The New York Times reports that several high-ranking FIFA executives were arrested in Zurich and are to be extradited to the US on corruption charges. Allegations of corruption have long surrounded the organisation. Specifically, awarding the world cup to Qatar raised eyebrows:
Even before the vote took place, two committee members … were suspended after an investigation by The Sunday Times caught both men on tape asking for payments in exchange for their support. It was later revealed by England’s bid chief that four ExCo members had solicited bribes from him for their votes; one asked for $2.5 million, while another, Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay, requested a knighthood.
A whistleblower who worked for the Qatar bid team claimed that several African officials were paid $1.5 million each to support Qatar.
An official FIFA inquiry was never released to the public, and disavowed by the attourney leading the process. The American authorities seem to be little impressed.
For more on FIFA’s corruption, see this Grantland piece: Corruption, Murder, and the Beautiful Game: On FIFA’s scandalous history.
And of course, this John Oliver segment explaining it all is outstanding: