note: This was written back in May, before the corruption charges and the election results. Updates to follow!
In a move sure to shock the footballing world, incumbent FIFA President and current leading reelection candidate Sepp Blatter announced the creation of football for women.
Speaking at a recent press conference, he began by saying, “After thinking long and hard on this issue, it has come to my attention that our responsibility at FIFA is to create a world of equal opportunity for all. I’ve decided, after much deliberation, to use the powers granted me by FIFA to create an organisation for women’s football.”
When asked whether some may see this as simply pandering for votes ahead of the election for FIFA president, Blatter confidently revealed that his winning the election had never really been in doubt – his opponents had been hired by those “Arab people who are doing the World Cup” just to keep things interesting.
With a twinkle in his eye as he looked out at the assembled media, he added, “I like to keep things interesting for you guys.”
After a stunned silence from the crowd, the room erupted in applause. GNN television correspondent Ron Burgundy noted that Blatter not only knew them, he understood them, and that was as close to love as anybody could get. “We deeply admire this man,” he concluded, his words barely intelligible as he wept heavily.
In this press conference for the ages, Blatter was not done yet. After establishing the sport of women’s football, he took a step further and announced that he would even fund the world’s first Women’s World Cup – with all expenses coming out of his own pocket.
“I know nobody will watch for a few years, and that’s alright,” he said, with a knowing smile. “But I’ve loads of money, which I assure you is not being tracked by several dozen governments for suspicion of money laundering, because -” here he spread his arms wide to the crowd, again drawing heavy applause “- because you know me! C’mon, that stuff is crazy, right? I’m Papa Sepp!”
“Anyway,” Blatter continued as the cheers subsided, “We’ve already selected the location for the Women’s World Cup, and it will be held in… the Central African Republic! This may not seem like the first location you’d guess, but it continues our work with such progressive and non-discriminating nations as Russia and Qatar.”
Shedding more light on the decision, Blatter said, “I have this buddy who works with some dudes in the CAR, and he tells me they are making incredible strides in including children, some as young as 8, in integral community roles, such as soldiering, plundering, and racketeering. If that’s not progress, I don’t know what is!”
Blatter’s comments come amidst heavy criticism of his recent choice of World Cup locations, but he defended his choices admirably, to the chagrin of his critics. “Russia, and Putin, man, they’re cool with everybody – they even wore those gay little rainbow gloves at that track meet they had a few years ago.”
Humourist and TV personality John Oliver, a longstanding opponent of Blatter, shook his head in defeat.
“I thought the rampant corruption, the shocking incompetence, and the virulent sexism would be enough to bring down Blatter’s FIFA,” he said. “But after all that has been said today, I think I have a lot to think about. I can’t believe I’m saying this… long… long live Blatter!”
Many expected heavy criticism from more conservative football fans, but the reception has been generally positive. Responses from individuals as varied as US Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz and CNN Future Correspondent Mr Jetson have rained praise on Blatter’s decision.
As he prepared for a nationally televised interview in the States, Cruz graciously gave us a few moments to share his thoughts on the announcement. “Soccer is the sport the world invented when it couldn’t handle the superior, awe-inspiring masculinity of America, which people learned about when Ben Franklin invented science,” he explained calmly, as he combed his hair and loaded a spare freedom-pistol. “It’s only fair to let women play a sport meant for them in the first place.”
“Texas!” he added, to no one in particular.
“Even in the heavily idealised cartoon future, we couldn’t dream of having something like equal sports rights for men and women,” Mr Jetson told us. “I couldn’t be more in favour of Mr. Blatter’s decision – this is decades ahead of its time, if not centuries!”
“I’d be surprised if it wasn’t ‘Sir’ Blatter soon!” Jetson added ecstatically.
There was one more announcement to come. In what many interpreted as another direct response to critics concerned with the extreme heat of Qatar, Blatter followed up with yet another move to establish his support for the rights of women. “To my knowledge, we haven’t yet done a World Cup in Africa, and, because everyone knows Africa is, like, super hot, you might think the CAR would be an inadequate climate for football…” The crowd laughed as Blatter shook his head and smiled condescendingly as his few remaining critics withered in the audience.
“But – you know me – I have a heart! These ladies are not going to have to wear those super-hot football kits – instead, they’ll wear these!”
As he finished speaking, fireworks went off on stage, and 32 women in tall socks and high-heeled, cleated boots marched across the stage wearing climate-sensitive, environmentally-friendly bikinis emblazoned with the flags of the nations previously included in the 2014 Men’s World Cup finals.
“He doesn’t have a selfish bone in his body,” someone in the crowd observed. “Papa Sepp loves us!”
The celebration threatened to drown out further questions, but not before an intern wondered aloud how Blatter would respond to the charge that the FIFA Women’s World Cup was allegedly established in 1991, and that women have engaged in playing the sport since its creation. Blatter drew the admiration of the crowd as he declared that “Today we look to the future and not to the past.” He added that “change is always difficult, and hope always has its opponents.” He then encouraged the young man “not to make things awkward” before posing for pictures with the female representatives from Brazil and Japan.
As the crowd of professional reporters from internationally recognised media outlets broke out into frenzied chants of “Long Live Blatter!” and “Long live the Supreme Leader!”, Blatter could be overheard saying “It’s Blatter Time” and “I’ve totally still got it.” At press time, he was asking the crowd what they should do after this, and if there were any good happy hours on at nearby bars that wouldn’t check at the door if their guests were currently under investigation by “those dicks at the FBI.”