I don’t know much about FIFA but I know from RICO indictments and FIFA appears to be in deep shit. The reason I know so much more about RICO was my criminal law professor, Oliver Houck. He focused on specific crimes as a means of teaching us criminal law. The most memorable were burglary and RICO.
Professor Houck cut a terrifying figure in class: he threw unprepared students out of class and locked the door so you would be on time or else. Despite all of this, I learned a lot from him because he was so damn interesting. I recall my astonishment the first time I spoke with him outside of class: he was warm and friendly and surprisingly mild mannered. He noticed the surprised look on my face and said: “I play a character in class. I want my students to be prepared for the biggest asshole judge imaginable.”
I seem to have lost my way. Back to FIFA. One thing I know about it is that it’s run by a guy with one of the most punworthy names ever: Sepp Blatter. Even though he wasn’t indicted, he seems to have taken the group down the Sepp-tic tank…
Since I know less than nothing about international futbol, I’ll give Dave Zirin the last word:
It has been called “the day that FIFA has long dreaded”: the day that decades of graft and a level of ostentatious excess that would make Caligula blush caught up with the international soccer body. Fourteen people, including nine top FIFA officials, have been arrested on corruption charges levied by the US Justice Department. Seven were taken into custody in a dramatic arrest by Swiss law enforcement at a luxury hotel in Zurich. As the late Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano wrote two decades ago, “There are visible and invisible dictators. The power structure of world football is monarchical. It’s the most secret kingdom in the world.”
Well, the kingdom has been cracked open, and no one is sure what we will find out once all the deals have been cut and the whistleblowers have played their tunes. Make no mistake: We may look back upon today as the beginning of the end of FIFA as we know it. All of the 209 member representatives of FIFA had gathered in Zurich for their congress, which was expected to be “a boring affair,” where President Sepp Blatter would coast to re-election. Boring is the last word on anyone’s mind now. [Bloggers note: This was written before Blatter was easily re-elected by his fellow soccer wise guys.]