How They See It, May 31, 2015

The crisis in soccer's governing body Fifa

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 May, 2015, 4:03am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 May, 2015, 4:03am

1. The Guardian

The arrests of seven Fifa bigwigs in Zurich on Wednesday caught everyone off their guard. The only surprise is perhaps that it has taken so long. There has been little secret for years about the corruption of the self-perpetuating freemasonry that is Fifa. Two generations of Fifa and other officials have colluded with sports marketing bodies through the systematic payment of bribes and kickbacks. Corruption is, quite simply, what they do. Fifa is an organisation whose members still do not think they did anything worthy of investigation by awarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar. Mr Blatter sits atop this steaming mound of graft. Either he goes or Fifa collapses - or perhaps both. London

 

2. Irish Independent

Sepp Blatter has cast a long shadow over football since he took over Fifa in 1998. Under his reign, some remarkable, some might even say inexplicable, things have happened. If the decision to hold the World Cup in Russia raised eyebrows, the one to hold it in Qatar raised a storm. There were questions of judgment - now along with them is a major corruption scandal. Sponsors are far from impressed, nor should they be. The whole World Cup is in danger of being drowned in a sea of bungs and backhanders. Professional sport does not need the stench of corruption hanging over it. In the interest of sport, Mr Blatter should go now. His image has been hopelessly tarnished. Dublin

 

3. Los Angeles Times

That there is corruption at the top ranks of Fifa is about as shocking as Capt. Louis Renault's discovery of gambling at Rick's cafe in Casablanca. That the legal authorities of the world are finally doing something about it is more surprising, and welcome. It has been clear for years to followers of the world's most popular sport that its governing body is riddled with corruption. Under public pressure in 2012, Fifa ordered an internal inquiry, but then last year released only a thin summary of its 430-page report and claimed innocence. The Justice Department should pursue the investigation as far as the evidence leads in order to root out the corruption and catalyse a cultural change within Fifa. Los Angeles