FIFA dictator meets Zimbabwean dictator
Under pressure FIFA boss Sepp Blatter flew into Harare Monday morning and immediately added to his growing negative international profile by meeting and warmly embracing Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe.Blatter is under pressure to quit over the corruption plagued way he has run the international football body. Recently Blatter ran for the FIFA presidency uncontested after his main challenger, Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar, withdrew from the race. Despite the withdrawal he went ahead with a sham one-man FIFA presidential election.
Hark back to June 2008, Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the presidential run-off after more than 500 MDC party supporters were killed by Mugabe’s troops and state security agents. Mugabe just like Blatter went ahead to take part in a one-man presidential run-off where he declared himself the winner.
During his trip Blatter hailed President Mugabe for supporting football, saying he was convinced that Zimbabwe has a wonderful future. He said football promotes the spirit of fair play and connects people, which is good for Zimbabwe. Blatter said bringing the World Cup soccer tournament to South Africa had proved that Africa has the capacity to hold big events.
Blatter immediately got down to business moments after touching down at the Harare International Airport at 7:50am after a nine-hour flight from Zurich, Switzerland. He also met with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and revealed that both leaders had in their meetings with him indicated the Government’s new thrust to prioritise the development of sport, “especially football”.
He also watched the Mighty Warriors’ Cosafa Women Championship tie against Malawi, which the hosts won 8-2, and was given a standing ovation by the crowd at Rufaro.After a hectic day, during which he also met the Zifa board, the Sport and Recreation Commission and Govern-ment officials, Blatter later addressed the media in the capital last night at which he pledged his organisation’s financial and material assistance for cash-strapped Zifa.