SI Staff
Friday April 15th, 2016

A student took his chance at the University of Basel's seminar on FIFA reform, ripping into headlining speaker and former FIFA president, Sepp Blatter.

During a question-answer session in which Blatter fielded a wide range of questions regarding the corruption in the organization (which he limited in scope to just happening in the Americas–meanwhile, he and former UEFA president Michel Platini are currently banned for six years apiece), human rights violations in 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts Russia and Qatar and more, an unnamed student who claimed to be from the university's Marxist Society had quite a go.  

His "question" read as follows:

"I am from the Marxist Society Uni Basel, and I'm trying to hold a short intervention, thank you. 

"Money laundering, corruption, bribery: Sepp Blatter's time in office as FIFA president has been riddled by scandals, which have not been resolved until today, though his involvement is no secret. There is no end in sight. His successor Gianni Infantino is just as corrupt. He's mentioned in the Panama Papers and is known to have been dealing with offshore companies.

[Note: Infantino has wholeheartedly denied any wrongdoing and denounced the insinuation that he is corrupt as a result of his name appearing in the Panama Papers.]

"In 2022, an estimated 7,000 construction workers will have died from work accidents in Qatar by building the World Cup stadium. The working conditions are abysmal. The workers are massively exploited. FIFA and other so-called charitable sports "associations" are protected by the bourgeois state on their hunt for profits. In Switzerland, 65 international sports associations benefit from massive tax cuts, and in Lausanne, they don't have to pay rent for the first two years. And now the former king of this mess of exploitation and extortion and corruption is granted a platform by the university and is paid good money to hold this sad excuse of a speech. A joke, really."

[Blatter interrupts]

"It's probably, partly a question to me, I guess?"

[Student continues]

"This is what you get when you mix capitalism with football. Unadulted [sic], systematic corruption and supported by the bourgeois state. We demand full transparency of the FIFA finances, expropriations of all bribe money and all money taken from dictators, a transformation of FIFA into a public organization, no cooperation of the university with criminals and bringing back football to the people!"

[Applause]

Blatter did not respond, and the moderator moved on to the following question.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.