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.
Meet the New Indictments, Same as the Old Indictments
The latest round of arrests and indictments mirror those in May, accusing FIFA executives and officials of enriching themselves at the expense of the sport. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Justice says those indicted "have engaged in a number of schemes all designed to solicit and receive well over $200 million in bribes and kickbacks to sell lucrative media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments and matches, among other valuable rights and properties."
In total, 16 new soccer officials were indicted, including Alfredo Hawit and Juan Ángel Napout, the current presidents of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, respectively. That brings the total of indicted officials to 35, of those 12 have already been convicted and another eight have pleaded guilty to corruption charges.
Timing Is Everything
The timing of the arrests and indictments may have caught some FIFA officials off guard, as they had just completed the first of two days of reform meetings in Zurich. Or the timing couldn't have been more perfect, as "reform" seems like a loaded term when it comes to FIFA.
François Carrard, the 77-year-old Swiss lawyer who's been put in charge of reforming FIFA thinks we've all been too mean to former FIFA president Sepp Blatter (the only man shocked to discover FIFA was totally corrupt), and called soccer in the United States "just an ethnic sport for girls in schools." Keep talking like that, Carrard, and see if the DOJ doesn't scoop you up in Zurich next.