Bad PR: FIFA faux pas as the election draws in
28th May 2015
FIFA faux pas
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (or FIFA as it is more widely known) has a serious crisis on its hands. As the governing body of football around the world, you’d expect such an organisation to remain squeaky clean in all its dealings.
However, two criminal investigations are now underway, with seven top FIFA officials arrested in Zurich. The US Department of Justice said that the seven officials are among as many as 14 accused of corruption charges in a US inquiry. The investigation relates to individuals allegedly accepting bribes and kickbacks which were estimated to be worth more than £97 million over a 24-year period.
Swiss prosecutors launched the second criminal case to look into the bids for the World Cup tournaments in 2018 and 2022, to be held in Russia and then Qatar. Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA who is seeking a fifth term in the next elections due to take place on Friday, was not one of the officials who was arrested.
The FIFA headquarters in Zurich have apparently been raided, with documents and electronic data said to have been seized. The reputation of FIFA has therefore suffered a serious blow and as this story develops and more information is brought to light, I imagine it’s only going to get worse. There have been calls for Blatter to stand down, which could put his election rival Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan in good standing. The other two candidates in the running pulled out recently (something which has happened many times during Blatter’s FIFA presidency) which looks rather suspicious if you ask me!
Anyway, due to FIFA being a global organisation, the media coverage of this corruption and investigation has been extensive, which is bad news indeed.