Wednesday, May 25, 2011

FIFA Bribery Saga Continues

Just one week before FIFA's Presidential Elections, the world's governing body of soccer has announced it will be launching a probe on bribery allegations against the President of CONCACAF (the Central and North American Federation) Jack Warner and FIFA Presidential Candidate Mohamed Bin Hammam. FIFA is no stranger to claims of corruption, as President Sepp Blatter can surely testify, and it should come as no surprise that the claims against his challenger are occurring so close to the election. 

Very recently, FIFA has also announced that it will allow a 'whistleblower' to present evidence of bribes regarding the 2022 World Cup Vote. Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World Cup, which is coincidentally Asian Federation President Mohamed Bin Hammam's native country. FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said that should the allegations prove true, FIFA will hold a revote. The United States was one of the other countries bidding for the right to host.

It's difficult to tell what to make of all this news, but it's surely important as the outcome of the two probes will have a great impact on the future of soccer. Many people are calling for Jack Warner's job, as he's been at the center of multiple corruption claims before. I would have told you I was rooting for Bin Hammam to unseat Sepp Blatter before this scandal, and now I'm not sure what I'd like to see happen. A complete overhaul would be nice, I suppose.

If you're interested in learning more about FIFA's historical corruption, check out soccer reporter Andrew Jennings' "FOUL!". The book details FIFA's beginnings, Adidas' involvement, and Sepp's rise to power. Also, visit Change FIFA, an organization devoted to bringing honesty and transparency to the governing body of the world's favorite sport.

-Written by Dan Mullin

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