Monday, June 08, 2015

FIFA involved in corruption?

In a May 27th NY Times article, “After Indicting 14 Soccer Officials, U.S. Vows to End Graft in FIFA,” by Stephanie Clifford and Matt Apuzzo, a number of concerns are raised regarding the executive committee of FIFA.  Reportedly, one member “shopped his ballot to the highest bidder.”  The article goes on to say that, over the course of the last two decades, soccer officials and marketing executives have been involved in “shadowy dealing and $150 million in bribes.”

The authors underline that there are billions of dollars at stake for the privilege of hosting the World Cup.  If the final decision can hinge on a single vote, is it surprising that members of the executive committee would put their votes up for sale?  As outlined in the article, international soccer is described “in terms normally reserved for Mafia families or drug cartels” and given the same “charges under racketeering laws usually applied to such criminal organizations.”

Given that greed is innate in many human beings, it only makes sense that those who wield as much power as members of FIFA would take advantage of their positions.  Although I wholeheartedly disagree with their actions, it is evident that these people project themselves and are perceived by many as great and powerful individuals.  In my view, John Dalberg-Acton’s quote succinctly encapsulates the entire situation: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

If that quote doesn’t quite reach you, I’m left to suggest the following: Blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin