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FIFA Crackdown – World Cup Of Corruption Operates Like Big Mafia Families



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May 29 2015
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FIFA has finally been given its long overdue “Red Card”, after nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives indicted for racketeering conspiracy and corruption. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a 47-count indictment was unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging the 14 defendants with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies.

FIFA Corruption Scandal - US Justice Department

 

 

For as long as one can remember, FIFA cartel has been suspiciously involved in such activities, and the latest bust is the biggest sports corruption crackdown in the history of humankind. And it was just the beginning. So far, FIFA has banned 11 individuals – Jeffrey Webb, Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Costas Takkas, Jack Warner, Eugenio Figueredo, Rafael Esquivel, José Maria Marin, Nicolás Leoz, Chuck Blazer and Daryll Warner.

FIFA Corruption Scandal - World Cup of Corruption

Earlier, Swiss police entered the luxury 5-star Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich and arrested seven FIFA officials. They also raided FIFA’s head office in Zurich, seizing electronic data and documents. Switzerland is investigating whether anyone broke laws  into the controversial 2018 and 2022 World Cup soccer bids, which awarded the games to Russia and Qatar respectively.

 

But what does this got to do with United States, where the Americans don’t really care about soccer? Surely this isn’t a revenge after the U.S. lost the 2022 bid to Qatar, is it? FIFA made a record revenue of US$2.1 billion (£1.3 billion, RM7.3 billion) last year, including US$337 million (£310 million, RM1.2 billion) in profits from the World Cup.

FIFA Corruption Scandal - World Cup 2014 Sponsors

As a result, FIFA pocketed a cool US$140.7 million net profit in 2014 alone, bloating its reserves to US$1.523 billion (£997 million, RM5.6 billion). So, there’re lots of incentives for corruption, vote-buying and whatnot. Needless to say, tons of American sponsors contribute to the FIFA’s coffers – VISA, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and the list goes on.

 

VISA, which pours at least US$25 million a year into FIFA has threaten to pull out from FIFA. Coca-Cola said the allegations of corruption had “tarnished” the image of the World Cup. McDonald’s, one of Fifa’s key second-tier sponsors, said it was already in contact with the organisation and that it “takes matters of ethics and corruption very seriously”.

FIFA Corruption Scandal - Trophy and Soccer Ball on Field

German sportswear maker Adidas, Fifa’s oldest sponsorship partner, has expressed its concern. Sony announced towards the end of last year that it would not be renewing its deal after eight years as a sponsor – during which it paid out around US$280 million. Hyundai, Budweiser and Gazprom are yet to issue statements on the scandal.

 

How does vote buying works in FIFA? Here’s an example:- Morocco, Egypt and South Africa were competing to host the 2010 World Cup. Every country has a vote in its hand. Jack Warner, a committee member from Trinidad and Tobago was offered US$1 million for his vote by Morocco. But South Africa offered US$10 million, so the vote went to the country. Results – Mr Jack Warner got his US$10 million, while South Africa got the 2010 World Cup.

FIFA Corruption Scandal - Office Logo Signboard

U.S. Department of Justice mentions that between 1991 and the present, the soccer officials were conspiring to solicit and receive well over US$150 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for their official support of the sports marketing executives who agreed to make the unlawful payments.

 

The explosive corruption crackdown on FIFA officials is so hot now that even Clinton Foundation is being linked to it. Apparently, the Clinton global charity has received between US$50,000 and US$100,000 from FIFA on several occasions, according to donor listings on the foundation’s website. Interestingly, the former president was an honorary chairman of the bid committee put together to promote the U.S. as host for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

FIFA Corruption Scandal - Bill Clinton Links

But there’s one big shark that is still swimming free – FIFA incumbent president Sepp Blatter. Although not one of those arrested, he was among those investigated. The deepest crisis in FIFA’s 111-year history is threatening Blatter’s bid to win a fifth, four-year term in a contest against Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan on Friday.

 

Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, who has been president of FIFA since 1998 has turned soccer or football into a very commercial entity. It’s extremely hard to believe he doesn’t know anything while those defenders, presently fighting extradiction to the U.S., were happily and blatantly plundering and enriching themselves.

FIFA Corruption Scandal - President Joseph Sepp Blatter

Russian Putin has since backed the FIFA president, accusing United States’s latest action as an attempt to block the re-election of Blatter as president of FIFA. Although expected to win again, Blatter, who once said that women’s soccer would be more popular if the players wore tighter shorts, may be terminated eventually since the U.S. is adamant about shutting down big mafia families of FIFA.

 

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“FIFA Crackdown – World Cup Of Corruption Operates Like Big Mafia Families”

Yes indeed & about time too.

24 May 2015 – “For decades I have lived and breathed football every single day. It is my passion. I am deeply proud of my career and the wonderful support I have known in Argentina and abroad from fans, friends and colleagues on the field. That is why I am writing today.

In the last few decades, football has changed – and not for the better. Once, it was a sport you could be proud of, a sport that united the world. But Fifa, its governing body, has turned into a playground for the corrupt.

Most football fans can predict what I am about to say next: Under Sepp Blatter, Fifa has become a disgrace and a painful embarrassment to those of us who care about football deeply.

Under Sepp Blatter, Fifa has become a ‘disgrace’

When I speak with football enthusiasts these days the conversation inevitably turns to the Fifa elections. While I find almost no one openly supporting Blatter, many think he will win a fifth term. Why? The whole notion of a fifth term is an absurdity in 2015 – it is not acceptable in democratic countries anywhere. Nor is it acceptable in the United Nations or most international organisations today.

But somehow it is OK for Fifa. We have a dictator for life.

I call Blatter “the man of ice” because he lacks the inspiration and passion that are at the very heart of football. If this is the face of international football, we are in a very bad place.

Football is an intense world, filled with conflict and it has always had its problems, but the head of Fifa should not be one of them.

Maradona has thrown his support behind Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan

The media is filled with stories on the string of scandals that have surrounded Blatter for well over a decade. There are so many, it has almost become boring to repeat them.

Who would be surprised by another bit of Fifa intrigue and larceny, another accusation of bribery?

When I ask why so many people think Blatter will make it yet again, the answer is always the same: He has won support with years of unethical patronage, favours and handouts.

No one has argued that he is the best man for the job and deserves to win. They “praise” him for keeping one step ahead of the investigators – whether they are auditors or the FBI – and ignore how Fifa finances have turned into a shambles with losses over $100 million (£65 million) alone at ISL, the Swiss marketing company closely associated to Fifa.

There is a sick admiration for Blatter much like that accorded to an old Mafia boss who has somehow managed to stay out of jail.

Blatter’s political history is one of promoting division and hiding failures.

Recently he pledged to follow through in addressing racism in football and promoting women in the sport. That made me laugh. My question is: “Sepp, what were you doing in your last four terms?”

Maradona pictured seconds before scoring one of the greatest World Cup goals of all time

We all know the answer to that: surrounding himself with crooks who lined their pockets at the expense of the sport. If he were an honest man, surely he would not have spent half his time blocking outside investigations into Fifa finances?

Why is this dodgy 79-year-old running for a fifth term at Fifa anyway? His cronies have stolen everything but the furniture in his office and he has claimed to know nothing. Perhaps we should call him Saint Sepp the Innocent. What a joke.

If leadership matters, then no national football association could, in good conscience, support Blatter for a fifth term. He is incompetent. When you are knee deep in massive financial losses and bribes and notice nothing, you are a fool or a thief.

All these corruption investigations are bleeding the life out of Fifa, and international football is drowning in a sea of contempt. Few sports in history have suffered the bad press football has faced in recent years and much of that press is owed to Blatter.

Maradona celebrating a goal at the 1990 World Cup

Key sponsors like Continental, Castrol and Johnson & Johnson are running away from Fifa. The Council of Europe has condemned Blatter’s handling of the collapse of ISL and over $100 million in losses. The FBI is looking at the handling of the US bid for 2022. There have been hundreds of media articles on massive financial losses, mismanagement and bribery.

We need young and creative leadership at Fifa – the kind of leadership that is inclusive and open to new ideas. We need a football culture, not a mafia culture.

Why are we all just passively accepting this corruption? Enough is enough.

We want our game back.”

24 May 2015 – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/11627815/Diego-Maradona-Fifa-is-a-playground-for-the-corrupt-and-if-Sepp-Blatter-is-its-face-then-we-are-in-a-very-bad-place.html

May 28,2013 – PHOTO: Diego Maradona weighs in on FIFA arrests, calls Sepp Blatter a ‘thief’

Diego Maradona has spoken, and he’s saying what most of the football world is thinking…”

http://www.thescore.com/news/771144

You be the judge.

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