Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Qatar Cup was probably a step too far

The whole edifice is just one big international extortion ring. But people kind of knew that for a long time.
"The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States," U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a release ahead of a news conference in New York.

According to court documents, nine of the defendants were FIFA officials, as well as officials of one or more other bodies

"It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks," Lynch said. "And it has profoundly harmed a multitude of victims, from the youth leagues and developing countries that should benefit from the revenue generated by the commercial rights these organizations hold, to the fans at home and throughout the world whose support for the game makes those rights valuable.''
Here's a John Oliver segment from last year explaining just how ingrained this is.

So, yeah, it's about time somebody did something. Although unless this prosecution sets off an Arab Spring of sports leagues where we throw out all the billionaires and turn over ownership of each team to the taxpayers who support their infrastructure in the first place, then the fundamental business of extortion will continue.

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