Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

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To the surprise of absolutely no one, the release of 11 million documents detailing some shady financial dealings of the world's shadiest characters involved a few members of the world's shadiest sports organization. The Panama Papers data dump, highlighting the pervasive use of offshore accounts and tax havens to skirt tax laws, appears to have implicated both FIFA's new president and its ethics lawyer.

A little more surprising, to those who hadn't been following his tax evasion case, is that the world's best and least shady player, Lionel Messi, was also caught up in the scandal. It's the latest controversy in a sport not so much rocked by financial scandals as it has been defined by them.

There's no question that when it comes to winning titles, the United States women's national soccer team is more successful than their male counterparts: three World Cup trophies, four Olympic gold medals, and one more CONCACAF Gold Cup title than the dudes. (The men's team did win a thing called the Marlboro Cup back in '89, so they've got that at least.)

So it's no surprise that members of the USWNT feel like they should get paid like members of the USMNT, or at least not only one tenth of what members of the USMNT are getting paid. To that end, five USWNT players (with the support of the whole team) filed a federal wage discrimination complaint against American soccer's governing body.

This sounds like a case of someone suing themselves. After all, aren't United States Soccer and the United States women's national soccer team the same thing?

According to a collective bargaining agreement -- which expired in 2012 -- no. And it's that CBA that is at issue in a lawsuit between the country's national soccer federation and its most decorated team.

Let's say you're a corrupt FIFA executive. And let's say you just saw Swiss police raid a swanky Zurich hotel and scoop up 14 of your corrupt FIFA executive bros in an organized raid about six months ago. Would you ever book a room in that swanky Zurich hotel? And could you even act surprised if Swiss police scooped your corrupt FIFA executive self up in that same swanky Zurich hotel?

The Baur au Lac is the gift that keeps on giving, this time coughing up around a dozen more FIFA officials into police custody on similar charges of racketeering, money laundering, and fraud. Maybe find another place to stay, corrupt FIFA bros.

Bastian Schweinsteiger is a German soccer player. It would be fair to say that Bastian Schweinsteiger looks very German. Teutonic, even. Is Bastian Schweinsteiger the most German looking person ever? Possibly. Does Bastian Schweinsteiger look like a Nazi soldier? Um, that depends on who you ask.

A Chinese toy company introduced a new Nazi soldier to its WWII collection. The Nazi soldier's name is Bastian. He looks ... very German. Does Bastian the Nazi toy soldier look like Bastian Schweinsteiger? You can judge for yourself:

After a judge dismissed domestic violence charges against Hope Solo in January, an appeals court reinstated the charges today. The American goalkeeper that lead the national team to World Cup glory this past summer is accused of attacking her half-sister and nephew last year.

There is no timetable set for her trial yet, and Solo's attorney says he will appeal the decision.

You didn't need to be a futbolista to have heard rumblings about FIFA corruption or the shady dealings of its President, Sepp Blatter. And those that love soccer have long awaited the day when all those rumblings and rumors and allegations would finally turn into criminal charges.

Well, my friends, that promised day is finally come. The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland has opened a criminal investigation of Mr. Joseph Blatter, charging him on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation. Rejoice!

A California judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging FIFA, the U.S. Soccer Federation, and other governing bodies failed to adequately reduce the risk of concussions and other head injuries.

According to U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton, the plaintiffs, seven soccer players, failed to demonstrate any existing or imminent injuries or any link to the organizations named in the lawsuit. While the claims against FIFA were dismissed with prejudice (meaning they can't be brought again), the judge allowed the plaintiffs to amend their claims against other governing bodies if they could provide additional evidence of injuries.

The euphoria of the USA winning the Women's World Cup was still burning bright this morning, but the afterglow of the historic victory has been tarnished by multiple reports that FIFA is paying the female winners a tiny fraction of what it paid the male winners from last year's tournament.

While the German men's team received $35 million for beating Argentina in Brazil last summer, the United States women got only $2 million for last night's victory over Japan in Canada. So why the discrepancy?

The ever-present question in response to the ongoing FIFA corruption investigation has been: how far will this go? Will it force Sepp Blatter out? Yes. Will Jack Warner do something stupid or crazy? Yes and yes. Will Russia and Qatar lose their World Cup bids for 2018 and 2022? Maybe.

FIFA's head of compliance told a Swiss newspaper, "If evidence should emerge that the awards to Qatar and Russia only came about thanks to bought votes, then the awards could be invalidated." Given the inevitability that such evidence will emerge, and assuming FIFA makes good on this threat, could Russia and Qatar have any legal recourse if they lose out on hosting the World Cup?