According to reports, the U.S. Justice Department will bring charges against senior officials at FIFA for corruption in the 2018 and 2022 bidding processes that awarded Russia and Qatar the World Cup. FIFA, the Federation Internationale de Football Association, has been the target of corruption investigations for some years, however FIFA has denied any wrongdoing. The FBI, however, believes it has enough evidence to convict FIFA members of corruption.
The World Cup is a football, or known in the US as soccer, tournament in which each nation’s men’s team competes every four years. The first World Cup was played in 1930, and each succeeding World Cup has been held every four years following, except 1942 and 1946. Because FIFA is the organization that organizes the World Cup, the allegations of corruption in the upcoming World Cups include allegations against FIFA.
One of the challenges the United States faces with charging FIFA with foul play is the issue of jurisdiction. Because FIFA is an international organization, American prosecutors may not have authority over it. However, because the American television market is the largest for the World Cup, American authorities are claiming jurisdiction. The U.S. Justice Department believes that FIFA leaders received bribes in order to award countries with the honor of hosting the World Cup. The next two World Cup competitions are supposed to happen in Russia and Qatar.
When asked where FIFA was founded, many might answer Great Britain because it is believed by some that the origin of soccer is England. However, FIFA was founded in France in 1904 with six other members; Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain. Currently, FIFA is based out of Zurich, Switzerland. While in 1912, 21 nations were associated with FIFA, today 209 nations are members. In 1937, Stanley Rous, the future president of FIFA, drafted the international rules of soccer for the first time. The second revisions occurred much later in 1997. These rules universalized the way soccer is played.
FIFA is a large and international organization. The charge of corruption by the U.S. Department of Justice is serious. If true, it means that FIFA leaders were cheating 209 member countries. Finding the truth in this matter and solving this problem is of international importance.
1. What does FIFA stand for?
2. What future FIFA president created the first standards for FIFA?
3. How many members created the first organization?
4. What does the U.S. Justice Department think FIFA leaders illegally did?
5. How many countries are current members?
by Jessica De Gree. Copyright 2015 by John De Gree. All Rights Reserved.