For those who wonder how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell keeps his job with all the nonsense that goes on with player conduct and arbitrary suspensions, look at what goes on at soccer’s highest level and you will realize the NFL is not all that poorly run. With the recent reelection of Sepp Blatter as the president of FIFA to another two year term, the world’s soccer nations have decided to continue supporting someone who has either allowed blatant corruption to take over soccer (most likely the case) or who is so clueless, he has no idea what his underlings are up to (not likely since they probably bribed him to get their cushy positions).
Am I the only person who finds it odd Sepp Blatter has not set foot inside the United States since 2011, the same year FIFA officials are under arrest for using American banks to transfer money collected from bribes?
Roger Goodell and Bob Kraft are more likely to kiss and make up before Blatter is ever seen on American soil. While it is no secret the United States would love to play host to another World Cup tournament, Blatter fails to grasp we do not need to bribe FIFA like Russia or Qatar did to win the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.
FIFA bribes do not come cheap, by the way. So far, the U.S. Attorney General’s investigation has uncovered up to $150 million dollars in bribes that used U.S. Banks to transfer money.
How many banks from other nations were used and how much money transferred is anyone’s guess.
We do know the Swiss government is conducting a separate investigation into the suspicious manner in which Russia and Qatar submitted their winning World Cup bids with Russian leader Vladimir Putin claiming this is just another attempt by the United States to try and hurt the Russian people. We also know there were $10 million dollars in bribes handed out as part of South Africa getting to host the 2010 World Cup. All of this under the leadership of Sepp Blatter.
So how is it that Sepp Blatter is able vvvsoccer remain as president of FIFA and retain his powerful grip over the world’s most popular sport? Simply put, bribery has always been a big part of the sport and most of the world’s soccer playing nations are far more use to bribery in their national politics and do not react the same to it as we do.
The soccer world is filled with thousands of governing bodies, all of which fall under the umbrella of FIFA. There is always money to be made in hosting the sport’s major tournaments and the ultimate tournament is the World Cup. But don’t forget, there is also the Women’s World Cup which is this summer, the U23 World Cup, UEFA tournament, World Club Tournament, and on and on and on right down to AYSO.
The bigger the tournament, the more money there is to be made. However, this also means the more in bribes to be paid out to secure the votes you need to host a tournament.
What’s more, these bribes are used to promise the hiring of certain companies to construct new stadiums, build new roads to new venues, and even clear cut some of the Amazon in the case of Brazil.
These companies may well have direct or indirect ties to FIFA officials who profit greatly in the process and this is all done with Blatter’s blessing as he is assured a very lucrative piece of the soccer pie while promised continued fealty from member nations.
Sepp Blatter will remain the president of FIFA for another two years. In fact, do not be surprised if he remains its leader right up until his death, when, like the Catholic Church following the Pope’s passing, soccer leaders from around the world will gather in hushed isolation to elect it’s new leader.
You can also be assured whoever this new leader is, he will have secured his presidency by making generous use of bribes and quid pro quo deals. It may be referred to as “The Beautiful Game” on the pitch, but off it, soccer is one ugly sport.
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.