Understand the stakes of the latest FIFA scandal with these quick facts

The US crack down on FIFA is almost the perfect recipe for a geopolitical tragedy. Here are some facts that explain the FIFA scandal and its implications.

Sepp Blatter

A few months back, nine officials of the organization were indicted by the United States DOJ for receiving bribes amounting to $150 million when they awarded broadcast rights of the cup. This triggered a Swiss inquiry into the process for bidding for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Since this story, Sepp Blatter was reelected but then later resigned from his position. He has been accused of dipping into the association's funds for his personal gains.


All of FIFA's 209 members cast a vote in choosing their president. All votes have the same weight with one another regardless of the country's size. When the FIFA scandal broke, it was alleged that Africa paid $10 million to host the 2010 World Cup; however, there is little evidence to prove this claim and to think that they only generated $500 million while spending $4.6 billion in preparing for the event.


Qatar has heavily invested in preparing for their World Cup duties in 2022. Upon Blatter's resignation, their stock market published a 3% drop. The Arab nation is expected to spend $200 billion in a span of 12 years in order to update their building and stadium infrastructures. Because of the Swiss investigation, this is in jeopardy. Recently, prosecutors discovered emails showing Qatar and Russia were backing each other in their bids.


Although Russia is having a rough year, it seems the country is happy to pay the cost of staging such a prestigious event like the World Cup. Highly oil-dependent Moscow has seen prices dropping to almost 48% and the ruble's value has gone down to almost half. Food prices have been soaring due to Western Sanctions. Russian president Vladimir Putin badly needs the 2018 World Cup in order to boost investment, tourism and the morale in his country. Hosting the tournament is set to cost them $20 billion. Despite of the FIFA scandal, it is very unlikely that they will be stripped of hosting rights due to time constraints.


Considering all the sensitivities of this issue, it is surprising how people are accepting the US-led assault on one of the world's most powerful sports associations. No sovereign body oversees FIFA so the organization's members basically need to govern themselves, travelling from one member country to another to investigate sensitive activities. For Americans, international bureaucrats involved in scandals are more fun to watch than soccer.