Image source: FIFA/Facebook
At the request of the US Department of Justice (DoJ), seven officials from FIFA were arrested last week. The DoJ alleges that FIFA officials were paid $150 million in bribes by sports marketing agencies, who act like middlemen, in order to secure broadcasting rights. On June 2, FIFA president Sepp Blatter surprisingly announced his resignation. Now, a parallel investigation concerning the bidding process of the 2018 Russian World Cup and 2022 Qatar World Cup has been started by the Attorney General of the Swiss Office, reports VOX.com.
What is FIFA?
We all know what the full form is (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) but have you ever wondered if FIFA is a non-government or government organisation?
The answer is neither. And this is where FIFA falls into a rather grey area. FIFA functions like a big business with members from all over the world. Since it
does not follow particular laws of any country, it has the advantage to work with impunity. It is easy for FIFA to uproot its base to another country which has less strict laws and that overlooks such corruption.
Why is the US involved in this?
It is alleged that officials of FIFA and CONCACAF (FIFA’s governing body for Central and North America) accepted bribes from sports marketing
companies for the broadcast rights of the World Cup. These companies have been accused of paying $150 million to the officials.
CONCAF’s headquarters are located in Miami and all the crimes allegedly took place in US soil. This gave enough reason for the US Department of Justice to investigate. Four former executives secretly pleaded guilty and aided the DoJ to gather evidence. As the investigation went further, alleged bribery charges were even made to the process that awarded South Africa the 2010 World Cup.
Image source: FIFA/Facebook
Why Putin could be scared?
“These officers are not United States’ citizens, and if anything did happen, it did not happen on the territory of the United States and the USA have nothing
to do with it. This is yet another obvious attempt to spread their jurisdiction to other states,” Putin said.
On the contrary, USA is very much involved in this scandal. Apart from having administrative offices in America, US citizens are allegedly involved in this
scandal as conspirators from FIFA and CONCACAF.
Chuck Blazer who served as the deputy of CONCACAF to the regional president from Trinidad and Tobago, was accused of being involved in bribes and
illegal money making schemes including the unauthorised sale of World Cup tickets, as stated by The New York Times.
Putin’s answers are reportedly based on his generic fears about the United States trying to bring down his regime rather than the specifics to the FIFA case.
Well, the parallel investigation for the 2018 Russian World Cup and 2022 Qatar World Cup has already started, but FIFA has not reconsidered who is
hosting the World Cup in 2018 and 2022. US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a press conference that the indictment of the officials is “only the beginning”.