Colonel Moammar Gadhafi, who recently lost his job as the anti-U.S. terrorism supporter, has found a new enemy. In a scathing letter, he defines FIFA as the symbol of everything that is wrong with this world.
Times have changed since the colonel was the go-to man for many extremist groups, from disenchanted students to sophisticated terrorists. The U.S. has officially set up shop in Tripoli. Britain is offering a mutual defense pact. And Chinese-made Maples (automobiles) have arrived.
For a man whose life has been consumed by fighting the West, proliferating weapons and training and supporting terrorists, the worst possible headline would be ‘Peace Breaks Out.’ When peace did break out, he found himself without an enemy.
So what does the Revolutionary Leader have against the world football federation?
In his rant titled “FIFA: Modify It or Cancel It,” Col. Gadhafi calls the entity “an exploiting economic embezzling venture.” FIFA is a “project for corruption and spoiling, money laundering â€¦ [and] passport forging.”
FIFA “has increased the international racism tendency and the extreme right,” he writes. It poses a “material and moral danger” to the world and should be overhauled or “canceled.”
The colonel’s charges are not new. FIFA has facilitated Europe’s buying of South American and African players. It has also outright opposed a proposal to host the next World Cup in Libya and Tunisia. (That is probably the real reason he dove off the deep end.)
Hosting the World Cup in Libya would have been a great boost to its image — a celebration to mark the end of its isolation. But FIFA has its own problems to deal with. And so does Libya.
Luring foreign investment and facilitating tourism should be at the top of its list.
In fact, I’m still waiting for my visa and invitation to Libya. I would love to see it before excessive development ruins its ancient charm.