FIFA is well known as the governing organization of professional soccer throughout the world. They also, unfortunately have a reputation for being an incredibly corrupt organization often beset by scandal. In fact, this became such a major and pervading problem that the huge 2015 scandal that resulted in the heads of FIFA being arrested was featured on John Oliver’s HBO show “Last Week Tonight.”
When you see arrests were made by United States law enforcement agencies like the FBI and IRS, who had long received reports of criminal activity like money laundering, racketeering, and even fraud, you know it can’t be good. The higher ups in this FIFA organization were long thought of as being on the shady side, but the new charges that came out against head FIFA officials brought that to a new level.
This didn’t just include the two main heads, but 14 high level officials associated with this organization that were brought up on a series of white collar money related crimes by the U.S. Attorney General. This was a major shock and really brought home the need for much better supervision over the governing body and brought its corruption to a head.
When an international organization meant to be about sports and sporting gets taken down by two of the more respected criminal investigation organizations in the world, you know there’s a serious problem. I was speaking with a good friend of mine who owns a blog in the US (OutdoorIdeasMN.com) and he said he’s not sure if soccer will recover from this scandal. I disagree, but no question it has been a black eye for the sport.
The charges are still being worked through in formal trial, but the scandals rocked the organization and caused investigations by five other nations to look at FIFA and could lead to even more charges from other nations such as Costa Rica, Australia, Germany, Colombia, and even Switzerland. Charges are expected to be similar to the ones filed from the United States with fraud and money laundering being two of the major ones that keep popping up. Not good guys – just when the World Cup brought such good will toward the sport.