And long overdue it is too for this self serving organisation and its corrupt officials. I have always hated international football (well, apart from that one day in 1966), it has always seemed to me to be about expanding the role of the bureaucracies that run the game rather than ordinary punters supporting their local team.
And when you look at FIFA officials, apart from the odd token former player, they are smooth faced elitists, industinguishable from the people who sit on the International Olympic Committee, run the EU, the United Nations, the Eurovision Song Contest and all the rest of it. In other words they are the type of people who in a former age would have talked about their divine right to rule, and God having created their ancestrs as a finer species of humans than us ordinary punters.
it is bollocks of course. The growth of international and trans national competitions (e.g. The World Cup and the European Champions League) has gone hand in hand with the expansion of the bureaucracies that run the game.
Well most participants in the Champions League are not champions of anything and the World Cup has turned into a massive and meaningless jollies (in fact several massive and meaningless jollies) for the games’ bosses, funded by fans.
As always however, the smooth faced back stabbers forgot that we are many and they are few, and they overreached themselves. Hubris always gets its just reward. The real damage was done when a World Cup tournament was awarded to Qatar, a small nation that did not boast a single decent stadium but had shitloads of oil money with which to sweeten the panel that chose future venues.
Things progressed from there until eventually a massive US investigation culminated in an early morning raid by Swiss police on senior football officials staying at a Zurich hotel. The suspects face federal corruption charges and may be extradited to the United States.
The organizations officials reportedly stand accused of making World Cup bid bribes, arranging broadcaster and marketing deals, as well as wire fraud (a U.S. legal term for any fraud involving transactions dependent on telecommunications ), racketeering and money laundering.
An official statement by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice said the six FIFA officials have received millions of dollars over the years for crimes set up and organized from the US (the Boggart Blog bookies is refusing to take bets on Sepp Blatter being one of them), with American banks involved in the payments. The crimes reportedly go all the way back to the early 1990s.
“The bribery suspects – representatives of sports media and sports promotion firms – are alleged to have been involved in schemes to make payments to the soccer functionaries – delegates of FIFA and other functionaries of FIFA sub-organizations – totaling more than US$100 million,” the Swiss Federal Office of Justice said in a statement. “In return, it is believed that they received media, marketing, and sponsorship rights in connection with soccer tournaments in Latin America.
The US Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of New York is investigating these individuals on suspicion of the acceptance of bribes and kickbacks between the early 1990s and the present day, sources in the USA revealed.
In an update on the investigation, the Swiss Attorney-General’s office says electronic and other information and documents were seized from FIFA headquarters as part of the investigation.
I’m all for this, lets go back to the days when Saturday was football day and it was inconceivable that the entire Premiership programme would be cancelled because England had a midweek friendly match with Faroe Islands or somewhere.