What is the FIFA corruption crisis?
If you know anything about the world of sports, no doubt you have heard about the scandal happening inside of FIFA. Since the beginning of 2015, prosecutors made public various cases of money laundering and corruption that were directly connected with officials from FIFA. After that, everything started to fall apart.
On May 27 of this year, 7 FIFA officials were arrested after an investigation that lasted years. The FBI and IRS discovered they were involved in wire fraud, corruption, and several other illegal activities. The officials were arrested in Zurich, where they were supposed to elect the next president of FIFA. The bribes that they are accused of receiving are estimated at 150 million dollars.
The monies were supposedly were used to arrange sponsorship contracts, as well as the selection of the players for the 2011 FIFA World Cup. The rumors suggest that Nike paid several million dollars to win a contract with the National Team of Brazil, which made them the only sponsor for uniforms and accessories.
Since the arrests in Zurich in May, 2015, 8 more officials were charged and they are now awaiting a verdict. A small number of those arrested have pled guilty and have been sentenced.
What is happening now? FIFA is under a microscope. Since some of the powerful men were found guilty, the chances are that more will also be found guilty. Every contract is now being investigated and many upcoming matches have been suspended. The next big FIFA event, the Copa America Centenario, is scheduled to be held in the USA in 2016. The bidding has not yet been opened and the venues are still unknown. This would be the 100th Anniversary of the tournament and the first time to be held outside South America. However, sources say that the site could be changed due to allegations of bribery surrounding the United States being chosen.