russian team from participating in any competition internationally has clouded a dark hope on the credibility of FIFA on her neutrality in politics, and that, decision to be made by FIFA should be a representation of the world’s decision, not a few groups.
Has FIFA Banned Any Teams From Participating Internationally?
FIFA’s decision to banned a team from participating globally can hardly become by, it’s only apparent during the apartheid regime in South Africa and Rhodesia where the team was banned from participating, but the record has it that, despite the turmoil exhibited by Nazi Germany, they were not excluded from participating in the 1938 World Cup.
France partakes in the 1950s World Cup despite her bloody wars against the colonial independence movement in Africa and Indo-China. Nigeria wasn’t banned in the 1970 World Cup despite her civil war with the Biafrans. Argentina junta detained and executed its population inside football stadium that later went on to be the venue for the 1978 world cup final.
Military rule, Civil war in Africa and other parts of the world which had led to millions of death, didn’t stop their teams from participating globally. America despite her atrocities committed wasn’t subjected to suspension by FIFA, and Israel’s onslaught in Palestine didn’t warrant them to be banned.
Teams that got banned from participating globally were not because of political interference, even in a despotic regime but what now went wrong with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?
Who Owns FIFA, The West, Or The World?
Questions have been raised over the ownership and legality of FIFA as to whom her allegiance stands with, the rationale behind Russia’s suspension has shown the world that, FIFA is being controlled by the US and her NATO allies, the call for Russian team suspension wasn’t a representation of the global sport, but rather of EU and US.
Since FIFA never suspended a team because of political interference, but rather remain a neutral entity all these whiles. Poland’s national team was the first to call for Russia’s suspension followed by Sweden, which with immediacy, the Russian teams was suspended by FIFA and UEFA, should FIFA’s decision be blinded by sentiment, would lead to her loss of credibility in the world.
Should Football Be Political?
While the football arena has been a venue for a show of love, solidarity, unification, and solidification of pacts among countries and people of the world, which was paramount in the Coted Ivoire civil war, it has also been a venue of non-partisan politics.
Mohammed Abdoutrika of Egypt was finned for showering solidarity for Palestine, Celtic was fined because her fans raised the flag of Palestine in the stadium, and Ozil was castigated for campaigning for the Uyghur, but in the case of Ukraine, the flag of Ukraine was raised by fans and players, but rather to be condemned, they were hailed as a hero by FIFA and the media world.
Was FIFA trying to portray the superiority of the West over other countries which has been a subject of military invasion, or is it because it was founded by the West! FIFA’s decision wasn’t a representation of the world’s decision.
Should Russia succeed in their litigation against FIFA, what credibility and prestige remain for FIFA, in her act of partiality?