CHICAGO – SPORTS – Now, what seems clear is the corrupt synchronized skimming of bribing funds an International Organization known as FIFA (the Governing Agent responsible for World Soccer’s Activities) has been camouflaging. In particularly rather devious methods over years. So much has become obvious it appears FIFA’s circle of money launderers are presently up against a truly fateful catharsis.
In our own recent journeying in-and-out of places in both the USA and Canada since American prosecutors led by Loretta Lynch, an Attorney General, brought their allegations to light (on Wed. May 27th) the magnification of what is happening has been a compelling dateline
and daily by-line everywhere.
For soccer is a global sport followed as religiously as pious ones connected to their church, mosque, or, synagogue. And these days the passion it attracts on every continent, has been been exploding–or should it be imploding–in every market media outlet. Radio. Television. Daily newspapers. Weekly and monthly magazines. Tabloids and special issues of Sports Illustrated.
As an example during a single travel day crossing the Border we read the Toronto Globe and Mail’s Sports report. The St. Paul Pioneer Express. The Chicago Tribune. The New York Times. The Wall Street Journal. The Irish Times and Britain’s Economist. Each with updated coverage with as many as 2 or 3 journalists on the scene in Switzerland where FIFA’S Headquarters were under siege.
So what has transpired?
Back in November last year Lynch and her panel of methodical prosecutors began deep investigations into records and retrospective paper trails of what FIFA had apparently
felt would never be traced. Lynch discovered again, and again, what they had been tipped off to expect. Digging vigorously and scrutinizing much they went back four years and more discovering FIFA’S agents had taken bribes. Wired ‘hot’ money through international banks. Devised ways of securing, slanting votes regarding what countries will host future Olympics.
Well the question surfaces how far might an American Investigation go? They have been seeking ways of securing facts and figures. A route to channelling, and enforcing, punishment to those high rollers who have been greasing handshakes. While negotiating sports contracts and lofty commissions attained, essentially, by skimming payments into their own accounts.
There is a proverb one comes to know about courts in the States. It says the famous arm of American law can reach into very long extensions. Thus, in cases of bribery where funnelling of funds through US Banks in cities like New York, which is how FIFA received payments from Central and South America football associations, Lynch as an attorney representing the FBI is finding relevant targets to put under her microscope as a sod busting Law enforcement Official.
What also comes with the jurisprudence Lynch will marshal is a well-known fact about how the USA’s Courts have developed a reputation for seeking out any sort of corruption in what judicious referees call white corruption crimes.
Here a time out illustrating this point would be relevant. When South Africa was selected as the one to welcome the world’s soccer elite in 2012 our former neighbour from Newcastle, England and I would speak in this way about FIFA’S choice. Well, what a moment in history. Nelson Mandela’s country has surely received both sentimental, and humanitarian, votes to make it happen. Well, not so. In glancing, presently, through FIFA’S disturbing rear view mirrors what went on was something like this. One vote–a single ballot–would impact South Africa’s very nomination amidst applications from countries such as Morocco and Egypt. That’s when a FIFA representative from Trinidad and Tobago put his measured vote up for payment. His first offering was just under $ 2 million. Bidders for South Africa upped the ante to the gleaming allotment of $10 million. He opted for it. That was Jack Warner.
And South Africa put on its global show without ours–or our worldly brotherhood of adoring football fans–ever knowing an iota about it. Alas, as our world spins on its axis a plethora of other shambling, self centred ways and pay back repercussions are currently almost continually gushing forth.
What our family applaud (if that is not too much like cheering good guys finally stopping bad guy robbers in a movie) is something the press and soccer world in England have been trying to pry open for a long while. Yet an English chorus of rebuking (amid their aim in a credence of protecting a sport they once invented) of what has been going down scummy pipelines what the Economist magazine calls “cesspools schemes” will at last see a vindication emerge in
Trans Atlantic Courts. As authorities of the World’s most powerful Nation: the USA are able to deal the clout needed to clear the decks and right the good ship: S.S. Soccer Superior.
As for Joseph Sepp Blatter the Swiss President of FIFA who surely must have known intricate factors of what swayed what? Who pushed what buttons over timely decisions? Or, how both future World Cup venues in Russia and Qatar became the appointed places? These issues
will surely unfold as Blatter’s arrogant sand castles are facing fresh tides that, currently, have impelled him to resign as of yesterday.
And when my Newcastle colleague and our family have a chance to reminisce over past FIFA Chairs like Britain’s Sir Stanley Rouss the brilliant 1933 Referee who took office in 1961. Then
Was a most dignified leader in charge through his last term in 1974. Or, Brazil’s Joao de Havelange who became the 7th FIFA President after Rouss. Havelange, a respected lawyer, came to the sporting scene via the realm of Brazil’s International Swimming Federation and served until 1998.
And again we shall have– over these early summertime weeks–opportunities to survey and discuss who may merit best the powerful role in becoming the best contemporary Captain to navigate FIFA’s prized vessel. Particularly In the aftermath of its current maelstrom of inclement weather. As an entire global conglomerate of fans, players and media connected to “the beautiful game” as the great Pele would describe it accenting his heartfelt enthusiasm always. And as these next weeks pile up into our month of June and beyond may these foggy, dewy charts of misguided brinkmanship are expected to clear up.
Perhaps France’s legendary star Michel Platini? Possibly Prince Ali (bin Al-Heusen) who wants to implement reform and change in ways Ali just might be able to direct. Or, David Gill former Manchester United soccer player with Sir Alec Ferguson. To his credit Gill refused to accept a nomination to hold a chair at FIFA pending Gill’s drive, with others, to have Blatter commit to a resignation.
And, as Major League Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti said, in his time, while banning Pete Rose from baseball because of Rose’s irreverence for the game. Rose constantly slapped down bets on America’s Pastime while Rose could tap into inside data regarding stats and percentages while he coached the Cincinnati Reds.
Giamatti constantly referred to what he called, “America’s pride within the game of my beloved country. It is a sport I hold–in this office as Commissioner–in the highest of ideals. Meaning, Succinctly, baseball’s integrity must never be toppled. By anyone involved in dealings within
this beautiful game.”