Tag Archives: sports law

Sports Corruption, Part Deux (the FIFA edition) UPDATED!!!

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.

But don’t just take it from us. John Oliver knows all about FIFA corruption.

UPDATE! Sepp Blatter has resigned! Will miracles never cease?

Ballghazi and Sports Corruption around the World

Scandals in sports are about as unexpected as scandals in politics, right? But how often do the skies open and send us a scandal as entertaining as Deflategate? The ball jokes alone are enough to send those of us who have the maturity of a 12-year-old boy into giggles. While we may think that the NFL has a monopoly on bumbling incompetence in the form of Roger Goodell, who likes to hand out punishments that have no actual link to the severity of the crime committed, it turns out that Goodell is just following in the footsteps of his international compatriots. The NFL is no more corrupt than FIFA or the International Olympic Committee. Strong words, but true. Even though Tom Brady will be suspended for twice as long as Ray Rice, a man caught on video beating his then-girlfriend-now-wife, Goodell and co. at the NFL are only engaging in the time-honored tradition of citing to rules that they make difficult for others to find (seriously, stop by NFL.com and try to find the rule book from which the Patriots violated the game; for bonus points, find the exact rule that was violated), and hiding behind the notion that while players may do egregious things off the field, the true crime is doing anything to ruin the sanctity and integrity of the game on the field. The Patriots, while certainly not saints in anyone’s imagination, are being punished because they’ve ruined the game on the field, instead of keeping their misbehaviors off the field like everyone else.

If you’d like to learn more about the wild world of Sports Law, take a look at our research guide on the Olympics and International Sports Law as well as our guide on U.S. Sports Law. Books like Fair Play: The Ethics of Sport are in their 4th edition for a reason.

Of course, it all boils down to one simple thought at the end of the day: if the Patriots hadn’t engaged in shady behavior, none of this would be happening. Enjoy the schadenfreude until it’s your team in the spotlight. *cough* Washington D.C. Professional Football Organization *cough*