Top U.S. diplomat criticizes FIFA armband threat at World Cup
Former Ambassador William Taylor, the only U.S. diplomat who has publicly criticized FIFA’s anti-doping measures at the World Cup, spoke to the Miami Herald Saturday.
The retired admiral called the armbands that FIFA is demanding for their World Cup host team supporters “a first step toward using the United States to quash the efforts of our own athletes who wish to compete in the most ethical sporting events.”
Taylor said the armbands “violate every principle of fairness and the United States’ pledge as a fair-minded neighbor to other countries.”
Taylor left the U.S. Foreign Service in 1997 without going to college. He was raised in South Carolina and, after graduating high school, served as an Air Force captain with a tour in Vietnam. He went on to work for the Navy and later as a senior fellow for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which is now George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political and Civil Rights.
Before coming to FIFA, he served in the Clinton administration as U.S. ambassador to Yugoslavia.
“When I went to Bosnia I was shocked to discover that our people had been systematically murdered. But I also found out that while our people there were trying to kill each other, the Serbs were trying to kill us.”
He returned to the U.S. for part of the Clinton administration and later served as special adviser for U.S. policy in the Balkans, as ambassador to Croatia, and as ambassador to Slovakia. He returned to Bosnia after the Dayton Accords were signed and oversaw the military intervention between the Serbs and Muslims.
The United States and a few other countries used to be seen as the world’s moral arbiters, but Taylor believes they have now become the world’s hypocrites.
For example, Taylor said, “we were a great champion of the U.N. Convention on human rights in the 1970s. We now have an ambassador in Mexico who is now the subject of a human rights trial here in the United States.”
He also pointed out that U.S. officials have made no secret of their belief that anti-doping systems are necessary to protect the integrity of competitive sport.
“So why then, in response to