In 1983 the British band New Order made a record entitled Power, Corruption and Lies. Seven years later, the same band produced possibly the best ever football anthem World in Motion. For me, the World Cup has always been about more than just football. A coming together of nations and cultures. For some the ‘more than just football’ means other things.
The scale of wealth generated by football has descended the game into depths of the farcical. Recent allegations by the UK’s former FA chairman Lord Triesman that FIFA is run like a Mafia family are no more a revelation than why the 2018 and 2022 games were awarded to Russia and Qatar; Money and that alone, forget infrastructure or any rational goal for common sense.
Money has allowed mankind to partake in all kinds of skulduggery. Too much has led to a world now run by men akin to spoilt kids with too much candy; the kind who never want to pass the ball to anyone else and are so consumed by their own sense of self-importance and never ending party lifestyles that they hold little regard for consequences (if indeed there will ever be any).
Having watched the opening game of the tournament in Brazil, questions can already be raised about the more sinister side of football; was that really a penalty to the hosts or the sign of match fixing? My point is, with a company as clearly corrupt as FIFA at the helm and with so much money in the ‘game,’ can we really be sure that what we are seeing is real? Or is it all pre-determined?
In short: Is football worth watching anymore?
Sadly, I just don’t know. I’ll be watching with tainted eyes and not just because where I am, the matches are taking place in the early hours. It is the constant unknowing of whether I am watching reality or would be better off watching a Nintendo version which at the very least would offer genuine fiction.
One thing is certain, it will take an awful lot to switch off their TV sets before we see a return to truth in the beautiful game. And how many will be willing to do that? The world might be in motion and Brazil awash with colour, but for now it seems New Order’s 31 year old statement that power equals corruption and lies is perhaps the only reality we can be assured of.