In less than 24 hours I have to eat my words. I was wrong.
Yesterday, in a post titled “First Shoe Drops”, I expressed skepticism that the US vote for FIFA President would be cast against the incumbent, Sepp Blatter. I wrongly assumed that Sunil Gulati, President of the US Federation [USSF] would avoid making a courageous statement with our vote. Well, I blew it!
In the last hour media sources have reported that Gulati has announced that he will cast our vote for Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, the challenger. With this act Gulati has put us in sync with the “good guys”. It sends a clear message that we will not continue to back the regime that has facilitated, fostered and protected corruption in the governance of this great sport. We are standing tall, regardless of the consequences.
At this hour I have no idea what the results of the election will be. It could be that Blatter’s support in the emerging nations of Asia and Africa, together with the steadfast backing of Putin and Russia cannot be defeated. It makes no difference. That there may be retribution is probable. Again, it does not matter. What does matter is that we are taking a moral stand against the corruption that threatens the game.
I have had my differences with Mr. Gulati over the years. Not in this instance. I apologize for my faulty presumption. I commend him for his leadership and courage. I am proud of him.