The FIFA Museum

There’s a FIFA World Football Museum in Zurich, y’all! Seriously!

And it’s fascinating!

I’ve never really had an interest in football (or soccer as Americans call it), but being married to my husband it helps if interests are shared sometimes.

So we went to this FIFA museum today. FIFA, in case you didn’t know, stands for Fédération Internationale de Football Association – that’s French for the International Federation of Association Football. If you see people going apeshit over the World Cup in bars where you are, you can blame these folks.

 

We decided to see the corruption up close and personal.

We decided to see the corruption up close and personal.

The museum is beautiful – high tech and very interesting. It houses everything from the history of how balls are made to videos of how football has impacted people worldwide. One can tell, they didn’t skimp on much!

It’s not like FIFA is aching for money, either! The funds that pour into that federation are unbelievable! It’s one of the most popular sports in the world. Between the games, the souvenirs, and the prestige of hosting a World Cup, the cash that changes hands is unreal!

That brings me to a dark blight on the world of football.

Late last year a corruption scandal rocked FIFA so hard, that high-level FIFA officials were either banned from football altogether, are being investigated by the Swiss, or have already been indicted by the United States.

In May the US indicted 14 current and former Fifa officials and associates on charges of “rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted” corruption following a major inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

And in December, 16 more officials were charged following the arrest of two Fifa vice-presidents in at the same hotel in Zurich. Former Brazil football federation chief Ricardo Teixeira was among those accused of being “involved in criminal schemes involving well over $200m (£132m) in bribes and kickbacks”.

[…]

Much attention has been focused on a $10m deal that US prosecutors say was a bribe to secure the 2010 World Cup for South Africa.

An email obtained by a South African newspaper appears to show that the then South African President, Thabo Mbeki, and Mr Blatter agreed to the deal. In the email, Fifa Secretary-General Jerome Valcke wrote to a South African minister asking when the transfer could be made, and saying that both Mr Blatter and Mr Mbeki had discussed the matter previously.

The South African government insists it was a legitimate payment to promote Caribbean football, but documents seen by the BBC suggest then Fifa vice-president Jack Warner used the payment for cash withdrawals, personal loans and to launder money.

There’s so much there! It’s hard to even imagine the extent of the alleged corruption that has permeated FIFA! Warner, Blatter, Teixeira, et. al. are the tip of the iceberg, apparently.

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The 2018 logo looks like a futuristic brain, I think.

Hosting the World Cup – much like hosting the Olympics – is big money. And apparently Russia’s 2018 hosting was unofficially accepted before the official voting process took place in December 2010. There are construction contracts for stadiums and hotels, transportation and tourist money, and kickbacks – oh so many kickbacks! And Putin’s old buddies from the Ozero Cooperative are certain to win those contracts, just like they did for the 2012 Olympic games!

So yes, it was important for Russia to get that World Cup 2018 nod. There’s lots of money involved! And Putin thinks that the corruption scandal is a US conspiracy against Russia.

Sigh.

Anyway, the museum is gorgeous! And it also got me interested in football somewhat. We have our fandom here, and cities come together to support their teams. That’s part of the reason why I’m an Eagles fan and have been since I was a kid. The entire city of Philadelphia comes together to support our team! Yeah, we might all wind up in jail for shenanigans, but we’ll all be in it together!

But watching the tears, happiness, anxiety, sheer joy, and elation that is world-class football, as well as the continuous action… well, it kind of makes me think I’m missing something!

The museum had this montage of Mia Hamm when she was playing, and I was absolutely mesmerized by her skill and energy on the field!

We explored previous World Cups, the history of the sport, artifacts, shoes, and balls from previous World Cup matches, and I have to admit, I was hooked!

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They also had this really neat exhibit of football jerseys from around the world. Here’s me trying to take a pano shot from my iPhone.

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It’s a little shaky, but as you can see, they have the jerseys grouped by color, and it looks like a gargantuan rainbow of shirts!

They chose the white US jersey for this exhibit. And yes, we wound up next to Turkmenistan. New Zealand was on our other side, but I didn’t get that in the shot and the husband wanted me to mention that there was a “not Turkmenistan” neighbor as well.

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Am I going to become a football fan overnight? Probably not. I still have a lot of watching of games and research to do. This however, is going to help.

A lot.

19 responses

  1. Soccer probably won’t become as popular here as it is elsewhere. It’s too slow and there’s very little actual scoring. We’re a country that looks forward to seeing OUR team prevail 60-3, not end up after hours of play in a 1-1 tie.

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    1. Ghost Rider 6

      Yeah, like someone said…you could go pee and miss the only scoring play of the game.🙂

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  2. I played most sports in high school, but I remember in elementary playing football at recess. We started getting too many injuries and so the teachers made us stop, but they let us play soccer. What a huge mistake. Soccer turned out to be just as dangerous a game as football. I think we had just as much blood and broken fingers then as we did when we played football. They eventually put a stop to that as well. Boys will be boys. Soccer is taking over here in MI in a pretty big way, as more and more clubs are getting quite large and high schools all field teams. It is just a matter of time before the NFL starts to fade. I know, the brutality of the sport will be its demise. In high school alone, I had at least 5 concussions. I blame that for my flaws.
    I can imagine the damage if I had gone further.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My friends and I all played soccer throughout elementary school through the YMCA. I received just as many injuries playing that (bloody nose, bruised ribs, sprained fingers) as I did playing football in jr high and high school (sprained ankle, bloody nose, bruised ribs).

      In 3rd grade we played 3 on 3 tackle football in the gravel every recess. The supervisors would make us change to touch every so often, but after about a week we’d be back at it. Every so often the supervisors would make us let the girls play, which typically lasted about a day or two and then they’d get bored and do something else. Worst injury we ever had was skinned knees/elbows.

      The next year they told us couldn’t play football at all, so we took up softball with the other kids. This resulted in two broken fingers, a broken nose and one concussion. Left to our own devices playing the ‘violent’ sport of football we were much safer.

      By the time I made it to jr high they eliminated recess for 4-6 grades. I think they were worse for it in the end.

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  3. (Insert Whiskey Valley in TN comment here)

    After listening to Christiane A., the BBC, et al. I thought that the Continent would have split in two by now.

    How many days in Europe does it take to say, “You know what, I gotta get home”?

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  4. Those effete Euros bash American football as brutish, but I can’t recall anyone ever trampled to death at a Jets game!
    And as corrupt as FIFA is, they apparently don’t hold the monopoly. Holy shit how did the International Olympic Committee choose Brazil for the summer games??!! I’m sure no money exchanged hands for that deal! Olympians are staying home for fear of the septic water and Zika!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, to be fair, they made the selection years ago! Zika wasn’t even on the radar back then. But yes, the IOC is a shit show, no doubt.

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  5. CavScoutCoastie

    I grew up playing soccer (German mother and father who went native living in London) so I love the sport and follow it obsessively. I used to read and occasionally contribute to an old online soccer site called “Turd of the Week” back in the late 90’s, early 00’s. Even back then anybody who followed the game knew FIFA and it’s lower associations were incredibly corrupt. I was surprised by the arrests only because it had been an open secret for so long that I doubted anything would ever be done.

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    1. Well. If something like that can finally happen there’s hope that You-Know-Who might actually get to spend at least one day in prison or at least jail before she dies.

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  6. Rob!…..Mama Nicki!……time to come home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wondering if you guys are still alive.

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      1. LOL we are leaving Vienna today. Play nice, Children!

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  7. I was giving you guys a pass until Monday. After that, you would have had an unexcused absence. And your mother could not write you a note,you would have had to make up your missing work.

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    1. Hey, y’all are lucky I posted anything. At all on vacation! :p

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      1. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I am very glad you didn’t have a Nice vacation.

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      2. Not saying there’s any connection, Nicki, but the pace at which things are going to hell seems to have increased since you’ve been gone.

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        1. LOL – Well, I’m back now. Let’s hope things calm down.😉

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  8. Not to pick nits too much, but wouldn’t the translation of FIFA be more accurate to be “international Federation of Football Association?” Speaking as a someone who grew up on AYSO in the 70s and then coached my kids’ teams for several years.

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  9. Ghost Rider 6

    Meee, too.🙂

    Welcome back, Nicki.

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