If you’re an opinionated commentator on the world of sports there has been no greater gift than that of the FIFA corruption scandal that just keeps getting deeper and deeper leaving the body that oversees the world’s most popular sport in the sort of turmoil a hungry tiger in a school playground would be jealous of. It’s not just that they’re corrupt it’s that they seem unable to grasp that we’ve noticed and they’re busted.
In a delightful case of deja-vu authorities pounced on the Baur Au Lac luxury hotel in the early hours of the morning once again, having done so before in May, and at the behest of American investigators arrested two more senior officials from the world of football who were in Zurich to vote on reforms to an organization that needs knocking down, paving over and turning into a skate park. According to the press those responsible for more of the FIFA corruption scandal weren’t given time to dress. Excellent.
Alfredo Hawit, interim president for North Central America & Caribbean football and the President of South American Confederation, Juan Angel Napout, were both accused of massive corruption by the US Department of Justice, but the feds hadn’t finished yet then indicting 16 more officals at FIFA. At this rate Bet365 will have to start a book on who gets their collar felt next, although UK gambling laws probably prohibit it.
The US investigation claims that kick backs, bribes and “criminal schemes” involving sums well in excess of $200 million were behind the arrests and indictments making the FIFA corruption scandal just slightly more interesting than Seb Coe’s drugs-in-athletics problem. Sure people using drugs to win is corrupt, but at least tests catch them out, FIFA has fallen foul of its own greed and arrogance having just assumed no one interested in football would be clever enough to spot their criminality.
Dawn Raids In Ongoing FIFA Corruption Scandal
Loretta Lynch, hard-nosed US Attorney General, has said that “The betrayal of trust set forth here is outrageous. The scale of corruption alleged herein is unconscionable.” Which gets straight to the heart of the problem. They simply didn’t have a conscience. They took money from the world of football as if it were their own private cash cow and it was only when they lost their minds and started to think Qatar should host a World Cup that anyone began to smell a rat.
Oh sure there had been other FIFA corruption scandals before, but I’m sure that gambling news coverage will back up my assertion there’s been nothing on this scale. The Qatar debacle was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, the corruption so blatant, so obvious that even an Aston Villa fan could spot it. Investigations into Sepp Blatter and his cohorts have snowballed from that ridiculous decision and like all good Swiss avalanches it has engulfed everyone else in its path.
Not that FIFA wants to admit it. Even now when their guilt and manifest corruption is so obvious that even politicians are embarrassed for them, the acting head of FIFA, Issa Hayatou, is willing to go on record saying “FIFA is not corrupt.” A statement for which he should be punched repeatedly in the face. He blames the current FIFA corruption scandal on “individuals that have shown negative behavior” which would be fine…….if it didn’t apply to just about all of them.
Who Will Be Left When They’re All In Jail?
Hayatou himself has been in the senior ranks of FIFA for a quarter of a century and claims not to be corrupt himself, something that US investigators will be only too happy to look into, despite his having been sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee for getting a mysterious $16,000 once upon a time. Perhaps he isn’t corrupt, perhaps he’s not involved in the FIFA corruption scandal at all, but if we’re honest about it, I doubt that, don’t you?
He’d be pretty much the only clean senior FIFA official who wasn’t on the take, apparently. Hawit and Napout join a now mind boggling list of confederation and national football association presidents from around the world in being accused of massive amounts of corruption and racketeering. Which leaves those of us that like to bet on sports in the UK and elsewhere with one salient question. Who will be left to run FIFA when they’re all in jail?
With Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini along with Jerome Valcke at the top of the list of those invoved in the FIFA corruption scandal here’s some of the other that thought they could steal from us all. Ariel Alvarado, Rafael Callejas, Brayan Jimenez, Rafael Salguero, Hector Trujillo, Reynaldo Vasquez, Manuel Burga, Carlos Chavez, Luis Chirboga, Eduardo Deluca, Marco Polo del Nero, Jose Luis Meiszner, Romer Osuna, and Ricardo Teixerira. Oh and don’t think they’ll be the last. FIFA’s little fiefdom is coming tumbling down and all those involved should expect the worst.