“Football players are the ones most harmed in this scandal”
Writer Jaime Fernandez believes that "the majority of sportsmen love what they do".
Protestante Digital · PONTEVEDRA · 08 JUNE 2015 · 13:10 CET
These are not good times for football. After Blatter’s resignation, the federal investigation of the FIFA leadership, organised by United States´ Department of Justice, continues.
After a lot of years of experience with top sportsmen, Evangelical Focus contributor Jaime Fernandez has realized that football players are the ones most harmed in this scandal.
Jaime Fernandez, writer of the book “The finish line”, has been a chaplain in many Olympics Games, and has counselled many top Christian sportsmen in the last three decades.
Question. The sudden resignation of Blatter, after being re-elected, can it mean a real renovation for the FIFA?
Answer. It is really difficult to affirm that or the contrary. We will need to wait and see how the investigation goes, because it seems that some of the ones who were involved are revealing all the “secrets” of the different plots, and some are even prior to 1.998!.
It seems that it would be difficult to find federations or leaders who are not related to the corruption. There has to be a radical change if the way of doing things and I think that is really difficult.
Q. Football deals with a lot of money, do you think that the business will devour the sport, or is it happening already?
A. Any business that deals with millions of Euros is hard to control, because money and power are two too big temptations. We should not forget that football is the sport which moves more money, and a big amount of that money is impossible to control.
A very well known football player told me one that he did not like “football”, but he loved to play. More people everyday think that around “football”, there are too many businesses, and at the end it will no be good for the sport. In fact, many decisions, declarations, behaviours, etc have nothing to do with the sport.
Q. We know you have contact with many elite sportsmen, are they, in some way, victims of the corrupted system that we are starting to see?
A. The majority of the sportsmen love what they do. The main problem, as I said before, is that sometimes it is difficult to distinguish when the sport finishes and the business, power, fame, publicity, etc, starts.
Most of them (not only football players) feel “obliged” to make decisions that in other circumstances they would not make, because the economical environment is very powerful. In any case, I really believe that the sportsmen and their families are the best you can find in the sports world.