It appears that all of those rumors surrounding corruption in the high echelons of FIFA have finally been proven true, based on recent news. 9 FIFA officials and 5 corporate executives were all arrested a few days ago in Switzerland, and indicted on 47 different counts — including wire fraud, money laundering, and racketeering, amongst others. These indictments relate to charges going back as far as 24 years ago.
Worth noting up front is that 4 individual defendants and 2 corporate ones have already plead guilty.
The US Attorney General, Loretta E Lynch, commented on the indictment: “The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systematic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States. 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. And it has profoundly harmed a multitude of victims, from the youth leagues and developing countries that should benefit from the revenue generated by the commercial rights these organizations hold, to the fans at home and throughout the world whose support for the game makes those rights valuable.”
While I’m not going to argue with that, I admit to being fairly amused at all the fanfare surrounding this considering that corruption is a far greater issue in the banking sector (especially in the US) than it is in the fields of sports/entertainment, and yet, not a peep on that front. Wonder why?
Still, back to the main reason that we are covering this — as the arrests were made in Switzerland, the authorities there opted to use electric police cars (of the Nissan LEAF variety) amongst others. 🙂 Sort of brings a smile to your face, huh. “FIFA officials arrested in Japanese-made electric vehicles.” I wonder what response you’d get if you showed the headline to an American back in 1940 and asked them for their response?
Naturally, the use of fully electric Nissan LEAFs for the arrest is also interesting given the FIFA officials’ connections to oil- and gas-based economies like Qatar and Russia. I wonder if the use of those vehicles was coincidental or part of a statement about the corruption.
The US Department of Justice actually put out a press release on the subject, so, those interested in reading more are directed here.
Image Credit: FIFA