Friday, May 29, 2015

Why I am skeptical about the US led witch hunt on FIFA

By now it's old news that an US-led investigation has led to Swiss officials arresting seven top FIFA officials in Zurich, and the US fraud inquiry has already indicted 14 people. Loretta Lynch is the woman who took on FIFA. Amidst all of this, Sepp Blatter has just won re-election as the head of FIFA.

Pardon me if I am not amongst the majority who are 100% enthusiastic about the US led witch hunt into FIFA.

  1. Blatter has been good for world football. For so long has football remained an Euro-centric game, with some token South Americans. It was Blatter who took the World Cup to Asia (in Korea/Japan 2002) and to Africa (South Africa in 2010).
  2. It was Blatter who expanded the World Cup to 32 teams, and then changed the rules so that African and Asian teams have a greater chance of qualification.
  3. It was under Blatter that a lot of investment has gone into football outside the traditional powers. Cricket could learn something from the way FIFA globalizes the game. No wonder Africa and Asia loves Blatter.
  4. Everyone seems up in arms about the decision to award the games to Russia and Qatar (with allegations of bribery and corruption) yet no one bats an eye into the way Germany nipped the World Cup in 2006, right when everyone assumed it would go to South Africa. The media keeps bringing up the corruption of the Qatar bid, yet no one talks about how Salt Lake City got the Olympics from IOC in 2002.
  5. When did the US start to investigate FIFA? Right after their failed bid in 2010. If they had been awarded the world cup, all things were then hunky dory?
  6. US Senators repeatedly tried to pressure FIFA into dumping Russia as a host. Citing the occupation of Crimea and Russia's involvement in Ukraine, they conveniently forget all the wars and lands occupied by the US soldiers since the Second World War. The Iraq war alone has caused the deaths of far more civilians than any recent Russian military adventure.
  7. All of this as FIFA was set to suspend Israel. The Palestinians have now dropped their effort after the corruption probe.
So yes, it does look like there was corruption in FIFA, but there's a whole lot more going on than it meets the eye.

3 comments:

Yawar Amin said...

It's because of things like this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/27/a-body-count-in-qatar-illustrates-the-consequences-of-fifa-corruption/

'If current trends continue, the ITUC estimates that 4,000 [migrant labour] workers will die in Qatar by the time the World Cup is actually held....'

musingsfromtheashes said...

Whilst I am somewhat sceptical about the US leading the investigation, I welcome it. The allegations of corruption and bribery could not be ignored for much longer. I do think it is questionable that Qatar were awarded to host the WC over the United Kingdom (and this is not being me being bitter) - it just seemed to me like Englad had the better infrastructure to do this (even in 2018 rather than 2022). I welcome Blatter's resignation - his legacy was becoming detrimental to FIFA football.

Ravi Krishna said...

I am glad that this has reopened the 2022 WC issue. Qatar, like all Arab States is a racist hell hole where all south asians are treated like shit. Already over 1000 died, almost all of them from south asia. It will be icing on the cake if Qatar loses the right.

In any case most of FIFA countries are pissed with the Nov schedule of 2022 since it is right in the midst of their club season.