America discovers what the rest of the world knew—FIFA is a zoo


America discovers what the rest of the world knew—FIFA is a zooEvery Monday morning, Section 215’s Akiem Bailum gives an in-depth and unfiltered look at all of the latest sports news in The Monday Morning Realist. You can follow Akiem on Twitter @AkiemBailum.

Jun 30, 2014; Salvador, BRAZIL; Detailed view of the FIFA World Cup logo on an official Adidas soccer ball prior to the USA press conference at Estadio Roberto Santos prior to tomorrows 2014 World Cup match against Belgium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Realists, here is a word to the wise.

There are seemingly two kinds of dictionaries. One for the United States and one for the rest of the world. In a world dictionary, we can look up the word corruption and probably immediately spot the face of one Sepp Blatter—the president of FIFA.

Yeah, the guy who was recently elected to a fifth term as the head man in charge of international football despite the fact that his organization is now up against a major scandal.

The word corruption to Americans most likely means anything coming out of Washington, D.C. nowadays. Everybody knows how much of a zoo D.C. is.

Last week, that word corruption in the American lexicon has become just as closely associated with Sepp Blatter and FIFA as it is any Washington politician or sports figure.

The United States Department of Justice, working in tandem with authorities in Switzerland arrested 14 FIFA officials on corruption and bribery charges.

Among those that were cuffed include Jack Warner, a former FIFA executive who was once in charge of CONCACAF, the football/soccer international organization that presents North America, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands.

Unfortunately for the majority of international footy aficionados, Blatter was not among those who were caught by the feds. He was, though, elected to another term as FIFA president, defeating Prince Ali who had out of nowhere, won the support of Sunil Gulati and the United States Soccer Federation.

The election was not really much of an election despite the fact that there was intrigue given the scandal that had plagued the Zurich organization once again.

To the rest of the world that already has a better idea of what FIFA is up to, since it follows it more on a regular basis, this is a blip on the radar because they already know how FIFA works.

All one has to do is look at how bidding is done for the World Cup. The 2018 and 2022 Men’s World Cups were both awarded on the same day in the same year back in 2010.

England was seen as the favorite to win the 2018 bid and the United States looked poised to stage its first World Cup since 1994—which by all accounts was a financial bonanza and the primary that planted the seeds of Major League Soccer.

Instead, 2018 was won for mother Russia and the small Middle Eastern nation of Qatar had reigned supreme over the United States to host the 2022 Cup.

Both were controversial and have opened up a lot of questions in terms of the bidding process. But, the fact that Qatar had won out over the United States had to be something to raise eyebrows and not just from Sea to Shining Sea.

Qatar is an extremely small country. A rich one (hint, hint) but a geographically tiny one. If Qatar can host a World Cup, the counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware that make up metropolitan Philly ought to be next in line.

A World Cup Final at the Linc sounds like my cup of tea. Don’t you agree?

Getting from venue to venue is sure to be a nightmare, the Cup is said to be staged in 2022 in winter because of the treacherous weather that engulfs Qatar at that time.

That also for sure had to tick off Fox who signed a deal (originally) to be the American broadcaster for the Cup until 2022 (then were granted an extension until 2026, probably to silence any four-letter words they may have for Zurich’s four-letter group.

Not to mention the construction of the Qatar World Cup stadia has actually resulted in people losing their lives at a much higher rate than what happened for previous World Cups and Olympics.

ESPN covered the recent FIFA election as if it were the BBC because of the news that broke. There is already enough corruption and politics in sports in the States as it is. All one has to do is take a look at the selective NFL suspensions, the “ump shows” in Major League Baseball, and how women’s sports are still treated by the press as not being equal to men’s sport.

It is great that the United States is now discovering just how much of a corrupt group FIFA is because perhaps if Uncle Sam is now watching Zurich then that should put more pressure on FIFA to clean up its act once and for all.

But, a corrupt day in FIFA is referred to as “any day ending in y” by the rest of the world.

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