Blatter scores an own goal for Fifa

May 31st, 2011 by Mark Perry

“Crisis what crisis?” was Fifa President’s reaction to a journalist’s question at a press conference called by the football’s governing body yesterday.

There is little doubt that, to those outside the organisation, it’s in crisis. For years there have been claims of mismanagement and even corruption which has reached new levels in the last week with leading members of FIFA’s governing committees turning on themselves.

Yesterday, appearing to react to the growing press clamour for answers, Blatter called a press conference.

As it turned out the conference should be shown to any CEO who might have to face the media as an example of how to appear out of touch and in denial.

He patronised the journalists, stopping at one point – when a murmur went around  the room as he avoided actually answering the questions – to tell the room to show him more respect.

His whole approach was adversarial and showed contempt for the journalists who dared to ask any difficult questions. He certainly was not trying to show any contrition or win any media battle. The premise was this: he was right; they were wrong.

He had the perfect opportunity to draw a line under the accusations by calling a wide, independent inquiry which would at least have bought him more time. Looking at the media reaction today the whole event has left him, and the organisation, more damaged.

Blatter is going to need a better crisis management plan and attitude towards the media if he is ultimately going to survive this one.

About Mark Perry

Mark has more than 25 years’ experience in PR and corporate communications. He is a founding director of B2B consultancy Melville PR.

3 Responses to “Blatter scores an own goal for Fifa”


  1. Jim Thompson Says:

    This article tells me nothing.


  2. What not to do: FIFA president’s hubris is a PR lesson for CEOs | PRbuilder.com Says:

    [...] the U.K.-based PR Media Blog, PR professional Mark Perry explores whether Blatter has thrown away one of the only chances [...]


  3. Coe shows Blatter the secrets of crisis communciations | pr-media-blog.co.uk Says:

    [...] post on PR Media blog last week looked at the shenanigans at FIFA and the own goal scored by Sepp Blatter in handling the media [...]

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