Fourteen FIFA officials were indicted for racketeering, conspiracy, and corruption in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday, May 27, 2015.
A couple hours later, the United States Justice Department unsealed a 47-count indictment with charges of wire fraud and money laundering against 14 defendants, including FIFA bigwigs, sports marketing executives, and the owner of a broadcasting corporation. The announcement mainly cites deals between FIFA, sports marketing groups, and broadcast corporations for the television rights to air the World Cup and other international tournaments.
It is believed that there was corruption with the voting of the locations of the 2018 (Russia) and 2022 (Qatar) World Cups.
“I can’t believe the scandal and corruption involved with FIFA, and I will be even more mad if the voting for the locations of the World Cups was rigged,”said freshman Andy Lombard.
The allegations date back to 1991. The indictment states that those involved conspired to receive bribes from marketing firms in exchange for exclusive television contracts with some of deals reaching over $150 million.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated, “It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.”
Many world leaders have something to say about this scandal. Russian President Putin attacked the United States, saying that they have nothing to do with it and should not be involved.
Prince William discussed how he wants the scandal to be fixed to improve the game of soccer.
Here is a look at some of the main people who are being indicted:
Jeffrey Webb– Current president of CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) and FIFA vice president/executive committee member. He was appointed by the FIFA president to lead FIFA’s anti-discrimination task force. Last year, Webb called for the publishing of the Garcia Report. This report documented allegations of corruption in the controversial bidding process for the 2018(Russia) and 2022(Qatar) World Cups.
Jack Warner– Former president of CONCACAF and FIFA vice president/executive committee member. In 2013, the CONCACAF Integrity Committee filed a report that Warner committed fraud against CONCACAF and FIFA, and had misappropriated funds from FIFA.
Eugenio Figueredo– Former president of CONMEBOL (South American Football Confederation), FIFA vice president and Uruguay federation president.
Nicolas Leoz– Former president of CONMEBOL and FIFA executive committee member. His resignation came after he was accused of taking kickbacks in the 1990s. Another official for the England 2018 World Cup claimed Leoz had demanded knighthood in exchange for his vote.
Eduardo Li– Current Costa Rica soccer federation president and member of the CONCACAF executive committee.
José Maria Marin– Current member of FIFA organizing committee for Olympic soccer and former president of the Brazilian soccer federation. He was one of the people in charge when Brazil hosted the 2014 World Cup.
“It is honestly just sad, and depressed that so many high officials are this corrupt. I hope they fix the problems because I just lost all respect for FIFA,” said freshman Nick Depalma.
Each of the 209 member nations get a single vote to elect a federation President and executive committee. That means that the smaller countries have the same say as countries like France and England. The smaller countries, and the men who run the federations of their countries, also receive an equal cut of FIFA revenue. That means that no country is in a hurry to want to make changes.
Many sponsors have also become concerned with the scandal and are thinking about pulling their sponsorship, including big companies like Visa.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who has recently announced his resignation, was elected for a fifth time. He is not believed to have been involved in the scandal.
How do you think the corruption will be fixed?