FIFA boss Sepp Blatter’s sudden resignation this week only days after being re-elected shows that the US campaign to bust the football federation over alleged financial corruption is probably going to intensify during the weeks and months ahead.
Blatter had been re-elected for the fifth time last Friday as the federation’s president. He had earlier brushed off calls for his resignation from the American and British governments, amid a storm of media allegations over corruption at the World Cup organising body. Now only four days after being re-elected, the FIFA chief executive is quitting, saying somewhat cryptically that he does not have a sufficient mandate in the world of football to continue at the helm of the organisation.
The dramatic bust in a Zurich hotel last week of FIFA executives is «just the beginning», top US law enforcement officials have warned. British authorities have also jumped on the bandwagon with their own announced probe into financial irregularities at the World Cup organiser.
With seven FIFA officials arrested so far and seven more indicted, and the US authorities vowing to pursue others in the footballing federation over alleged financial corruption, it can be anticipated that this scandal will run and run into interminable extra-time.
An ulterior political agenda behind the apparent American-led crackdown on the international footballing federation could very well be the desire by US and British governments to scupper the 2018 World Cup venue in Russia. Both the Americans and the British lost out when Russia won the bid back in 2010 to host the forthcoming quadrennial tournament, following last year’s event in Brazil. A re-run of the selection process would give the US and Britain a second chance to pitch their bids, and with a generated cloud hanging over Russia due to the FIFA scandal, they both stand a better chance of winning if it comes to a re-selection.