Billions of dollars in incredibly lucrative advertising. Billions of viewers. It’s one of the most lucrative businesses in the world, particularly the sports world. It’s also infamous for its corruption, but nobody has done anything about it. Until now. Leave it to the United States, the least football-mad country in the world, to stand up to the governing body in charge of international football. Fourteen FIFA officials were indicated by US authorities, with more possible indictments on the way.
The officials face a staggering 47 different charges, particularly related to corruption, fraud, and racketeering to the tune of up to $150 million dollars in bribes and graft to control very lucrative soccer tournaments. After all, there’s a reason the 2018 and 2022 World Cups went to a nation renowned for its bribery and a country currently building soccer stadiums with what is essentially slave labor. And these indictments are only the beginning, according to acting US Attorney Kelly T. Currie, who filed the charges in Brooklyn. Others, particularly the accused, see the charges as a political thing rather than what it is, a criminal investigation going back 20 years.
“I cannot help but note, however, that these cross-border coordinated actions come at a time when FIFA is assembled for elections to select a president who is universally disliked by the international community,” said former FIFA president Jack Warner, one of the indicted 14. “At times such as this it is my experience that the large world powers typically take actions to affect world football. World football is an enormous international business.”
Tags: fifa, international football, sepp blatter, jeffrey webb, 14 fifa officials arrested, zurich, switzerland, miami, florida, kelly t currie, us arrests 14 fifa officials over corruption, loretta lynch, fifa officials indicted on 47 different charges, fifa corruption probe, jack warner