soccer

Thursday FIFA media frenzy roundup

Here’s what everyone’s saying now that we’ve had more than 24 hours to digest the news of a whole bunch of FIFA bigwigs being indicted:

Who’s who, and who’s facing what charge: Good breakdown here from The Washington Post.

The 2010 World Cup: Did South Africa literally out-bribe Morocco? The Telegraph picks up that part of the indictment:

It also said that the former Fifa vice-president Warner was offered $1 million (£652,000) by South Africa’s rival bidder Morocco but that Blazer learnt from his colleague that “high-ranking officials of Fifa, the South African government, and the South African bid committee, were prepared to arrange for the government of South Africa to pay $10 million to ‘support the African diaspora’ ”.

Vindication in Brazil: A lot of critics are happy, says USA TODAY correspondent Taylor Barnes.

The 2022 World Cup: Did the Qatar decision shock the USA into action? (One of several pieces in today’s Washington Post.)

The 2018 World Cup: Also from the Post — Russia mad.

2018 AND 2022: The bid process for those World Cups is the focus of Switzerland’s investigation:

In the Swiss criminal proceedings, opened by the OAG on 10 March 2015, it is suspected that irregularities occurred in the allocation of the FIFA World Cups of 2018 and 2022. … Subsequently to today’s seizure of files, the OAG and the Swiss Federal Criminal Police will be questioning 10 persons who took part in voting on the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups as members of the Executive Committee in 2010. These persons should be questioned as persons providing information.

For reasons of criminal procedure (principle of proportionality), the procedure coordinated with the requested acts of the U.S. authorities was designed in such a way as to allow the procurement of any criminally relevant data in an effective manner, and to avoid any possible collusion. These measures were carried out simultaneously as a large number of persons involved in allocating the World Cups were currently in Zurich. These legal actions concern two criminal procedures conducted separately by the OAG and the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. The Swiss and US law enforcement authorities are not conducting any joint investigations, but are coordinating their respective criminal proceedings.

Blame the game: FIFA’s one-country, one-vote structure — along with the GOAL and FAP system of spreading the wealth — is ripe for corruption, says a FiveThirtyEight analysis.

USA! USA! Slate’s Stefan Fatsis sees a confident nation flexing its muscles to clean up the sport.

Jack Warner, always defiant: I’ll paraphrase – “My lawyers advised me not to say anything, but you have to be naive to think it’s a coincidence that they did this before the FIFA election.” (Maybe they made the arrests now because they had everyone in one place?)

Chuck Blazer and the Warner sons, reluctant whistleblowers? The Guardian paints a picture of absurdity: “Loretta Lynch spent years on the case, in which prosecutors turned to tactics used to fight organised crime – and a scooter chase paved the way.”

Though unconfirmed by prosecutors this week, the Daily News report suggests Blazer even agreed to secretly record future meetings with Fifa officials, allegedly carrying a recording device hidden in a keyring to London’s May Fair hotel during the 2012 Olympic Games.

But Blazer was not the only big fish to succumb to threats from prosecutors. The two adult children of Jack Warner, a former Fifa regional president and Trinidad and Tobago politician charged under this week’s indictment, were caught in equally colourful circumstances.

The prisoners’ dilemma: Michael McCann breaks down the defendants’ legal options, including rolling on the others.

The sponsorship bomb: Visa sounds like a company that has had enough. The BBC includes more sponsor concerns in its roundup.

Is Nike involved? Still hard to say whether the company will face any problems down the road. The indictment lets us connect a few dots but doesn’t spell anything out.

Shopping for prime real estate? Take a look at the properties facing forfeiture, including the Versailles of Loganville.

And from The Onion: FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

At press time, the U.S. national team was leading defending champions Germany in the World Cup’s opening match after being awarded 12 penalties in the game’s first three minutes.

So something good will come out of all this …

The Guardian continues to live-blog events as they happen.

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