By: LaShawn Encarnacion aka The Dark Knight of Sports
When the news of the indictments of nine FIFA officials was handed down a couple of weeks ago, it was to no surprise for most soccer fans in the world. Fans have suspected this corruption for well over two decades. One local fan from Argentina says, “I always knew FIFA was corrupted. That Blatter never liked the USA.”
As the FIFA Women’s World Cup gets underway this weekend, there is no avoiding the 100,000-ton elephant in the room. That FIFA has a serious problem within its own walls.
Let’s review and bring everyone up to speed. Facts provided by CNN.
Ireland’s Football Association has revealed that in 2009, FIFA paid them 5-million-dollars ($4.4-million-euros), to avoid legal action against them after a very controversial lost to France (The handball that was not called).
Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney said the payment related to a handball by Thierry Henry, which came in the final minutes of the match and cost Ireland a place in the 2010 World Cup.
“We felt we had a legal case against FIFA because of how the World Cup play-off hadn’t worked out for us with the Henry handball,” Delaney said.
He said it was a “very good” and “very legitimate agreement” for the association, and he was bound by a confidentiality agreement not to reveal the amount. The payout was $5 million (4.4 million euros).
“It was a payment to the association to not proceed with a legal case,” Delaney said.
FIFA’s acknowledgement and explanation of why they payed the Irish Football Association does not bold well for FIFA’s case.
“The terms agreed between FIFA and the FAI were that the loan would be reimbursed if Ireland qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Ireland did not so qualify,” FIFA’s statement read.
“Because of this, and in view of the FAI’s financial situation, FIFA decided to write off the loan as per 31 December 2014.”
Last Tuesday, Sepp Blatter — the man at FIFA’s helm — announced he’d be stepping down, just four days after being elected president for a fifth term.
Next day, court records revealed that Chuck Blazer, a former FIFA executive committee member and a key player in the ongoing corruption investigation into international soccer’s governing body, had admitted taking bribes and helped South Africa land the 2010 World Cup.
On Thursday, former senior FIFA official Jack Warner — who has been indicted in the U.S. investigation — promised to reveal the secret dealings of the powerful organization, including those involving Blatter, its previously seemingly untouchable leader.
This continues to be an ongoing uncovering of what seems to be a “Mafia-Style” organization. With payoffs and payout, hush money and cover ups upon cover ups. Charges of racketeering, bribery and corruption have been indicted and arraigned.
Even the Swiss in Switzerland, the land known for its neutrality have launched their own independent investigation into the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 bids to host the World Cup. The Swiss are the third country to be investigating the validity of these bids, the United States never stopped as does the United Kingdom (just was not in original indictments).
So as the Women’s World Cup gets underway lets do the best to show the love for women’s soccer we can. Knowing full well that this FIFA scandal has only just begun to be uncovered and that much more revealing are surely to follow.
FYI: Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @TheDarkTruthASN
AND catch my weekly podcast “The Dark Truth” every Monday evening. 10 PM CT, 8 PM PDT.