Archive for May 11th, 2011

FIFA on the take? You’re kidding me, right?

May 11, 2011

The Sunday Times took another step in its crusade against FIFA over the weekend when it released a story claiming that four FIFA committee members asked for bribes to vote for England to host the 2018 World Cup while two others took $1.5 million each to vote for Qatar to receive the 2022 World Cup.

Of course, FIFA is trying to spin the story today, asking for proof as if it would care to receive any.

You don’t have to be a soccer fan to know that this story stinks to high heaven.

But if you are a soccer fan, then you know that nothing much will come from FIFA’s so-called investigation.

Here’s the takeaway:

1. FIFA is the most corrupt sports organization on the planet. They make the IOC of the late 90s look like a bunch of choir boys. Sepp Blatter, the president who is running for a fourth term later this year, answers to no one.

FIFA refuses to shed light on their process of awarding World Cups, including the dubious ones back in December that gifted the 2018 and 2022 events to Russia and Qatar – backed by wealthy and morally questionable organizing committees.

And despite a glaring need for goal line technology and some sort of accountability for its referees, the organization does nothing. Should a government try to get involved with a nation’s federation, FIFA will step in and threaten to ban the country from international play.

It’s a cartel, people. Plain and simple.

2. The 2022 World Cup being held in Qatar is an absolute joke. Now, I know that I’m an American, and thus naturally biased towards the land of the free. But other than sand per square mile and per capita income, Qatar doesn’t win head-to-head competitions with the United States.

We hosted the most successful World Cup in history in 1994, helping to grow the game in this country and providing a financial windfall for FIFA and its member federations. We have ready-made stadiums, infrastructure in place and a host of cities ready to host millions of fans from around the world.

Qatar has 120-degree heat in the summer and will have to build every stadium from the ground up.

And it’s a desert.

But Qatar has something else, too.

Lots of money.

I believe with all of my heart that Qatar bought the 2022 World Cup.

It’s just too bad that FIFA had it for sale.