Tunku Varadarajan in Politico:
In the end, he Blattered to deceive.
After putting on the most brazen performance of soccer gamesmanship since Diego Maradona’s Hand of God in 1986, Sepp Blatter succumbed to the weight of world opinion — Vladimir Putin excepted — and announced his imminent departure from the post of president of FIFA. This, after conducting an election on Friday that saw him return to the post for an inglorious fifth time. The exercise was, it turns out, a last gasp of megalomaniacal defiance. Today, he quit with a whimper.
Here’s what the resignation of Blatter means for the game:
- Apart from proving that there is a God, Blatter’s departure offers soccer — and FIFA — the chance of a glorious, cathartic new beginning. We’re now in an “afterblatter” world in which everything — every jot and tittle — that bears his stamp, his imprimatur, is open to scrutiny. Without mincing words, that means that the awards to Russia and Qatar of the World Cups for 2018 and 2022, respectively, will have to be nullified. Those deals are dead. They were tainted beyond redemption, the product of a process that was suppurating with corruption.