Often Partisan

FIFA Exec Arrests – the Start of Change for Football?

Six FIFA executives have been arrested in Zurich this morning by Swiss police pending extradition to America over alleged bribes worth over $100m over two decades. While Sepp Blatter was not one of those arrested, several high ranking official have been including CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb and CONMEBOL President Eugenio Figueredo.

The Swiss FOJ have confirmed that the arrests were made following a request from the US authorities investigating bribes between sports media/sports promotion firms and the governing body of football. The timing couldn’t be better with FIFA’s annual congress taking place in less than 72 hours.

It’s not something none of us have seen coming. While there has been mutterings which have gotten louder and louder of the past few years about corruption within the global game nothing seems to have stuck until recently.  Former US federal prosecutor Michael Garcia was named as an independent investigator into allegations of vote-buying around the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup and while his report was completed last autumn FIFA have still yet to publish the document.

These allegations appear to be a different dimension but if proven will show something is very rotten within football. I will freely admit my distaste for FIFA; I think that they have stood for the greed that runs within football and which has taken the game out of the reach of the common working man at the highest levels. I’m unsurprised that FIFA have $1.5billion in cash reserves – we’ve all seen for ourselves the vast amounts of money that come into the English game via TV rights so why would the global game be any different?

It’s my personal opinion that this is going to go one of two ways. The cynical side of me says that this will go nowhere; that FIFA will stonewall any investigation, giving up as little as possible and maybe sacrificing the odd pawn to allow the kings to continue unchecked. However, this is the American legal system that have kicked off and the truth is that I can’t see them letting go without a fight – and it’s that hope that this could be the start of something bigger to help the game shed this sleazy image of kickbacks and bungs.

I can’t see this making much difference at club level in the short or medium term but I am of the belief that if we want football to become more equitable for clubs outside the top flight then there has to be a revolution throughout the game – and these sorts of events can be the tipping points in such a revolution.

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43 Responses to “FIFA Exec Arrests – the Start of Change for Football?”

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Dan……While you are in Katowice you should follow GKS Katowice your local football club.
    They like Blues are short of money and like Blues play in the second tier of their national league.

  • Art says:

    About time -this is long overdue.

    Some of these people believe they are untouchable

    Hopefully justice will prevail.

  • It won’t make much difference at club level DAN , except for heroes like you who have made the difference between the very dark side of the beautiful game and the light at the end of the tunnel for the fans, at some very great risk to yourself ,more than you would like to admit , I personally would like to thank you for your effort so far , and that’s not being puffy that’s what you call RESPECT , KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    If the people arrested are high ranking officials, it’s very hard to believe that Blatter didn’t know what’s been going on right under his nose… and that he’s not the biggest snout in the trough. Still, he’s got away with it this long, so I would expect that to continue. What it needs is an almighty clearout… starting at the very top.

    • chrisg says:

      “I can’t believe it’s not Blatter”!!!!!!

    • RichardM says:

      Quite right Staffs, in any corporate situation given a scandal of this magnitude the CEO would be toast, but this is FIFA who clearly think themselves above the law.

      This year has been a disaster for FIFA, they commissioned their own investigation into bribery and corruption claims over the 2018 and 2022 World Cup awards, and then tried to finger the English FA, only to suffer the severe embarassment of the guy commissioned to do the report refusing to back the findings, and now this.

      Blatter, this guy has some neck, I think his arrogance makes him believe he can carry on, but with sponsors Hyudai, Mcdonalds, Budweiser, VISA and Addidas (who between them contribute 33% of all FIFA revenue) all making very strongly worded statements, he can’t seriously continue, can he?

      I don’t like the English FA, but the one thing we should give them credit for is they are the only major FA to oppose Blatter and openly criticise him, the German, French, Spanish, Italian, Brazillian and Argentinian FAs should hang their heads in shame.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Apparently, FIFA still haven’t released the full report. If that alone doesn’t damn them, I don’t know what will.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Sky News is reporting that Gary Rowett is second favourite to get the Derby job!!!!

    • RednalBlue says:

      Real Madrid assistant manager Paul Clement is set to replace Steve McClaren as Derby County head coach, BBC Derby Sport reports.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I really can’t see Rowett leaving Blues after only 6 months. It wouldn’t look good on his CV.

  • Dino Tiltoni says:

    #leavefifa

  • Oldbluenose says:

    I agree with all of your written opinions of these arrests,

    Normally, — one would say clear out from the bottom-up, but i think the cancer starts at the top, so if that is dealt with,?. it will percolate down in the fullness of time.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Exactly what I said earlier… have an almighty clear out, starting at the top. It’ll send shock waves downwards and those below will s**t themselves. But, it will all come out in the wash. ;)

  • Agent McLeish says:

    FIFA are run like a dictatorship with no transparency and with a track record of corruption. They are more like an organised crime outfit than the games governing body. How can a dysfunctional organisation such as this rule the greatest and most lucrative game on the planet?

  • Dave mann says:

    Let’s play ‘ mock the week’ and think of other things that FIFA could stand for ? … F—–g Idiots F—–g A—holes. Kro

  • oldburyblue says:

    FIFA, UEFA and the IOC. All corrupt. (In my opinion of course, to safeguard OP!!)

  • Richard Granfield says:

    GOOD NEWS. Christian Atsu, a similar type player to Demarai Gray, has agreed a season long loan to Bournemouth from Chelsea. One possible destination for Dimmi to go to averted 19 to go.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    I cannot believe that this 79 year old mumbling, fumbling, tottering, stumbling, geriatric, keeps on beating football’s finest to the vote for the biggest job in world football. He could not be there based on performance, competence or logic, so one has to ask, HOW and WHY is he there?
    Why did so many viable candidates drop out before the vote was taken?? How did England receive such measly support for its World Cup Hosting attempts and how on earth did a nation with a population the size of Birmingham, with an environment which is totally hostile to playing football, that imprisons foreign reporters and supports extremist groups manage to win a FIFA vote to stage the World Cup Finals??? Hang on did you say 6 FIFA execs have been arrested on corruption charges???? Well knock me down with a feather!!!!! Only 6?????? KRO!

    • Andrew says:

      there will be a domino effect from this, as they become desperate to reduce sentencing etc. some have already pleaded guilty! although its such a massive piece of news it really hasnt come to ANY surprises. not heard the last of this me thinks.

  • Swedish Bluenose says:

    I really hope it will be revealed that Sepp Blatter is involved in all this mess as well. He won over the Swede Lennart Johansson to become and continue president of FIFA, and as a Swede I cannot promise but I think that Johansson is an honest man.
    All this fixes with Qatar getting the World Cup is horrendous!

    • Bluenosesol says:

      They have ascertained that Blatter won his last nomination to president as a result of bribery and corruption and the moron has the gall to say he is not standing down and the presidential vote will take place regardless. Methinks he will be talking to the FBI sooner rather than later!!!

      • Hillfield Blues says:

        That’s the bit that threw me. It’s being categorically stated that the last presidency vote is one of the subjects under scrutiny for bribery,so how can Blatter not be connected to the investigation and how can they just carry on regardless with the vote on Friday?

  • Dave mann says:

    BREAKING NEWS…. FIFA are an honest law abiding and totally innocent organisation who gave the world cups of 2018 and 2022 to the best bids and voted Mr Blatter as there unanimous and forever leader …. Makes Carson yeung look like an Angel of football ! Kro

  • Tony says:

    This is being handled by the FBI not some law office of a banana rebublic, Blatter and his cronies wont wriggle out of this that easily.

  • Dave mann says:

    Let’s hope not but up to today they’ve got away with murder and much much more … A bit like our scenario to be honest! .. Sepp Blatter takes the piss out of world football and CarsonYeung takes the piss out of our football … Should meet up for a night out and put the football gods to right ! Kro

    • Bluenosesol says:

      If Blatter gets his come uppance, him and Carson will be able to spend more than a few nights in!!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Dave… shouldn’t that be “meet up for a night out on the p*ss(take)?” :)

  • Stephen Powell says:

    Should be interesting to see if his friends in certain countrys who have benefitted by supporting him will now with the FBI investigating

  • DenisonBlue says:

    It appears four people have already pleaded guilty in the US, one in 2013 the other two in 2014. Squealing like pigs for a leniency deal I bet. Wouldn`t be surprised to see Blatter on a flight to the good old US of A sooner rather than later. Good riddance.

  • DenisonBlue says:

    Meant three in 2014

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Is there a BCFC connection with this story?

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Most certainly! Birmingham like most other Championship clubs are spending approx. 100% of income on players wages. This is a situation which due to the greed and huge expectations of players and their agents which prevails and has been encouraged by those who run FIFA as the same standards of gregariousness permeate FIFA at all levels. FIFA have never shown any intent to move the income stream away from players and agents pockets into grass roots development and a cheaper and improved match day experience for the ordinary fan. Instead they line their pockets and those of their corporate chums. Hopefully these current actions by the FBI will result in a complete rout of the FIFA executive and the new FIFA will implement strategies which will move the core being of world soccer to a balanced position which supports commercial success, brings common sense to player reward and places the ordinary supporters at the heart of the game. Including us Bluenoses! KRO!

      • BhamCityJulian says:

        This story is about corruption, not football finances

        • Bluenosesol says:

          You have lost me! These corrupt people deal in diverting finances away from football and into their own pockets at the expense of all of us? How can corruption occur if finances are not involved?

  • viperblue says:

    didn’t fifa quash the inquiry into the “fixed result” at Maribor …3-0 back to 3-4
    resulting in us not qualifying ( next round met Juve and with money strengthened in Jan window
    and got promotion nback to prem…just a thought….)
    KRO

    • Dave Mann says:

      Viperblue, that’s a great shout .. Maribor 3-0 up with 15 mins to go at home to Brugge and we’ve qualified for the knockout stage , then bang, bang, bang, bang and were out , not even a whisper of any controversey because we were a small time English team! Kro

  • swissjonny says:

    Blatter ran off with my mates wife.Shes 46 and very attractive.It left him heart broken.A nasty piece of work in all aspects of his life.Lets hope he gets done bey the Americans if hes investigated by the Swiss nothing will happen as they will say he is too old to do bird despite the fact that he appears quite capable of making the beast with two backs with my mates wife.

    • will says:

      Very graphic illustration Swissjonny…Blatter’s spell at the top of FIFA has covered 3 marriages plus your mate’s wife…must have been keeping his eye on the wrong balls

    • Blue Lizard says:

      Maybe she was after his Toblerone?..always thought that a Septimus Blatter sounds like the marks on a dirty Toilet.


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