Birflatt Boy on Blatter’s gaffes: no mincing words


Monsieur Salut didn’t get as worked up as some about the World Cup venue votes. Cries of foul play? Last-minute manipulation? Prize snatched from under the expectant winner’s nose. Er, no, that was London beating Paris to the 2012 Olympics. But other issues have arisen, so stand by for some straight(ish) talking from Birflatt Boy

A couple of weeks after the ridiculous announcement that the 2022 World Cup would be held in a country that currently has three suitable stadiums, and where the temperatures during the tournament will be so high that you could cook bacon and eggs on the roof of your car, there is now furore surrounding comments from the Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

Herr Blatter is no shrinking violet when it comes to media scrutiny, but he has recently apologised for suggesting that gay fans “should refrain from sexual activity” if they go to the Qatar World Cup.

I’m still trying to understand what he’s apologising for. Is he apologising for awarding the tournament to a country where fans of a particular sexual orientation will be discriminated against? Surely, he must because his more recent comments seem like good sense to me, even if this dreadful situation could have been avoided by selecting a nation as host which is more understanding of people’s sexual predilection, let alone a decent national side, few stadiums worth playing in, and somewhere that doesn’t boil your bollocks off to boot!

If Herr Blatter is apologising for his more recent comments urging celibacy amongst gay fans visiting the tournament, surely there is nothing for him to apologise for as this would seem like good sense, to abide by the laws of the country you are visiting.

If Fifa’s selection criteria are compatible with this type of legislation the surely he there’s no reason to apologise for suggesting that visitors obey them.

It would be interesting to hear Mr Blatter explain the whole series of unfortunate events rather than offer an general apology which has left me (and I’m sure many others) completely baffled. He now says that he thinks there “will be no problems”. Really? He’s an incurable optimist is Mr Blatter. I’ll give him that much.

I’m confused why his comments have outraged gay rights groups, as I’d have thought that the greatest offence would be caused by the choice of hosts, and not by his rather clumsy advice on how gay people might stay out of trouble!

Every decision that Blatter is involved with seems to cause further problems and stir even more controversy.

He says: “We open everything to everybody and I think there shall not be any discrimination against any human beings be it on this side or that side, be it left, right or whatever.

“If they (gay people that is) want to watch a match somewhere in Qatar 2022, I’m sure they will be admitted to such matches.”

Are we to assume that fans attending matches will be given some kind of sexual orientation test at the turnstiles?

Will they be frisked by security officials and subject to a body “search” as they are presented with a life size poster of some scantily clad, half naked babe?

Presumably failure to produce the appropriate physiological response will result in ticket confiscation. I have an image of Matt Lucas being smuggled into the ground and shouting: “I’m the only gay in this stadium!”

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

5 Responses to “Birflatt Boy on Blatter’s gaffes: no mincing words” Subscribe

  1. malcolm December 21, 2010 at 1:10 am #

    Another Salut philosophical debate could be brewing here Birflatt except of course, being an Islamic State I don’t suppose they allow brewing in Quatar? Likewise stadiums hot enough to griddle bacon? Not in an Islamic State surely!

    The whole question of whether or not a World tournament should be held in a country which has such prohibitive regulations seems a bit ludicrous to me.

    Don’t get me wrong. I think visitors to foreign countries should respect the democratic laws of those countries – when they choose to go there. But I am against exclusion.

    I cringe when Brits on stag weekends think they should offend the sensitivities of the local population by baring their arses or being lewd in public. Funnily enough often these people think anyone coming to Britain should reject their own language and culture because they are in our country. If I choose to go on holiday to a country where drinking alcohol is illegal then I’ll forgo the booze. But is it fair to impose abstinence on the majority of football fans by awarding a major tournament to somewhere where drinking alcohol is punishible by law?

    Surely when deciding where to hold a universal event, governing bodies should use the “universal criteria”? Attract as many people as possible – exclude no-one. Exclude no one except those who will directly endanger the safety of others – violent criminals or ethnic supremicists for example.

    As for Blatter? I feel a bit sorry for the guy. He was trying to respond to a loaded question in a foreign language with a humourous quip. It backfired and with a British press eager to discredit FIFA for our failure to get the 2018 World Cup he was always on a hiding to nothing.

  2. David Hardy December 21, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    One of Blatter’s problems is that we can never be sure if his statements come into the category of serious comment or humorous quip.
    Women’s football would be best improved by the ladies wearing tighter shorts?
    What’s that about?

  3. Birflatt Boy December 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    In response to both Malcolm and David. I’ve not heard the comment directly from Blatter, so I don’t really know whether it was intended as/or came across as a ‘joke.” If it was a joke then it was in very bad taste, as most people seem to agree. If he was making some comment about people behaving according to the laws of the country then that’s a different matter, even if the country has laws which we may find objectionable.

    Birflatt tends to take the utilitarian view that you do Malcolm; ie that the tournament should be held somewhere that is tolerant and liberal to the majority. That means being able to have a pint, engage in prudent sexual activity etc. regardless of orientation. The host which Blatter has allowed to be selected fails on all of these grounds even if there will be a temporary suspension of the no alcohol rule.

    I’m not offended by Blatter’s comments per se, but I am offended by allowing the tournament to be held somewhere that would stick you in jail for having a drink or a gay person for having sex. I just don’t think this is acceptable in the modern world and it would have made far more sense to hold the tournament somewhere else. Nobody forces someone from Qatar to sup 12 bottles of Newky Brown or to engage in anal sex, when they come to Britain, but they could if they want to.

    I hate to see the Lager Lout behaviour myself and whilst the sight of nubile young women sitting topless by a Turkish swimming pool may be easy on the eye it always causes me concern because of the indigenous culture (rather than the law). It’s unwise behaviour. A bonny young lass from Chester-le -Street with her bosoms on display to a tesosterone laden young Turk can so easily be perceived as ‘asking for it.”

  4. malcolm December 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    My impression from Blatter’s expression was that he was attempting to make light of the question then, realising the flippancy of his response, tried to extracate himself by making all those statements about football being for everyone. By then the damage had been done and I agree – it was in bad taste and even speaking in another language he should be professional enough to realise it would be seen as such.

    Incidentally I was wondering how anyone who enjoys a bit of weed would have reacted had the 2018 bid gone to Holland/Belgium. Presumably happy if their team was off to the Netherlands but do they have “coffee shops” in Belgium? I can’t remember seeing any on my various visits to Bruges, Brussels, Ostend, Antwerp etc.

  5. Birflatt Boy December 21, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    No. I’m not sure that they have them in Belgium. Can’t say that Birflatt has encountered them on sorties in Flanders either Malcolm.

    I’m sure you’re right. Blatter was surprisingly naive enough to be lured by the loaded question. You would think that one might have been anticipated.

    There are a lot of other footballing related reasons why it should not have gone to Quatar, but most of us are as naive as Blatter was in this instance in assuming that the decision had the slightest connection with football matters.

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