The moral bankruptcy of FIFA

Jake Schwebach

It may be cold in Switzerland, but FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, in Zurich is feeling the heat.

The way Russia received the 2018 World Cup nomination sounds like a crappy chapter from “The Godfather” that Francis Ford Coppola intentionally left out of the movie. The spectacle for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be nothing more than a graveyard full of glitter.

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The man on top, Sepp Blatter, is more like a mob boss than the president of an international federation worth billions.

There was not much logic to awarding Russia the 2018 World Cup. Why would FIFA, an organization that awarded the last two bids to Brazil and South Africa, suddenly choose the least socially-progressive country near Europe? If you read the news, you know that Russia is responsible for a missile hitting a civilian plane, espionage, war and much, much more.

Here’s the twist. Vladimir Putin himself gave D’Hooge a painting by Picasso for a vote. Though, it’s OK, D’Hooge explains, because the painting is “absolutely ugly” and therefore has no monetary value. We have a real art aficionado on our hands. D’Hooge is one of four men being investigated for bribery.

The nomination will do wonders for Putin’s propaganda machine. That’s comical compared to the projected death of four thousand workers in Qatar. Over a thousand worker deaths on-site have been reported. We’re eight years away from those games.

That blood is on your hands, FIFA. Why would an organization, obviously corrupt, be so adamant about keeping the games in a country with deep pockets despite the international outcry?

That is something David Bernstein is trying to expose. He wants people to realize that “there are 54 countries within Uefa (The Union of European Football Associations). There’s Germany, Spain, Italy, France and Holland – all powerful,” and he’s right. “You can’t hold a serious World Cup without them.”

Civil rights organizations are working furiously to expose the “claims that millions of dollars were paid in bribes to secure the world’s biggest football tournament for Qatar,” allegations that “refuse to go away.”

Some cool things are coming out of this. A memorial honoring the migrant workers in Qatar is in the works.

These migrant workers are dying for our television ratings. The World Cup was once noble and nation-building. It’s now a facade for greed and corruption. Come 2022, if something doesn’t change, our nation’s athletes will be running on the ground where 4,000 bodies took their last breath.

Collegian Columnist Jake Schwebach can be reached at letters@collegian.com.

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