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Issue 345
23 October 2011
Updated Weekly
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Blatter the devil you know

OLD BAG: This is an archive story from Issue 344 - 2 Jun 2011
FIFA: Crisis? What crisis?

FIFA: Crisis? What crisis?

Ballot: 'X' marks the spot

Ballot: 'X' marks the spot

Falklands: Bargaining tool

Falklands: Bargaining tool

Minute-by-minute coverage of FIFA Presidential election

As the world watched on, The Onion Bag was on hand to document the key moments of the 2011 FIFA Presidential Election as events unfolded in Nyon, Switzerland. Here's how things happened...

Communal singing

8.45am

Sepp Blatter opens the 2011 FIFA Congress by inviting the delegates to join in with an impromptu rendition of Abide With Me. Near silence engulfs the meeting room at FIFA Headquarters, Nyon, as Blatter staggers on to the second verse alone before giving up on the whole idea.

9.10am

FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke takes a register of all those present. All but one of the delegates from over 200 countries is there except for the representative from the Cayman Islands who was busy building a new patio for Jack Warner.

9.35am

FA chairman David Bernstein takes to the stage and gives a rousing speech on why FIFA must act in a more transparent way. No-one in the room hears him as his microphone is switched off and his speech is reworded by an unnamed FIFA administrator speaking directly through the in-house PA system.

10.30am

Next on stage is the delegate from Mexico who confuses everyone by proclaiming: "Under Meestare Blattare, we have the perfect excuse to start agane with a clean sheet, and in my view Meestare Blattare is the best sheet for the job." No-one in the room quite knows how to respond.

11.00am

Further support for Blatter arrives in the form of the Venezuelan candidate who tells the audience: "There can be no doubt that this man has done nothing wrong whatsoever... at least that's what his hired gunman told me with a semi-automatic rifle pointed at my head." The delegation to a man rises to its feet and applauds.

What a load of ballots

11.25am

A vote is undertaken to determine the depth of support for a postponement of the FIFA Presidential election. The final count shows 199 delegates opted to carry on with the election as planned, 1 (representing England) abstained, 7 spoiled their ballot papers and 1 delegate didn't understand the question. FIFA agrees to proceed with the presidential election.

12.00pm

There's a break for lunch and a chance for notable attendees to pass "key messages" to colleagues in brown envelopes.

1.00pm

The head of the Italian FA leaves the congress hall to tell waiting reporters: "The time has come to investigate the circumstances behind the 2022 World Cup going to Qatar. We do not understand how the competition can be awarded to a country that continues to discriminate against women and gay people and where summer temperatures will be too excessive to play football in. We'd have hosted it for far less money."

1.35pm

Sepp Blatter returns to the stage in triumphant mood and tells the 208 delegates: "Yes there were times I\'m sure you knew when I bit off more than I could chew, but through it all when there was doubt, I ate it up and spat it out, I faced it all and I stood tall, and did it... in direct contravention of section 3.8 (vi) of the FIFA Code of Ethics 2004." Blatter brings the house down and takes three encores from the appreciative audience.

2.15pm

A short video message is shown to a shocked audience in the congress hall featuring Mohamed Bin Hammam. He appears to be in a darkened room wearing a blindfold with scars covering his arms and shoulders but is able to describe in a low voice how 'it is vitally important to support Mr Blatter in his excellent campaign for the FIFA presidency.' A feeling of genuine concern goes round the hall about Bin Hammam's current welfare until it emerges that the head of the Asian Football Confederation is merely attending a function at the home of Max Mosley.

Specialist subject

2.45pm

Blatter announces an immediate reform of the Ethics Committee but confirms that its members will be invited to participate purely on the basis of a quiz containing three rounds of ten questions on 17th Century early Baroque architecture and the Confessionalist poetry movement. No-one with a score of less than 28 will allowed to take their place on the committee.

3.05pm

The latest in a long line of attacks on the English FA continues as Argentinian FA chief Julio Grondona exclaims: "We always have attacks from England. I see it at every Congress. But with the English [World Cup 2018] bid I said 'If you give back the Falkland Islands to us, you will get my vote. Failing that, if you agree to increase your imports of corned beef by 15% over the next three years, we can at least sit down and talk.'"

3.30pm

Franz Beckenbauer is next to take his place at the lectern and outlines his plans to improve the standard of officiating in the world game � namely to have 22 referees on the field of play for every match while four players carry out official duties from the sidelines. Der Kaiser estimates that the number of yellow and red cards awarded will dramatically fall worldwide but admits the practicalities associated with having both teams dressed in all black could be highly problematic.

3.50pm

Sepp Blatter tells delegates that a 'zero tolerance' approach to extreme cases of misconduct is the only way forward and warns FIFA's members that from 2013 severe transgressions will be punishable by lethal injection or a Chinese burn, whichever is deemed more appropriate. The head of the Chinese FA rises from his chair and leaves the Congress Hall.

4.00pm

Each of the 208 delegates is invited to enter a booth to cast their vote on the presidential election. Each representative files in one by one in alphabetical order by country, but proceedings come to a halt when it emerges that the Irish delegate used the booth to provide a sample and wasn\'t too fussy about clearing up the mess afterwards.

4.40pm

The result of FIFA's highly publicised transparent electoral vote is announced. It's an outright victory for Sir Stanley Rous who next week starts his second spell as President despite dying aged 91 back in 1986.

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