Did a ranking FIFA official REALLY just say this?

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A prominent FIFA official was shocked (shocked!) to hear his organization accused of considering profit in an important World Cup matter.

Here’s how FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke responded when media suggested FIFA was overly concerned with TV slots and financial profit when setting times for World Cup 2014 matches.

I can’t even imagine why and how you could think we are making decisions thinking about the television and not thinking about the health of the players.”

At issue were afternoon kickoff times in Brazil. Some journalists wondered if night time kickoffs might be better for the tournament, even if they were harder on European TV viewers who would be forced to watch the bulk of their World Cup in the wee smalls.

So, yes, he really said that. And with those words, FIFA has once again set the bar for absurdity a little higher still.

Let’s see … shall we go over a couple of reasons?

Start here: With FIFA, it’s always about the cash. To that end, these are not difficult dots to connect.

When TV and the World Cup come together they form warm, wonderful springs from whence sweet swells of cash flow like water from the fountains in the Gardens of Versailles.

(MORE: World Cup kickoff times set)

Personally, I think it’s OK to consider TV when arranging kickoff times. It’s fine to want a many people as possible to watch your sport, your tournament, your league, your team and what-have-you.

So why didn’t Valcke just say that? Why would he insult all of us by suggesting that his organization was a benevolent bystander falsely accused?

Because, of course FIFA thinks first of player health in all matters! Which is why the suits of Zurich awarded World Cup 2022 to Qatar, where a soccer player may actually melt on the field before the world’s eyes.

In related news, Captain Renault is “shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here.”

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbPi00k_ME&w=420&h=315%5D