If you’re one of those people who’s always spouting off about how FIFA is totally corrupt and just hands out World Cup bids based on under-the-table cash exchanges, congratulations, you’re probably right.
Earlier this week, professional soccer’s most esteemed governing body got hit with one of the biggest scandals its ever seen. (And, based on the number of alleged fixed soccer matches that have occurred over the past decade, that’s really saying something.)
The soccer corruption story of the century came to a head this week with the arrest of high level FIFA officials at a luxury hotel in Switzerland. According to the US Department of Justice, the men involved in the scandal were involved in everything from money laundering to accepting bribes and just about every financial crime in between.
If extradited to the United States, the FIFA 14 will be facing some very serious racketeering charges. (Racketeering is, essentially, the criminal code’s way of dealing with organized criminal groups like the Mafia.) A conviction on even one of the charges they’re facing could result in a 20-year prison sentence.
The folks over at Gambling911.com pointed out the delicious irony of the fact that it was American, not European, officials who brought the allegedly corrupt FIFA crew to justice. The NFL, not FIFA, is the sporting king of the US, where most people would be hard-pressed to define basic soccer terms like, “injury time.”
FIFA’s terrible, horrible, no-good day will definitely ripple across the sporting, gambling, and political world, but just how is yet to be known. One thing, however, is clear, there is no such thing as, “business as usual,” at FIFA anymore.