Thursday, 2 June 2011

With friends like Blatter ......

It's good for Northern Irish football that Jim Boyce, former president of the IFA, has been elevated to football's top table.  In a turbulent week for FIFA he has been named vice-president, representing the four UK associations.

Northern Ireland has long punched over its weight in the world governing body.  The late Harry Cavan occupied the role which Boyce now fills for ten years, between 1980 and1990.

It can't hurt to excel in football politics and it can't hurt to have friends in high places.  You have to wonder, though, about Boyce's contention, however diplomatic it may have been, that FIFA president Sepp Blatter is a 'friend' of Northern Ireland soccer.

Blatter's high handed and ignorant treatment of the eligibility issue has been one aspect of his presidency.  Then we have his ill-concealed preference for a single British football association and one UK team.  The question must be asked, with friends like these who needs enemies?

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