Alternate History

A Referee And a Gentleman

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The 2014 World Cup was an exhibition of two things; fantastic soccer and horrible corruption and refereeing. The laundry list of FIFA 's mistakes and scandals goes on and on.

But it didn't have to be that way.

In December of 2013, a whistle-blower accuses Sepp Blatter of accepting bribes from various third parties to rig matches in the upcoming world cup. Though he is later acquitted, he resigns in January following calls for his head. Over the next month, a political battle for the leadership of FIFA rages on, resulting in media scandals and purges as rivals attempt to discredit each other. 

Finally, Brazil puts its foot down. It announces that it will cancel the World Cup - which would be a massive disaster for FIFA- if they do not abide by certain terms and conditions set by the member nations. England , Holland , and Spain follow, and that opens the floodgates. 176 FIFA member nations sign an agreement refusing to take part in any further FIFA tournaments if FIFA does not agree to submit to certain reforms. FIFA, reluctantly, is forced to agree. The first- and most important- reform is to install a new leader of FIFA who is not affiliated with the old organization, and who will be popular with both the fans and the players.

After weeks of deliberation, the job, surprisingly, is offered to Zinedine Zidane , acknowledged by many to be one of the best footballers in history, who considers the role for a week before accepting. He would later ask both Igor Belanov and Johan Cryuff to come on as his advisors, both of whom accepted. The decision was wildly popular, but doubts are cast on the ability of the Triumvirate to properly govern such a large and bureaucratic organization.

This is the story of their reforms, and the subsequent World Cup.

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