American Journalist Grant Wahl To Run For FIFA President

Chris Wright

18th, February 2011


By Chris Wright

American journo Grant Wahl (he who be responsible for writing ‘The Beckham Experiment’) has outlined his manifesto and joined the running for the FIFA presidency.

Wahl, the senior ‘soccer’ writer over at Sports Illustrated, used an article entitled ‘It’s time for someone to depose Sepp Blatter as FIFA’s leader’ to announce his decision to enter himself as a candidate and plans to go up against incumbent president Blatter when the leadership elections come around this June.

Said the man himself:

“After careful consideration, I have an announcement to make: I’m running for the presidency of FIFA in the election to be held on June 1st. And no, I’m not kidding.

“It gets kind of old hearing the world’s soccer fans complain about Blatter without anyone trying to provide an alter­native. And make no mistake, FIFA needs to change.”

“Trust us,” [Blatter] says. Seriously? That’s like trusting a Tour de France winner to oversee cycling’s anti­doping program.”

O…kay, and just how does Wahl plan to cure FIFA’s Blatter infection? Well, with anti-Sepp-tic and a manifesto that reads as such:

1. Video review for unclear goal-line calls.

2. No more limitations of referees per country in the World Cup, to ensure the best – not merely the most diverse – group officiates soccer’s biggest stage. Furthermore, that referees must defend controversial calls to the media following games.

3. Taking off one’s shirt will no longer be a yellow card offense.

4. A woman will serve as the secretary general.

5. All of FIFA’s internal documents will be released to the public ‘WikiLeaks-style’ and an external investigation will be commissioned to hound out the rampant corruption.

6. FIFA presidents, including himself, will be limited to two four-year terms.

With FIFA’s presidency being directly voted for by their member nations,  one member nation must nominate Wahl as a candidate by April 1st (how apt) for him to be deemed eligible.

Best of luck chuck.

Posted in Media, Miscellaneous, MLS

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  1. tapioca says:

    Makes perfect sense to me, which is exactly why he doesn’t have a chance.

  2. Grant says:

    I get that you’re just poking the bear, but do you put inverted commas around ‘Soccer’ Saturday or ‘Soccer’ AM? He’s a soccer writer and you fucking well know what it means, seeing as how you Limeys invented the goddamned term.

  3. Chris says:

    @Grant: Consider yourself poked, ‘soccer’ bear!

  4. theirishembassy says:

    he’s just pointing out the fact he’s a yank.
    so let’s all point and laugh at the fact that north americans call it soccer!

    fun fact: fútbol doesn’t translate from spanish to mean “football” the translation isn’t even close (“bola del pie” means football). it actually translates into english as the word “soccer”. yup, spanish speaking countries call it soccer too.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A lot of people in Ireland call it soccer too. We’ve our own football too, its gaelic football.

  6. Dave says:

    Soccer debate aside, does anyone disagree with his manifesto pledges? I’d vote them all in straight away.

    (But with a second look at the ‘best referees’ idea. By including more diverse refs in competition, you improve the quality throughout the world, meaning betters and more diverse refs in the long run. A good thing.)

  7. Grant says:

    @theirishembassy: it actually is just a Spanish phoneticization of the word “football.” There’s no attempt at a part by part translation like in the Spanish word for “basketball,” which is “balconcesto,” literally “ball-with-basket.” It’s sort of like the English word “algebra,” which is from the Arabic “al-jabr,” or “the restoration.” We didn’t translate the two parts, we just put them together and Anglicized the spelling so that it sounded more or less the same.

    Actual fun fact: the word “football” doesn’t actually refer to the fact that the game is played by kicking the ball with the foot, but the fact that the game is played on foot, rather than on horseback. The distinction has to do with the fact that the various forms of football all date back to really old games (I’m talking like pre-Norman Conquest, 1066 and all that, old) like Shrovetide football, which has no kicking involved whatsoever, and is basically just a giant moshpit/scrummage of people trying to push a ball across a town once a year, and which is still played to this day. This is why a number of different codes of football like American, Canadian, Gaelic, Australian, and Rugby (both codes) can still properly be called football despite having a significant amount of the game revolving around moving the ball with the hand rather than the foot.

    Soccer is just an abbreviation of “aSOCCiation football” and dates back to the days just after the split between association and rugby football. Schoolboys on both sides of the pond would get together to play football, but wouldn’t agree on which of the new codes to play until just before the game, or would even play one half with each code. The issue would be settled by the question, “Rugger or soccer?”

    All of which is by way of saying I’m smarter than all of you. ;)

  8. seanBCFC says:

    your xenophobia & ignorence baffles me. the man says “soccer” and you’re offended? unless you’re french i think you need to reevaluate yourself. anyone who knows how to kick a ball would be a good replacement for blatter

  9. Grant says:

    @seanBCFC: How was I xenophobic or ignorant, exactly? I was responding to what I perceived to be xenophobic condescention on Chris’s part, though I admitted that I suspected it to be of the trollish nature. As far as ignorance goes, I was correcting some ignorance, rather than illustrating my own. Please demonstrate where I went wrong in my explanation.

  10. Fellaini's Fro says:

    First off, it seems like in every comment board someone is being called xenophobic or ignorant. Come on chaps, we all know we’re not that bad, except for the wonderful intellectual points raised my Mr. angry.
    That aside, his manifesto is spot on, I would love to see all those changes in the FIFA hierarchy, though maybe tweak the referee requirement, we do want to ensure quality throughout the world’s game. I just hope he gets nominated and gets support, i think we’ve all had enough of sepp

  11. eamogomez says:

    FUCK BLATTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. says:

    I hope that he at least gets a nomination. While I don’t want to jinx his chances, he won’t win mainly because he’s American. If we’ve watched a world cup match, we know that officials hate Americans enough to call fouls on them when they’re the ones who get fouled (Brian McBride v. Italy 2006, goal 3 v. Slovenia 2010).
    Oh and “your xenophobia & ignorence baffles me. the man says “soccer” and you’re offended? unless you’re french i think you need to reevaluate yourself” Nice! Declare xenophobia and ignorance and then take a vague jab at a nationality you don’t like – tosser

  13. J says:

    I call it soccer this guy calls it soccer ALOT OF PEOPLE CALL IT SOCCER or the people around us would think we were talking about the football in our country(Australian rules for me) i remember someguy wrote an essay to me on youtube due to a comment i made with the word soccer in it. Good luck to this guy

  14. Trololololo says:


  15. Montesquieu says:

    He’s got good ideas, but Herr Hitler, I mean Blatter won’t let go of his power until he started to decompose.

  16. Jimbo says:

    calm down about terminology ladies. this dude seems to have his head screwed on, wouldn’t mind seeing him come in

  17. ted says:

    Blatter didn’t become FIFA pres by being a ‘nice guy’ with good intentions. Too much wonga involved.

  18. Michael says:

    Nice skull

  19. David Beckham says:

    Hey there soccer/football fans. Please buy my book “The Grant Wahl Experiment”.

  20. bob says:

    No thanks. I don’t think journalists with one or two good ideas are the kind of people we need running the game. Especially not a yank one that’s for sure.

  21. Draw says:

    Let us all thank bob here for demonstrating what xenophobia really looks like. It really clears up all the confusion from earlier in the thread.

  22. stoichkov's left says:

    What the fuck are you talking about? Do you know what xenophobia is? Give me your best attempt at at a definition, and don’t look at wikipedia. Grant just owned you.

  23. stoichkov's left says:

    Also, I love how scared the English are of Americans. Downright terrified–to the point that they would actually rather have a non-sensical, megalomaniacal Blatter presiding over FIFA than a level-headed American. So much so that they’re already discrediting Wahl, pointing out that he calls it “soccer,” using “Yank” or “American” as if it’s pejorative, making damn well sure they mention that he’s a journalist in that general tone which reflects a presupposition that he knows nothing about the game. He knows more than “bob,” for sure.

  24. tom says:

    stoichkov’s left – The English (including myself) just don’t want to see a game with tradition and heritage being what we might call ‘Americanized’. That is changing teams to be entirely about profit and not about serving the communities which have supported them (literally supported them – kept them afloat and in existence) for hundreds of years. This is the direction in which football in England has been skewed recently with the mooted ’39th game’ following some years after the first football franchise experiment killed Wimbledon F.C. (RIP). I think it IS a legitmate concern that someone with a wholely different mind set could control football and try to enforce unwanted and potentially damaging change but I don’t think anyone could rationally claim that all members of certain nations should be veto’d from potentially taking office. This guy seems like he’s got some good ideas and if it were down to me to vote for him I’d have to find out a lot more about his other ideas before deciding for or against, just like any human should do in any vote that they take place in if they actually want to vote for the right person. I would say though that he does seem to have some good ideas and I hope that even if he is unsuccesful in his bid that at least the fact he tried may shake up the establishment a little. As for all this xenophobic and ignorance nonesense just look no further than Blatter for a prime example of both and the reason why someone, anyone has to replace him. And for all the people who don’t want ‘this Yank’, would he actually be worse than what we have now?!?

  25. stoichkov's left says:

    Thanks for the level-headed explanation, though I think if you’re going to point fingers at monetary-steroid-injectors, point them at the Russian/Middle East oil money. If you look at the MLS, it makes the Bundesliga look like drunken sailors when it comes to spending. Hicks/Gillette/Glazers aside, I don’t really see the US doing too much to destroy your league that isn’t already happening.

    Also, we don’t vote. Only the cronies at FIFA do.

  26. TravisKOP says:

    @Fellaini’s Fro FTW

  27. demiiq says:

    A ja powiem tylko tyle, że i tak nikt mnie tutaj nie zrozumie, więc lepiej zamilknę i milczeniem owym poprę starania człowieka, którego imię jest jak tych wafelków (tylko w liczbie pojedynczej), natomiast nazwisko – wakacyjną porą roku. Ten cyrk to po to, by kandydatura jedyna słuszna była niespodzianką dla zachodu i poprzez ową niespodziankę – zwycięska!

  28. demiiq says:

    In Grzegorz Lato we belive!!

  29. tnnelson says:

    @tom oh yea, spot on, English clubs don’t care at all about money. neither do Spanish ones, French ones, German ones, Italian ones, South American ones, Russian ones, or anything. only American teams.

    yes, i hate the idea of franchises too, but don’t sit here and try to say European clubs care more about the community than money. they care about both, but only because giving to the community ensures more public support which equals more ticket/jersey sales which equals $$$. every professional sport in every country is about money, so don’t get all high and mighty on us about the greatness of everything English.

  30. tnnelson says:

    and another thing. enough of this crap about “he’s a yank, he’ll never be president of FIFA” and “a journo has no place in FIFA.” ex-journalists have been FIFA president before, this isn’t a new thing at all. and about the American thing, just because it isn’t as big in the US as everywhere else doesn’t mean there aren’t millions of very knowledgable football heads in this country. it isn’t as mainstream as other sports, but hardcore fans here are live and die just like all of you, you can ask the millions of foreign ex-pats (including Brits) living here and enjoying our unique football culture. Wahl has some ideas that we all agree need to be instituted in FIFA. you’re anti-Americanness is amazing: you would rather have fucking Blatter at the helm for another half-century than an American? that’s just ignorant and painfully close-minded.

    besides, the whole idea of this isn’t that he thinks FIFA will elect him, Blatter and his band of corrupt money grubbers would never allow it. this is mainly just to bring the matter to the forefront of everyone’s mind that FIFA needs to change. it’s absurd that everyone in the world complains about FIFA, yet Blatter runs unopposed every time, yet calls FIFA a “democratic institution.” bullshit. Wahl just wants everyone to stop and think about the fact that we need change, no matter who eventually brings it, and Blatter needs to go no matter who replaces him

  31. Kevin Barry says:

    Whoever wins it does not matter
    As long as it’s not that arsehole Blatter

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