Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Politics And Football

2 days before his re-election as Fifa president, Sepp Blatter has a minor crisis on his hands as the US government indicted 9 top Fifa officials on corruption charges. They are accused of accepting bribes and kickbacks estimated to be around US$150m over a 24-year period. 7 of the officials were arrested in Switzerland and some are pending extradition to the US.

I, like many people, have to ask one question, "Why now?"

Everyone who has a passing knowledge of Fifa knows that money changes hand all the time, especially during the bidding of the World Cup. The US government's allegations of  bribery being involved in Fifa's 2011 presidential election and the 2016 Copa America tournament are also not new. It's almost the way business is done in Fifa. 

So suspicion has hung about Fifa for decades, and now there's a problem? I can't help but wonder if world politics has a hand in this. Russia won the right to hold the World Cup in 2018, and everyone knows how well-liked Russia is nowadays.The US government even admitted that the investigation partly started when the US lost the right to hold the 2022 World Cup to Qatar (It also didn't help when US Attorney General Loretta Lynch started her press conference calling football "soccer").

Now I believe the charges are true, corruption in Fifa has been ongoing for decades, but holding a press conference 2 days before the Fifa election? I don't think that's a coincidence.


Jack Bond said...

This is a major crisis. FIFA is corrupt and I hope that this is the beginning of the end of money in football. The end of massive transfer fees and the mockery of teams built around the chequebook...

Ghost said...

Guilt is not in question here. The problem I have is in the timing of the arrests which smacks of politics. And in my view, politics and sports should never fix.