Winner of the Week: FIFA’s Sepp Blatter
If you’re gonna take a shot at the king, don’t miss.
On Wednesday, Swiss police, acting on the orders of the U.S. Justice Department, arrested 14 executives from FIFA, the World Cup’s governing body, on allegations of brazen bribery and corruption. The one executive they didn’t arrest was a man named Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA and the man who has presided over what appears to be the most corrupt sports organization in the world (which is saying a lot).
Niccolò Machiavelli wrote that one should “never do an enemy a small injury.” Essentially, if you’re going to go after the bad guy, make sure you actually get him. But U.S. authorities either didn’t have enough on Blatter to make an arrest, or wanted his underlings in custody to flip on their leader. In the interim, Blatter was able to win reelection to the presidency of FIFA, vowing to be part of the solution, and not the problem.
Usually, if an entire executive staff of a company was to be arrested on corruption charges, the C.E.O. would probably bear much of the blame. But in Blatter’s mind (and the mind of FIFA member nations), Blatter’s avoidance of arrest is what distinguishes him above all other candidates. He can be as bad as he wants to be and no one can touch him. Sometimes, that’s exactly what you’re looking for in a leader, especially if you’re not planning on skipping out on bribes anytime soon. So this week’s Winner of the Week is SeppBlatter. All hail the new boss, same as the old one.
Photos by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images