The governing body of the world's most popular sport, Fifa, was rocked by criminal charges on both sides of the Atlantic this week. US authorities announced that nine football officials and five sports media executives faced corruption charges involving over $150m of bribes. One of the 14 people indicted by the US Department of Justice included Fifa Vice President Jeffrey Webb.
Six people have already pleaded guilty. The Swiss President of Fifa, Sepp Blatter, has not been arrested. In what appeared to be a separate investigation, Swiss authorities raided Fifa's Zurich headquarters and opened criminal proceedings against unnamed parties on suspicion of irregularities in the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups (which went to Russia and Qatar respectively).
What the commentators said
A key player in this is Chuck Blazer, a former Fifa official turned FBI informant over unpaid tax bills. He apparently kept two luxury Trump Tower apartments: one for him and another for his cats, noted The Guardian's Marina Hyde, while his Amex bill allegedly reached $29m. "It was always going to take the intervention of law-enforcement agencies" to get to the bottom of Fifa's dodgy dealings, said Matt Dickinson in The Times. Let's hope "the biggest cleansing job since Hercules set about those stables has only just begun".
Andrew is the editor of MoneyWeek magazine. He grew up in Vienna and studied at the University of St Andrews, where he gained a first-class MA in geography & international relations.
After graduating he began to contribute to the foreign page of The Week and soon afterwards joined MoneyWeek at its inception in October 2000. He helped Merryn Somerset Webb establish it as Britain’s best-selling financial magazine, contributing to every section of the publication and specialising in macroeconomics and stockmarkets, before going part-time.
His freelance projects have included a 2009 relaunch of The Pharma Letter, where he covered corporate news and political developments in the German pharmaceuticals market for two years, and a multiyear stint as deputy editor of the Barclays account at Redwood, a marketing agency.
Andrew has been editing MoneyWeek since 2018, and continues to specialise in investment and news in German-speaking countries owing to his fluent command of the language.
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