FIFA’s Corruption Stains World Soccer – NYTimes.com

As it has always done when confronted with allegations or evidence of corruption, FIFA declared that the investigations were good for the organization and that FIFA was fully cooperating. Sepp Blatter, the 79-year-old Swiss citizen who has run FIFA since 1998, saw no reason not to run for a fifth term on Friday and showed no intention of revisiting the choice of Russia or Qatar. Those selections immediately raised suspicion of foul play when they were announced in December 2010, and the controversy has only deepened with reports about the appalling treatment of foreign laborers working on World Cup facilities in the blistering heat of Qatar. Hundreds of migrant workers, many from Nepal and other South Asian countries, have died in conditions that have violated international labor laws and human rights.

The surprise of the day was not only the arrests and the investigations, but also that Washington would take such aggressive action against officials of a sport that is notably less popular in the United States than elsewhere in the world. In fact, the American indictments were largely the fruit of an investigation into large-scale bribery and kickbacks in the organization of tournaments by Concacaf, the FIFA-affiliated governing body of soccer in North and Central America and the Caribbean, which has its headquarters in Miami. Four officials have pleaded guilty, and one of the four has been cooperating with investigators. via – NYTimes.comfifa-logo.

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