By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer
The president of FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, stepped down amidst a corruption investigation that is uncovering a history of major illegal money deals.
The USA’s Department of Justice and its leader, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, charged 14 soccer officials with 47 counts of racketeering (engaging in criminal activities to enrich an organization), wire fraud (using dishonest methods to exchange money), and money laundering (hiding illegally earned money behind seemingly legal transactions).
Law enforcement officials across the globe have long suspected corruption in FIFA, especially when it comes to deciding where they’ll host the World Cup championship.
Countries stand to gain considerable money and attention by having the World Cup in their country, and investigators are finding evidence of bribery in the selection of South Africa as the 2010 host nation. They’re also concerned that the decisions to host the World Cup in Russia for 2018 and Qatar for 2022 might have been made under shady circumstances.
The USA’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, is digging deeper into these two countries, to find evidence of corruption. Russian President Vladimir Putin has already proven he’s willing to steal a Super Bowl ring from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and last year he stole Ukraine’s entire Crimea region! As for Qatar, the tiny Middle Eastern nation isn’t exactly filled with lush green fields and rabid soccer fans. It’s also barely bigger than Connecticut, one of America’s smallest states, but it does have tons of money from oil. Now, it’s spending $200 billion to prepare for the World Cup, with deadly construction projects that have claimed the lives of nearly 2,000 migrant workers due to intense heat temperatures, disease-filled conditions, and cramped living quarters.
Featured image courtesy of Agência Brasil. Image of FBI agent courtesy of Federal Bureau of Investigation Facebook.