Culture

Unraveling FIFA’s hidden corruption

Earlier in June, 2015, 14 FIFA officials were arrested in the United States by the Federal Bureau of Investigation-FBI over various corrupt practices in the organization with emphasis in the selection of the host countries for the 2018 and 2022 world cup finals. The FBI in conjunction with the American tax authorities and Swiss government authorities have decided to launch a massive scale investigation into all deals made by FIFA just few days before FIFA elections were held. The FBI arrests in New York involved several vice presidents of FIFA including Jack Warner- the man believed to be at the center of bribery allegations for the 2010, 2014, 2018 , and 2022 world cups, to which he has since denied. Several allegations include evidence that South Africa paid $10 million into his private account.

History of corruption in FIFA

Aside from the bribery allegations made against FIFA in the selection of the host countries for the 2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022 world cup games, the organization has been riddled with several other allegations of financial improprieties in the past and these include; the monopolization of world cup profits by FIFA, monopolization of endorsement deals from corporate sponsors , banning of governments from interfering in the running of football associations in all countries, using political connections to stop laws and legislation that ensures accountability in financial dealings of football associations, and influencing the appointments of individuals in key FIFA position among several others. FIFA elections has never been transparent in its entire history, considering the fact that many opponents of incumbent presidents always step down before elections.

Is America’s involvement in FIFA probe justifiable?

Many of FIFA’s supporters believed that the FBI and the United States of America have gone too far in interfering with the legitimate running of FIFA and the reasons many believed they got involved is that England – an ally of the USA lost in the bid to host the 2018 world cup. The United States of America wanted the president of FIFA-Sepp Blatter to step down before the latest generation, but failed to stop him from winning a fourth term. Although Blatter later admitted that there were corrupt activities in FIFA and there was need for him to step down. Nobody knows where the latest corruption allegations will end as many revelations are now being made on both past and present FIFA deals.

What is happening?

Although the rumors of Blatter stepping down is swirling, recent developments in FIFA have people wondering what else is amidst these allegations. It appears that FIFA’s top communications official has left the organization because of his ill-advised joke regarding FIFA officials and the police; Blatter’s top official admitted his involvement in processing a $10 million payment to a former Caribbean official. This accusation has been backed by the United States prosecutors; the 2026 World Cup host country announcement and voting, which was supposed to be in 2017, has been delayed indefinitely.

Blatter may not resign and more developments to the FIFA scandal is continuing.

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