FIFA Officials Arrested On Corruption Charges

About freaking time. The Swiss authorities arrested about 10 FIFA top authorities and plan to extradite them to the US where they will face the charges. Although Sepp Blatter was not among them, Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago was, probably the most infamous criminal among them.

For those that don’t know, FIFA ranks only with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) as the most brazenly corrupt sports organization in the world. Bribery is widespread and barely concealed. It’s why Qatar got the World Cup for 2022, but this stuff has been going on for a lot longer than that.

The biggest offenders are from CONCAFAF, which includes nations such as the USA, Mexico, and Canada, but the real offenders are from much smaller nations, which wield disproportionate power, probably due to their willingness to pay bribes. Should be an interesting next few months…

Although BBC is reporting that the arrests are relating to offences from the 1990’s not the WC awards.

Wonder if Blatter will do the decent thing and [del] jump off a cliff [/del] resign.

Live updates from The Guardian here

And now they are reporting that Swiss prosecutors are also investigating corruption in the WC 2018 and 2022 bidding processes.

Reports also state that Swiss Police have raided the FIFA headquarters as well as the hotel arrests. Apparently those are two separate strands of investigation.

Brilliant! this could be so much fun. Is schadenfreude also a word in strangely pronounced Swiss-German?

God I hope this is the day I’ve been waiting for for years. Please let it be so.

They have been doing that for years. The arrests are based on American charges unrelated to thst.

I love Warner! He is so hilariously corrupt and criminal but just refuses to acknowledge it, funny in his own way.

The press conference that has just finished was hilarious.

Apparently this is a “good day” for FIFA.

Well, seems like a classic FBI case of going after a mob. Catch a little rat, who gives you a bigger rat. Maybe they can still get the biggest rat of them all.

Seems there are two strands. The arrests based on American charges, and a separate ongoing investigation by Swiss authorities (initiated on 10th March this year). Here’s the press release from the Swiss Attorney General

I love that one of the arrested people, Jeffrey Webb, was the deputy head of the FIFA internal audit team.

Why? The KGB’s MO was to always have a mole in targeted countries Counter Intelligence.

If I was running a racket, the oversight people are one of the first port of call to [del] bribe[/del] influence

FBI has now raided the CONCAFAF headquarters in Miami.

This is going to be a lot of fun.

I know zero things about soccer or any of this, but it seems striking that the guy in charge of the organization wasn’t arrested along with everybody else.

Any chance he actually helped orchestrate this, to get rid of enemies or to get ahead of the inevitable or something?

Seems unlikely. The Justice Department appears to be handling this in the classic mob case manner. They’ve flipped the little guys to get the middle guys. Eventually the middle guys will get the boss for them.

True. A racket doesn’t work unless the accountant is in on it.

Those books don’t cook themselves.

So if they get convicted, does the 2022 World Cup get moved away from Qatar? While I understand that soccer fans have been against the Qatar selection from the beginning, the country has put tons of money (and, from what I hear, lives) into building World Cup venues, do those just get wasted?

What? The FIFA bosses need to make sure they’re getting their fair share of the bribe money. Those yachts are expensive.

Sepp Blatter seems to be making a case that this was all their idea.