Imagine for a moment that FIFA is the reality TV show Survivor and Sepp Blatter the contestant that’s gone rogue.
Delirious from a diet of media bile and the relentless glow of the public spotlight, his words and deeds become increasingly desperate and bizarre.
Sitting round the campfire at night, he talks of the World Cup one day being replaced by a competition between the planets. His fellow contestants roll their eyes behind his back, index fingers doing loop-the-loops round their ears.
He makes a beeline for the Amazonian glamour girl, striking up an awkward dance routine and taking sneaky peeks at her cleavage, forgetting there are TV cameras rolling and an entire planet (the one the rest of us live on) watching.
When someone turns the conversation to the dubious strategies of the Qatari faction, he shuts them down with accusations of racism.
At Tribal Council, a conga line of castaways fed up with his antics join forces to kick him out.
“I am supporting him no longer, it’s finished,” UEFA president Michel Platini (that’s him giving us the thumbs up below) whispers into the camera, the name Sepp scrawled in large black capitals on his piece of jungle parchment.Embed from Getty Images
“People tend not to take you very seriously anymore,” says the head of the Dutch football association Michael van Praag.
A bloke in a green and gold T-shirt holds up his Sepp vote. “This is because we spent $40 million trying to get the 2022 World Cup when we could’ve bought the bloody thing for five,” he hisses in a broad Australian accent. (OK, I might have made that quote up)
Others throw their weight behind the move to throw Sepp off the island. The TV audience looks on, thinking his torch may finally be snuffed out.
An ad break brings us some messages from people drinking Coke, eating Maccas and running around in Adidas clobber. In Zurich, FIFA’s giant cash register goes cha-ching.
We return to the action. The atmosphere is tense. Host Jeff Probst asks Sepp how he feels about the vibe of hostility.
“That was the most disrespectful thing I have experienced in my entire life,” Sepp sooks.
Then, after a pause for dramatic effect, he pulls the hidden immunity idol from his back pocket, in the form of $750,000 cheques for all 209 FIFA member countries.
In Zurich, FIFA’s giant cash register, unequipped for outgoings, does not at first compute this $15 million expense, before eventually filing it under ‘personnel management’.
In a completely unrelated move, the Tribal Council votes not to boot out contestants on the basis of age or how long they’ve been in the competition.
Later, Sepp throws a big party at someone else’s expense, with a guest appearance by Jennifer Lopez. This is followed by a game popular with the locals and a star performance by the hometown hero, Neymar, whose touching back story includes the fact that he can’t afford a decent haircut.Embed from Getty Images
Everyone is happy. There is dancing in the streets and it is better than Sepp’s.
In Zurich, FIFA’s giant cash register transfers all the money in Brazil into a Swiss bank account.