Obviously everyone’s a bit corrupt. I’ve worked black, as the Germans say, failed to mention minor details to the tax office, broken laws in some countries, that kind of thing. You could say no-one is a saint, but that’d be tautological, cos I’m reading a book about the Middle Ages, and the last people you should trust to judge saintliness is the Vatican. But the point is that a little bit of self-enrichment is always going to go down well.
But there’s corrupt, and then there’s Sepp Blatter. For Sepp, self-enrichment has become so everyday, so much part of the fabric of his life, that when he starts making spluttering denials and counter-accusations, he must suddenly lapse into a nightmare where he’s running on a gigantic, surrealist Hitchcock-set Möbius Strip where he keeps meeting all the drug barons, terrorists, prostitutes, and mafia bosses from his life – and they’re all belly-dancing in spangly bikinis, and then he looks up and they all have his own face, and then he wakes up screaming.
This is basically what happened this week, when Blatter insinuated that Germany did a deal to “buy” the 2006 Sommermärchen World Cup. Blatter said he knew this because he remembered when the vote happened in 2000. “World Cups being bought… that reminds me of the World Cup vote in 2006, where somebody left the room at the last minute,” he said. But what he forgot was that he was, in fact, THE PRESIDENT OF FIFA on that day. Which means, for those of you who are slow of study, that he was IN CHARGE. So, instead of perhaps piping up when he saw this evidence of corruption, and maybe doing something about it, he was already so lost and exhausted on the Möbius Strip of his bizarre life that he just accepted it.
Blatter, Blatter forgot, is FIFA, so when Blatter dredged this memory from his sub-conscious it must have been like seeing himself, already corrupted, all naked and oiled up with training cones on his moobs.