I love David Cushnan’s idea to have Sepp Blatter and Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein participate in a live televised debate as part of the FIFA presidential election. He floated this idea in a great piece on the SoccerEx blog and it that should be spread far and wide.
He likens the event to the first televised debates in the UK during the national election in 2010 where voters were able to get a sense of each candidate. Similarly soccer lovers around the world would get a similar look:
It would be a rare chance to give football fans around the world a proper insight into what makes the men that want the most powerful job in the world’s most popular sport tick.
Imagine Blatter, Prince Ali and even the outsider, Jerome Champagne, engaging in a genuine debate over the big issues facing world football and how they intend to run the sport over the next four years. Imagine them picking holes in each other’s manifestos, face-to-face. Imagine them asking each other questions and interacting in front of the cameras. There might even be the odd joke.
One can only imagine the mother lode of Blatter soundbites to potentially be had…Comedy aside, I would be emphatically in favor of it as any additional insight into the FIFA-bubble is a step towards more transparency. It would surely be more theater than candid conversation but the egos involved are far too large to ignore the spotlight for long. Supporters worldwide will finally get a glimpse of the men behind soccer.
Although supporters are irrelevant to the vote the nature of the broadcast will force candidates to address supporters (as a group) and their ideas. There is a psychological significance to that acknowledgement which could have an effect on candidates even if they may not believe it themselves. It also creates engagement among supporters, feeling involved is powerful and important if any real change in FIFA is ever going to happen.
It’s a great idea and I hope it gains some support.