Sports, amirite? Probably not. As a lifelong self-identified indoor kid, I initially had no idea what was happening with this whole FIFA corruption thing. But, as a lover of scandal, I wanted to understand.
If you're anything like me, you do, too. So, here's a guide to everything you need to know about the insanity that's brewing in the soccer world right now, tailor-made for the athletically illiterate. You can do this.
What is happening?
A group of past and present FIFA officials, and other high-profile players in the sphere of professional soccer, have been arrested and indicted on corruption charges.
And FIFA is…?
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the soccer (fútbol) world's global governing body.
And what is soccer?
Why are they being charged?
Back in 2004, Morocco, South Africa, and Egypt were all campaigning to host the 2010 World Cup. A former FIFA Vice President allegedly sold his vote to South Africa in exchange for $10 million, a significant portion of which he apparently pocketed.
The corruption was uncovered by the FBI's New York office over the course of a four-year investigation. Now, the United States Department of Justice has indicted 14 officials on 47 counts that include fraud, racketeering, bribery, and money laundering.
Who has been charged?
The rest of the men indicted include former and current FIFA officials, executives from various companies who paid bribes in order to obtain the commercial rights to soccer tournaments, and a broadcasting executive from Brazil.
They each face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Has anyone not been charged?
Sepp Blatter, for one.
Who is Sepp Blatter?
The current and longtime president of FIFA. He has resided over the organization for almost two decades and was up for re-election, um, today actually (May 29). He won, but the U.S. and much of Europe voted in favor of the rival candidate, Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan.
Seeing as how Blatter has served as the president of FIFA for the past 17 years, many have theorized that he was involved in the alleged corruption—which an FBI official described as "institutionalized" to the New York Times. However, Blatter has stated that the corruption charges should reflect only on the 14 men indicted and "not [on] the entire organization."
U.S. investigators have declared that the indictments are “the beginning of our effort, not the end." They plan to expose and seek justice for nearly two decades of alleged FIFA corruption involving an estimated $150 million in bribes.
The Department of Justice is planning to hold a federal trial, but that's kind of a long way off, considering how long it will take to extradite 14 super rich guys from a bunch of different countries.
Simultaneously with the U.S. indictment, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has launched an investigation into how the locations for the 2014, 2018, and 2022 World Cups—hosted by Brazil, Russia, and Qatar, respectively—were chosen by FIFA.
Can we stop talking about sports now?
Oh my god, yes. Here's that new Little Mix video inspired by The Craft to cleanse your palate.
Bad at filling out bios seeks same.