After the explosive reports of scandal in Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), it has been stated that Russia and Qatar will be stripped of their World Cup hosting rights if any charges of bribery in the bidding process are proven. The independent chairman of Fifa’s audit and compliance committee, Domenico Scala, informed Swiss media that if any evidence emerges that the hosting rights for the two upcoming football (soccer) World Cups were awarded to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022, only on the basis of bought votes, then the awards will be annulled. Scala also said that the evidence has not been provided so far. He is the first senior official at FIFA to talk about the possibility of either Russia or Qatar be stripped of the hosting rights of the football extravaganza.
The investigation carried out by the FBI regarding corruption and bribery at FIFA, will also scrutinize the process of awarding World Cup hosting rights by the governing body to Russia and Qatar. This was confirmed by a U.S. law enforcement official. The FBI investigations of the international governing body of association football led to several arrests in Zürich, Switzerland.
As per updates by the United States Department of Justice, nine FIFA officials and five corporate sports marketing executives have been indicted for corruption and racketeering conspiracy. They have been accused of taking part in a sweeping kickbacks scheme which involves around $150 million in bribes for deals as long as two decades ago. The defendants include present and former Presidents of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), and two Current FIFA Vice Presidents. After these explosive reports of scandal in FIFA, it has been stated that Russia and Qatar will be stripped of their World Cup hosting rights if charges of bribery in return for votes for winning their bids are proven.
These revelations and arrests have thrown the world of football into turmoil, which led to the unceremonious exit of Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s long serving President. Blatter’s exit took place merely four days after he was re-elected as President for a fifth consecutive term. However, a former vice-president of football’s governing body in Europe (UEFA), Freddy Rumo, said that changing FIFA’s President will not eradicate the deep-rooted corruption in the organization. He said that replacing Blatter with another President of FIFA will have zero effect.
Blatter has not yet been charged with any kind of bribery allegations, and he has vehemently denied any wrongdoing on his part. However claims of bribery have mounted against Jack Warner, the now disgraced former Vice President of FIFA. Warner is said to be the man in the middle of the scandal that has engulfed FIFA. Warner was also renowned in the football world as Blatter’s right-hand man. A fresh set of accusations against Warner surfaced on Sunday, June 7, 2015 which suggests that Warner demanded a bribe of $7 million from Egypt for voting in favor of their bid for the 2010 World Cup. He has also been accused of taking a bribe of $10 million from South Africa, and voting in favor of their bid.
Warner was arrested May 29 and is presently out on $400,000 bail pending a decision in the extradition case against him. The 72-year-old former school teacher and Justice Minister of Trinidad has said that he was not alone in taking kickbacks for votes. The Swiss judicial authorities probing the FIFA scandal explosion are also investigating awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively, and it has been stated that if any evidence of kickbacks being paid to the governing body’s officials in exchange for their votes is found, their hosting rights will be revoked immediately. This investigation is part of an explosive corruption scandal that has also brought the 2010 event in South Africa under scanner.
By Ankur Sinha
The U.S. Department of Justice-Nine FIFA Officials and Five Corporate Executives Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Corruption
BBC-‘Russia & Qatar may lose World Cups’ – Fifa official
The Independent-Fifa corruption whistleblower says Qatar will be stripped of 2022 World Cup
Photo (1) courtesy of warrenski’s Flickr Page-Creative Commons License
Photo (2) courtesy of BBC World news’ Flickr Page–Creative Commons License