On May 27, 2015, the U.S Department of Justice unsealed a massive indictment of fourteen officials for soccer from across the world, including top officials in FIFA. The indictment alleges widespread corruption has been going on for over the last two decades including wire fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice charges, and bribery in regards to how FIFA chooses host locations for the World Cup and its other major soccer tournaments, and how media and marketing deals associated with those events are awarded.

Investigations began in 2011 by the IRS when Charles Blazer, a former executive committee member of FIFA, did not file an income tax return. At the same time, FBI officials were beginning an investigation of their own into FIFA that spun off an unrelated organized crime case. The two agencies joined forces in December 2011 which has  led to one of the most complicated white collar crime cases in history, involving coordination of police agencies and diplomats in 33 countries.

The indictments did not include FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, but he announced his resignation at the beginning of June. The president said he had previously attempted reform the FIFA organization, but his efforts “have been blocked.” He then pledged to use his time remaining at with the organization to begin restructuring. He joined FIFA in 1975 as a technical director and has been serving as president since 1998. He resignation was not without scepticism.

As the U.S Department of Justice continues there investigations, more indictments will likely result. Even an unnamed American headquartered athletic apparel company is named in the indictment bribery and money laundering.

Jen Lukasiewicz

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One Response to FIFA Indictments Reveal Widespread Corruption

  1. Kevin Cavino says:

    Speculation on FIFA’s corruption has been going on for years, but there are probably few people who thought it went this high up and was this prevalent. It will be really interesting to see what else comes out as the investigation continues (maybe even some public figures and politicians were involved) and what kind of punishment those indicted will face.