This is not just a simple case of conducting politics on football terms, nor is it a case of the politicisation of football.
It is, unfortunately, something deeper, more alarming, and dangerous.

It involves the tight embrace between the government and a person who behaves in a “peculiar” fashion. It is about the favours that he receives, and the sense of omnipotence that he feels, due to the special treatment that he enjoys.
But it is also about the benefits that the government itself receives, or expects to receive.

This is not just the definition of intertwined vested interests. This whole nexus of relations represents something more rotten.

It is the sense that one gets that the mechanisms of power, with the tactics of a state within a state, are keeping company with a business world that operates with the rationale of an underground culture.

At times this association is witnessed in the suites of football stadiums, and at others, it is reflected in gifts offered in order to erase fines or to receive a port concession.

Are they gifts, or perhaps ransom? The question is not conspiratorial in nature. The government appears as if it is being held hostage.

It seems that the government used an oligarch as a ramrod, in the first instance, to conquer the media.

Now it appears trapped in his opaque web, even as he himself believes that the country that hosts his activities is worse than a banana republic, a country in which you can run around with guns, threaten, and curse, a country with a government held hostage – a country, in other words, without a government.