Wednesday, May 27, 2015

International Soccer Association Rocked By Sweeping Indictments

More than a dozen leaders of a multi-billion dollar organization that promotes soccer events around the world, including the World Cup, have been arrested in a sweeping FBI probe investigating the awarding of bids for the World Cup, as well as broadcast and marketing deals, over the past two decades. Top officials of FIFA were taken into custody by Swiss authorities in Zurich as officials of FIFA gathered there for their annual meeting.

The New York Times reports that 14 officials of FIFA are facing charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering. The indictment includes sports marketing officials in the United States and South America who are accused of paying more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for media deals associated with major soccer tournaments. "The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States," said United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

According to U.S. officials, four persons have already pleaded guilty, including former FIFA executive Chuck Blazer and two sports marketing companies. Blazer forfeited $1.9 million when he entered a guilty plea in 2013 and has agreed to make a second payment at his sentencing. The Times described the probe as "a startling blow" to the organization that governs the most popular sport worldwide.


Pete Boggs said...

How can a culture of corruption at the FIFA be good for professionally subsidized soccer in Indiana?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Indy Eleven's Peter Wilt is spinning as a plus. He seems to believe Indy will land a future World Cup it might not have otherwise won. The taxpayers should fight at all costs any attempts to host a World Cup. It would literally cost the state and city over a billion dollars minimum in investments to satisfy FIFA, and that's a conservative estimate.