Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy April Fools! Right??

From the WSJ:

Soccer Body Poised to Dismiss Charges

World soccer's governing body is expected to dismiss a newspaper's allegations of corruption in the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, a person close to an ongoing FIFA investigation said Tuesday.

This person said FIFA's ethics committee is likely to dismiss allegations that some top executives were prepared to let their vote on upcoming World Cup sites be influenced in exchange for offers to fund projects in their home countries. ...

Full story continues here, courtesy of the WSJ.

Kicking Back's comments:
If this comes true, FIFA has "jumped the shark" regarding corruption. In essence FIFA is dismissing the allegations, reinstating the EXCOMM members and going on with the vote on 02-DEC. Why you may ask? Because these members were "entrapped." Not because they are not-guilty, but because of a procedural slight of hand ... as the report goes.

No really ... that seems to be the plan.

Even a member of the ethics committee seemed surprised. From the article:
Burton Haimes, a New York lawyer and member of the ethics committee who recused himself from the favors-for-votes investigation because the U.S. is bidding for the World Cup, said he would be surprised if the allegations against the two executives were dismissed over what he says are procedural grounds, such as whether the officials were subject to entrapment.
How is anyone supposed to take FIFA seriously if this happens?

... and in a similar hilarious note, apparently FIFA is considering the US 2022 bid a "medium legal risk." What does that mean? Well apparently the recent midterm elections has something to do with it as:
In weighing the merits of a 2018 or 2022 bid, FIFA is uncertain about the level of U.S. government commitment to the project in a climate of anti-government, anti-spending rhetoric from Capitol Hill.
See the full story here from Politico along with excepts from the FIFA report.

While it ends well for the US in the report as clearly we have the infrastructure capable to accommodate the World Cup, the political climate is an interesting twist that I did not expect. This too at a time when we find ourselves apparently neck and neck with Qatar in the bid for 2022.

Fasten your seat belts folks, it is going to be a wild finish.

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