Acting on an indictment by the U.S. Justice Department, Swiss police arrested several top FIFA officials on charges of corruption.
The officials were allegedly arrested Wednesday morning in Zurich. They were accused of widespread corruption dating to the 1990s.
The New York Times reports that Sepp Blatter, a Swiss national, “has ruled FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, for the past 17 years with no term limit, no external oversight, no passion for business ethics, no appetite for reform and, apparently, no shame over the rampant scandals, corruption and match-fixing that have sullied the beautiful game.”
FIFA is a multibillion-dollar organization that governs soccer but has been plagued by accusations of bribery for decades, writes the New York Times.
What About Sepp Blatter? A FIFA spokesman said that Blatter remains serene despite the arrests of officials on corruption charges and that a leadership vote will go ahead on Friday.
Mr. Blatter was not charged. Still he remains wildly unpopular, except among his “enablers,” writes the New York Times – corporate sponsors like Coca-Cola, Adidas and Visa, and docile national soccer federations.
Mr. Blatter, 79, is expected to win a fifth term as FIFA’s president on Friday, but he presides over an organization with a reputation in tatters. Sepp Blatter became president of FIFA in 1998. He has held other jobs with the organization.In FIFA Politics, Blatter Is the “consummate player,” writes the New York Times.