You’re never going to believe this but FIFA is still corrupt.
You may remember FIFA has the governing body of soccer that was part of an FBI investigation in 2015 that involved wire fraud, racketeering, money laundering, collusion, bribery, and general criminality among some of the highest ranking members, various football governing bodies, and nations that had been awarded events, including the World Cup. The whole saga led to the removal of Sepp Blatter from office as the President of FIFA and, in theory, a new era in which the governing body would emerge with a newfound sense of fairness and opportunity.
Oh, who were we kidding?
According to the AP, the organization has enacted sweeping changes to its code of ethics under Gianni Infantino that serve no purpose other than to make it easier for FIFA to do what it wants, get rid of dissenters, and instruct members and others on how to take bribes.
In secret meetings where the organization updated the code of ethics, the word “corruption” can no longer be found listed as a misdemeanor. In fact, a Ctrl-F search will reveal no mention of corruption at all.
In its place, there is a new offense in the code—defamation. Left vague, seemingly on purpose, the new code states that “ersons bound by this code are forbidden from making any public statements of a defamatory nature towards FIFA and/or towards any other person bound by this code in the context of FIFA events.” Those who are found to be in violation will be banned from football-related activities for up to two years or possibly even longer, depending on the severity. There is no protection for whistleblowers or for those who speak up about their concerns, which basically means this new violation is a warning to members not to snitch.
The code has also been updated to note that, “bribery, misappropriation of funds and manipulation of football matches or competitions may no longer be prosecuted after a lapse of ten years.” So as long as you can keep your bribes secret for a decade, FIFA is saying that you are free to accept them, at least in their eyes.
When the AP asked FIFA about the code changes, they were “ill-prepared to respond” and only said that changed were based on proposals from the ethics committee.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. But then again soccer fans already knew that.