FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke Admits Governing Body Has An Image Problem
FIFA "is among protesters’ targets as Brazilians stage the country’s biggest street demonstrations in two decades," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke said that "being the focus of fury goes hand in hand with running the world’s most-popular sport." Valcke said, "I don’t think the goal of FIFA is to be loved by the world. As long as you have this responsibility to protect the game, to make decisions which are not always the nicest ones for some people, I’m not sure you can avoid criticism." The scale of the protests "has been a surprise to FIFA," where contingency planning before the tournament did not foresee such opposition. Valcke said, "We had no indication that would happen, and definitely no indication that it would reach such a level." He said that "he recognizes his organization has an image problem." In Brazil, protesters "are angered at FIFA’s demand for tax exemptions for corporate partners" such as Coca-Cola Co. and adidas AG, and hosting requirements that "needed the Brazilian parliament to pass special legislation." Romario, who played on Brazil’s 1994 World Cup-winning team and is now a member of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, said in a YouTube video last weekend FIFA is “a state within a state” that “is going to come, install a circus without paying anything and take everything with it" (BLOOMBERG, 6/26).