FIFA corruption disappoints soccer fans

October 8, 2015 — by Jay Kim

Bribery and the corruption of FIFA president Sepp Blatter has FIFA fans in frustration and disappointment.

Unlike the World Cups over the past century that have been held during the summer, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be held in the winter, since Qatar’s extreme summer weather can reach up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

This rescheduling conflicts with the wintertime UEFA Champions League and Europa League, two of the biggest club soccer competitions, as well as all the domestic leagues — Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga, England’s Premier League and more.

Scheduling the World Cup in the winter is a ridiculous idea. First of all, Sepp Blatter, the 79-year-old former president of FIFA who is facing possible criminal charges over corruption in the organization, chose to break the tradition of 85 years of summertime World Cups. Furthermore, it is inconvenient for fans all over the world, who will be at school and work during matches.

But this is just one more scandal among FIFA’s well-established history of countless questionable activities.

FIFA has long had a poor reputation. When South Africa was selected to host the World Cup over Egypt and Morocco in 2004, the media began questioning the process of selecting host countries. Later, it was revealed that large-scale bribery had occurred, and some FIFA officials came out vastly richer.

During the process of proving the corruption of this organization, it was revealed that FIFA, although being an “non-profit organization,” has over a billion dollars in its bank.

Skepticism of FIFA’s legitimacy peaked when the organization announced that Qatar would host the 2022 World Cup. Qatar’s lack of infrastructure and its atrocious treatment of immigrant workers who are building the structures for the event make it completely unfit to host the World Cup. Beyond that, the World Cup final will be played in a city that is not even built yet.

According to the International Trade Union Confederation, about 4,000 workers will die from construction-related accidents and exhaustion before the event even begins.

But this issue regarding human rights is only a portion of a bigger corruption of the organization. FIFA has earned approximately $5.7 billion in the last four years. Meanwhile, Blatter has  cunningly evaded police investigation for over a decade, but he has lost the respect of fans across the globe when the organization’s lobbying processes regarding the World Cup bid have come to light. As a result, numerous FIFA officials and sponsors have been insisting on Blatter’s resignation for years.

This massive problem involves almost every part of FIFA — numerous officials have resigned or been arrested, and FIFA’s secretary general Jérôme Valcke has been accused of selling the World Cup tickets on the  black market for exorbitant markups as well as embezzlement.

Blatter did eventually resign from his position of the head of the organization. However, with Blatter continuously backtracking on previous statements, it is adding confusion and criticism in the soccer community.

If Blatter and his fellow officials have any desire to uphold the decency of FIFA, they should all turn over the organization to new leadership. Until FIFA is completely reorganized with morally upright officials, the corruption will only escalate and bring shame to “the beautiful game.”

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