From 2013: CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb meets with CSA President Victor Montagliani and the national men’s team.
Trying to predict the aftermath of Tuesday’s FIFA arrests is like trying to gather up all the buckshot that’s been sprayed out of a cannon.
And, patching together my off-the-record sources, other writers’ analyses and news off the wire makes for a column that is far too speculative for my usual comfort level. But, this FIFA news is so remarkably different in terms of scope and possible effects, that I feel I need to tackle it in some way. So, speculative it shall be.
First off, if what you will read below sounds like I am defending the corruption and fraud alleged by the U.S. agents, I’m not. But, lately, I’ve been put in the un-fucking-enviable position of devil’s advocate, and it’s making me come off like a slimeball. A couple of weeks ago, I noted that the ravings of the Internet mob should not influence the punishments handed down to the idiots who, outside of BMO Field after a TFC game, launched a #FHRITP tirade on camera. Now, in questioning American motives (and timing) for these charges against FIFA officials, I’m going to look like a jerk again.
The arrests of six key FIFA officials, including CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, came just a couple of days before the 209 member associations were to vote in presidential elections. Sepp Blatter, the domo of the old guard, looked like a lock to win. But, the United States Soccer Federation was lobbying hard for underdog Prince Ali bin Hussein. Voila! Thanks to an extradition treaty with Switzerland, and under sweeping anti-fraud legislation that, ahem, “allows” the Americans to snatch their quarries even if they’re half a world away, and many in Blatter’s inner circle are out of the way.
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