What not to do: FIFA president’s hubris is a PR lesson for CEOs

A journalist asked the head of the international organization about an ongoing crisis. Wait until you see his response.

Step 1. Deny the crisis.

Step 2. Show contempt.

In a press conference on Monday, FIFA President Sepp Blatter responded to a journalist’s question about a possible crisis at the organization by saying:

“If somebody would describe to me a crisis, what is a crisis? Football is not in a crisis. We have just seen a beautiful Champions League final with Barcelona, with fair play. We are only in some difficulties. And they will be solved inside our family.”

The organization has faced allegations of vote-buying regarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which is the topic Blatter seemed to dodge with his dismissive answer.

FIFA, an acronym for International Federation of Association Football (in French, modifiers such as “international” come second), is the governing body for football (or “soccer,” if you’re in the United States).

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