The FIFA saga is not a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away. It is here and now. Our game is being used and abused for personal gain, but what does it all mean, who is to blame and should we be surprised? We’ll look at the motivational systems involved in football’s governing body, as well as the impact of power and money – the sport’s very own dark side. Is it time for a rebellion?

At the moment it’s easy to cast FIFA’s departing president as the evil Emperor – Sepp, the “Sith Lord” who corrupts the Galactic Republic and turns it into his very own evil empire. But if Sepp is Sith, where are we in the FIFA saga? Will the Empire strike back, or is this a new hope? To figure this out, we really need to understand Sepp’s influence – as FIFA president is he the root of all evil or simply a figurehead? Think about it this way, is Blatter the Emperor or, in true “I am your father” fashion, is Sepp actually a Skywalker? Has he been corrupted by power and seduced by the dark side of “The Force”. Is he, in fact, Darth Vader?

The scientific theory we use to unravel the complexity of skill acquisition – systems theory – may help us appreciate FIFA’s Star Wars saga. Put simply, systems theory highlights the importance of context and environment. As coaches, we recognise that players are products of their environment. Considering this, can we appreciate that Sepp Blatter is a product of his environment too? If we recognise this, it becomes clear that FIFA’s problems are more widespread than one man and one organisation….

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James Vaughan
James Vaughan
James Vaughan is a Co-founder of Player Development Project and currently based in Stockholm where he is coaching at AIK and working towards his PhD in Creativity & Motivation in Football.
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