It would appear that FIFA got jealous at all the attention the NFL was getting for their corrupt practices and has decided to pull the spotlight back to the other football. The one the rest of the world likes. Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice issued indictments for 14 individuals within FIFA. Seven of those individuals were arrested in Switzerland on Wednesday, May 27. The Swiss officials are working with the U.S. in their investigation into FIFA’s alleged corrupt practices, which include (but are most likely not limited to) receiving $150 million worth of bribes from the early 1990s for football tournaments in the US and Latin America via US and Swiss bank accounts. Another case against FIFA officials is for money laundering in association with the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Somehow, despite all of this, Sepp Blatter managed to be re-elected for a fifth term as president of FIFA and began his newest term by ingloriously blaming others for the corruption that runs rampant in the organization, stating that he couldn’t be expected to monitor everyone all the time. While no one expects that, it is apparently too much to ask him to monitor anyone any time. Meanwhile, one of the officials arrested in last week’s raid showed the rest of the world how competent FIFA officials can be when he made a video in which he claimed the arrests were evidence of a US conspiracy to get a World Cup bid. His proof? An Onion article. Not everyone understands satire.
It is thought that more arrests are likely to be made and Sepp Blatter would be wise to refrain from getting too comfortable in his fifth term as president, as the inquiries seem to get closer to him as time goes by. Could it be that the U.S. has finally done something on the international stage that others support (excluding Russia)?
It’s clear that FIFA’s corrupt practices have grown tiresome for some of the countries involved. Perhaps the party is finally ending for FIFA, though one wonders if such systematic corruption can really be remedied with a couple of cases, even if they are brought by powerful countries like the U.S. Still, this is a start.
UPDATE! Sepp Blatter has resigned! Will miracles never cease?