FIFA is upset that the Norway-based Nobel Peace Center, an organization that celebrates the Nobel Peace Prize and its ideals, announced that it no longer wants to associate itself with the governing soccer body, which is currently embroiled in a massive scandal that resulted in 14 officials being indicted by the U.S. Justice Department for racketeering, taking bribes, and other crimes.
FIFA quickly issued a statement on Tuesday stating their disappointment in the Nobel Peace Center's "unilateral decision": "This action does not embody the spirit of fair play."
The collaboration between FIFA and the Nobel Peace Center itself was one big farce. The only initiative the two organizations discussed was the Handshake For Peace. Announced in 2013, the Handshake for Peace was set to replace the customary pre-match handshakes between the two teams in an effort to "inspire the world to unite in peace, solidarity and fair play."
FIFA President Sepp Blatter personally promoted this initiative and claimed it could help "bring a solution" for the problems between Israel and Palestine. He made the officials from the two countries try one round of the handshakes at an international FIFA meeting in May. It was the only known incident of an off-the-field Handshake For Peace.
But those who know better speculated that Blatter's sudden affinity for world peace was guided by his desire for a Nobel Peace Prize for himself. He was disillusioned enough to believe that he could achieve that by proving to the global soccer community that he had brought peace to the world through soccer.
Case in point: This collaboration between FIFA and the Nobel Peace Center obviously required no investment or infrastructure. However, FIFA had promised the organization $902,000 as part of the initiative when discussions began in 2012.
"The board asks the administration to terminate the cooperation with FIFA as soon as circumstances allow," the center said in a statement.
Apparently FIFA was blindsided by the news and said they were "disappointed" that the center "obstructs the promotion of the key values of peace-building and anti-discrimination."
Blatter called the Nobel Peace Center CEO on Tuesday morning in an effort to salvage the partnership. But chances are that Blatter, who announced he will step down from his presidential post sometime in the next year, won't be winning any Nobel Peace Prizes anytime soon.