GarbageTalk: Football Corrupted … Not The NFL, The Other Football
Say hello America, and beyond, to the face of white-collar crime in 2015!
No, no no! Not DeflateGate … I’m talking FAFI, no FIFU, no I mean FUFI, damn it – Fédération Internationale de Football Association … yes, FIFA corruption! That’s right, these guys, pictured below, were indicted on corruption charges and arrested in Zurich, Switzerland early Wednesday, May 27, 2015.
I know what you’re thinking. Wow they are old! And, who cares! And, more importantly, why in the hell is the FBI, a U.S. Agency, involved in indicting FIFA soccer felons?
After all, football in the U.S. is measured in yards, not meters … that’s a 100 yard field … and the important letters are NFL, not MLS. Does anyone even watch that? This is worse than watching Congress put aside lawmaking and fixing real United States problems to determine whether there’s been cheating in baseball. Hello Barry Bonds!
Who says a picture isn’t worth a thousand words. Seriously.
Anyway, according to the indictment, filed in Brooklyn, NY no less, these “criminals” were part of an enterprise that affected interstate and foreign commerce. How? Because the U.S. has not hosted the FIFA World Cup since 1994 and therefore has been deprived of commerce? Or because these criminals used U.S. banks to transfer their ill-gotten gains to each other? And why Brooklyn? Well, after all, there have been “friendlies” (exhibition soccer matches between national teams) played in the Eastern District of New York, which is the district where Brooklyn lies, apparently.
Seriously though, FIFA soccer is big business, taking in a little over $200 million dollars in profit per year … at least from 2007 – 2010 … which is about what Floyd Mayweather stands to make from the Mayweather Pacquiao fight. And these white-collar criminals allegedly took illegal payments, bribes and kickbacks, engaged in fraud, bribery and money laundering to pad their own pockets. The results of these conspiracies? Well, for example, South Africa got to host the 2010 World Cup instead of Morocco. Does anyone else remember the Shakira song, This Time For Africa, that played during that World Cup?
The song just wouldn’t have sounded as good if it was “This Time for Morroco,” would it have? So, we should all be thanking Jack Warner for taking that $10 milllion bribe for four votes, not arresting him, right? Oh, but I jest.
To me, this sound a lot like a typical salacious European scandal … hello Tour de France and Lance Armstrong (yeah, he’s American, but the Tour was conducted in France and those guys profited big time from winning it); Prime Minister Berlusconi’s charges stemming from his relationship with a nightclub dancer …
(LOL – can you believe that? What’s wrong with the Italians); and we all remember the Strauss Kahn-NYC-hotel-maid scandal. Ok, ok, maybe those examples are totally different and incongruous affairs compared to the indictments of FIFA officials we are talking about here, but if you’ve watched the Armstrong special on Showtime “Lance Armstrong, Stop at Nothing,” what Walsh said (the guy who wrote the book about Armstrong doping), is right. To accuse someone that high up and get it to stick, you need “extraordinary proof.” And cheating, is cheating is cheating.
At the center of all of this is current FIFA president, Joseph “Sepp” Blatter … this guy.
While not indicted yet, it’s impossible to believe that he didn’t know that corruption was ongoing within FIFA. That he didn’t know that votes were bought and sold. But Sepp isn’t all bad. After all, he transformed FIFA into the money making machine it is today, some of which is distributed to member nations to build new soccer fields and infrastructure. See? Not all bad. No surprise that he got re-elected, after failing to secure the initial two-thirds vote. Even if he were innocent, how could he effectively continue to lead an organization when he didn’t know there was deep-rooted corruption afoot?
But, perhaps the bigger question is, why now? Why FIFA officials? Who the effe cares about what is going on in international soccer? Is this really similar to taking out the mafia? Where are the drugs, improper bidding on government contracts, and other stuff we see with mafia-type tactics?
For that we have to turn to the woman at the center of this, Loretta E. Lynch, the U.S. Attorney General, who seems be be saying that this is just the beginning … which makes me think that FIFA is not the actual target. Which would make sense because the U.S.A. does not consider soccer (we don’t even call it football over here), a national treasure … like baseball, or “football.”
What I do know is that the elections are coming up … that Hillary Clinton needs help, that Loretta is a Democrat, nominated by Bill Clinton to be the Attorney General for the Eastern District of New York and later nominated by Obama to serve as the US Attorney General. So, what is Loretta after? A name for herself? Vice presidency? Russia? Have I been watching too much House of Cards here? LOL.
Anyway, stay tuned. This ain’t all she wrote.