The world of football finally got what it had been asking for, when police began conducting investigations into alleged corruption within the FIFA organization. 18 FIFA employees were indicted which led to mass media coverage across the world.
Argentinian legend Diego Maradona was one of the first to slate the organization when he participated in an interview with local radio station when hearing the news:
â€œThey called me mad but thankfully today the truth is out and I am enjoying it. They hate soccer. They hate transparency. Enough shady dealings. Enough lying to the people.â€
The outburst from the controversial world cup winner comes as no shock as he has long been at odds with the governing body. And this sort of blanket investigation was due to happen sooner or later.
Out of all the indictments, the majority were based in the Americas. However, one Englishman, Costas Takkas a former â€˜secretary generalâ€™ for the Cayman Islands and the biggest name of the list, Jose Maria Marin who is the former head of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) were the most notable names on the list. If found guilty, all of the released names could find themselves facing terms in jail for charges varying from money laundering to corruption.
Now even online sports books are trying to gauge whether the public feel that the Qatar World Cup will even go ahead. News and betting website Betfair released this statement; “We have a market on whether that event will still take place in the desert heat of Qatar, a controversial decision that has been widely derided since being announced in December 2014,” stated the site on the uncertainty of the recent events. With many of the websiteâ€™s leading columnist questioning the reasoning behind Qatar winning the World Cup bid in the first place.
The aforementioned officials were arrested at the headquarters in Switzerland by Swiss police earlier this week. The arrests were on the request of the U.S. authorities who have reason to believe that the named officials have been involved in wire fraud schemes, money laundering and racketeering to the tune of $100 million according to both Betfair and the Guardian.
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch had this to say about the situation: “The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States.”