It has been a long time since Sepp Blatter began his reign at FIFA.
But I reckon the news that Michael Garcia’s report into World Cup bidding corruption WILL be published could finally mark the beginning of the end for the dictatorial Swiss.
When I heard the governing body’s executives had “unanimously agreed” to publish Garcia’s findings, I nearly jumped for joy.
Not so much because of what the report might contain especially the watered-down version we’re likely to see.
Not even because its publication will stand as a significant step towards greater transparency at FIFA and that is desperately required.
Instead, I celebrated because the fact that it’s being published at all is proof, finally and happily, that Blatter’s power base is crumbling.
For all his claims that he actually wanted to see the report published, I would bet my bottom dollar that his hand was forced.
And if he really is dancing to somebody else’s tune for once, it would suggest that he may have a serious opponent waiting in the wings ahead of next year’s FIFA presidential election.
The only pity is that the decision to publish has come too late to do anything about the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 tournaments to Russia and Qatar.
Right from the start, the whole process seemed slightly off-centre to me and it still seems that way now.
Unfortunately, at this late stage, we’re just going to have to get on with it, regardless of Russian homophobia claims and genuinely life-threatening 50 degree Qatari summer heat.
Still, the silver lining is that for the first time in a very long time, we can have real hope that we’ll never again have to deal with the kind of closed-doors, cloak-and-dagger bidding process we have just seen exposed.
FIFA under Blatter has become a byword for controversy and alleged corruption.
The man himself has stood by and shrugged as football has been dragged through the mud on his watch but enough is enough.
By agreeing to publish Michael Garcia’s report, Blatter has done nothing other than make an eleventh-hour attempt to keep voters onside before he stands for a fourth FIFA presidential stint.
Let’s just hope that this time, finally, it’s a case of too little, too late.