GPIA Professor Sean Jacobs is the founder of Africa is a Country, a organization that deliberately challenge and destabilize received wisdom about the African continent and its people in Western media. His most recent opinion piece published in Al Jazeera America is about the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) the international governing body of soccer. FIFA officials were recently arrested on corruption charges– Professor Jacobs argues that the global south should not be blamed for FIFA’s corruption. He writes:
“FIFA’s current format means a vote from Cameroon or Peru weighs as heavily as one from England or the United States. This is as it should be. But if soccer belongs to everybody, so too does greed and criminality. And FIFA’s skulduggery only resonates as part of a wider cultural story that’s full of assumptions about who should have influence, and who shouldn’t. […]
“There are precious few clean hands in football. Anyone who follows European or American soccer can readily recite a lengthy list of shyster administrators and rogue officials that have plagued the game at all levels — from the Calciopoli matchfixing scandal in Italy, to Glasgow Rangers’ bankruptcy (and the tax convictions of its new chairman), to Aaron Davidson, head of the North American Soccer League, who was indicted for bribery on Wednesday.
“Somehow, despite the evidence, the myth persists that chicanery obtains to some regions and not to others.”
Read the rest of Professor Sean Jacobs’ article here.