Blatter's dopey Matildas decision

FIFA's decision to ban Korea from the 2015 Women's World Cup but not the 2012 Olympics is yet another glaring mistake.

Once again, it-s been a week where FIFA has dominated global headlines.

The bizarre ramblings of President Sepp Blatter have again left the football world in awe, for a myriad of reasons - all of them wrong.

To err, is of course human but to blunder time and time again is less forgivable when you are head of the governing body of a global sport.

The list of unusual decisions made by FIFA in recent times is a lengthy one that needs far more column inches than I have at my disposal.

Yet, post the awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to a country whose July climate resembles the heart of a furnace, the decision that has hit Australia hardest is the confusing ban issued to DPR Korea at the Women-s World Cup in Germany this year.

Five players were found guilty of doping, the country banned from competing in the 2015 Women-s World Cup, though strangely, not the 2012 Olympic Games.

Part of the official statement at the time of the ban read, “FIFA would like to emphasise once again its determination to keep football free of doping.

"It is FIFA's duty and will to protect players from harm and ensure that footballers can compete on an even playing field. FIFA is a reliable partner of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in the worldwide collaboration to safeguard the health of athletes and the spirit of fair competition" Now it may sound like sour grapes, as the Olympic qualification of DPR Korea was at the expense of Australia, but loyalties aside, whether the Westfield Matildas deserved to qualify or not is irrelevant - they deserved that "even playing field" and "fair competition".

That fact did not escape the attention of the Australian Olympic Committee nor Football Federation Australia, who have appealed to the International Olympic committee, WADA and FIFA respectively with no result as yet.

According to Matildas coach Tom Sermanni, it was not only Australia that felt the inclusion of DPR Korea in the Olympic Qualifiers was an inconsistency.

He said “ we talked to other teams there and the consensus was that everyone thought it was a bit strange that a team could be banned for a tournament four years away and not for a major FIFA tournament within the next 12 months".

Even so, you would think that a country with a record of drug bans would be targeted for testing at any international qualification tournament, and perhaps under the umbrella of the IOC that would be the case. But guess who controls football at the Olympics…? Ding ding, give yourself a prize…it-s FIFA.

FIFA and FIBA (the basketball governing body) control their own competitions at the Olympic games and while they abide by most guidelines set out by the IOC, they are granted certain exemptions and conducting their own drug testing is one of them.

If you think that sounds slightly less than ideal, you aren-t alone. Federal Minister for Sport, Senator Mark Arbib believes “that both FIFA and FIBA should have to fully comply with WADA guidelines and regulations, there should be no exemptions for any sport”.

Makes sense doesn-t it? Unfortunately, in the case of FIFA certainly - Sepp Blatter is also a member of the IOC.

And FIFA in a statement to AAP said that the Asian Olympic qualifying tournament had not been considered a priority for doping control.

“Due to logistical reasons, FIFA cannot conduct doping controls at all qualifying games and an assessment is done by the FIFA Anti-Doping Unit to decide at which matches doping controls will be performed."

Interesting then that Matilda-s coach Tom Sermanni observed drug testing being conducted in Jinan at the U17 Women-s World Cup Qualifiers.

Sermanni is not harbouring expectations: “We are waiting in the wings and if there is a favourable outcome for the Matildas, we-ll be proud to represent Australia at the Olympics”

But for now, that decision lies with the powers that be - or is that power?

It-s often said that the president is the most powerful man in the world. While that statement might be fact, I-m not sure the "president" it refers to is Barack Obama