FIFA and corruption? Stop it.
It’s seemingly all we’ve heard about since the initial set of indictments from United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch. However, since the arrests of key officials involved with FIFA’s executive committee and various confederations around the globe not much has really happened in the legal process.
That may be changing soon, as a new AP report sheds light on potentially bad news for outgoing FIFA president Sepp Blatter and Lynch’s speech in Zurich on Monday.
Lynch made it very clear that a second round of arrests were about to come down, while also refusing to comment on the status of Blatter and criminal investigation.
Loretta Lynch acknowledges what everyone should have known: more charges/indictments expected in FIFA case.
— Andrew Das (@AndrewDasNYT) September 14, 2015
However, Lynch also made it very clear without using his name that Blatter could be in for some serious trouble in the very near future as well.
Loretta Lynch warns ‘no individual is above the law’ in Fifa inquiry http://t.co/75kcDCd5b7
— Miroslav Georgiev (@mirogeorgiev97) September 14, 2015
What is perhaps the most damming in all of this is the AP report that indicates Blatter may be directly linked to underselling the TV rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cup’s to now-disgraced CONCACAF executive Jack Warner.
According to the report, documents exist indicating an agreement between Blatter and Warner that indicate a big time discount to TV rights fees.
From the AP report:
Swiss broadcaster SRF on Friday published a Blatter-signed FIFA contract from 2005 that sold the Warner-controlled Caribbean Football Union rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups for a combined $600,000.
Warner, then a longstanding FIFA vice president and Blatter supporter, licensed the rights to a company controlled by his family. They were then sold for a reported sum of about $20 million to a Jamaica-based broadcaster.
While it may not be a smoking gun to get a criminal conviction, a document like this is just what both Lynch and Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber need to furthere squeeze top executives and Blatter himself.
Naturally, FIFA had its defenses up in regards to this latest revelation, attempting to lay all the blame at the feet of Warner and the Caribbean Football Union.
From the AP report:
FIFA defended the Caribbean rights deal over the weekend, claiming that it required a 50-50 profit share between the CFU and FIFA when the rights were sold on.
The TV deal was terminated in July 2011, and FIFA reclaimed the 2014 World Cup rights, after Warner resigned his positions to avoid sanctions in an election bribery case.
FIFA said the Caribbean body, long controlled by Warner, “made several breaches to the contract and failed to meet its financial obligations.”
While these revelations may not be as shocking as what happened in May, its just another dot to connect in an investigation that is full of dots to connect before it all blows up.
FIFA and Sepp Blatter are clearly fearing for their existences as they know it, and given Monday’s talk in Zurich, it is clear that the circle is closing in on Blatter. The only question seems to be what will be the straw that broke Blatter’s back and get criminal charges to stick.
Until that happens, you can bet plenty of others are going to be thrown under the bus by Blatter and his cronies. Let’s just say, it could get a whole lot uglier before this thing ends in the United States and Switzerland.