A month has passed since a number of high-ranking FIFA officials were arrested by FBI agents. The initial reaction was that of relief as finally some one took the initiative against football’s global governing body as Blatter and his entourage have long been suspected to be utterly corrupt. The examples of the past are plentiful. It is proven that the TV rights dealer ISL and its bankruptcy in the early 2000s was murky to say the least. There is evidence that Chuck Blazer, Jack Warner and possibly others have accepted bribes. The action by the US Federal Agents was therefore welcomed by most people.
It is hoped that the awarding of the future World Cups 2018 and 2022 will be re-investigated and that it will be proven that both host countries will be stripped of their right to host the competition. Many observers commented that either, Russia and Qatar have bribed their way to become a host nation. That those FIFA officials were arrested was thanks to the Swiss Leaks of February 2015. Surely, some names of FIFA officials and other from within Football government are to be found in these files of data complied by Swiss journalists.
The aim is clear. It should be made clear once and for all that Russia and Qatar used unlawful means to reach their ends. This will of course lead to a re-shuffle of the host nations for 2018 and 2022. For the latter there will be plenty of time to find a suitable replacement whereas for Russia the alternatives need to necessarily in Europe or North America. While this may be an aim worth striving for, this is not the aim of the arrests.
By sheer coincidence NATO has shown a stronger presence in Eastern Europe. There are plans to increase the forces from 13000 to 40000. This is an unheard of provocation. Again the message is clear. Russia is to be isolated and also forced to make a move. Now some of this has already happened; Russia has annexed Crimea and shows military activity in eastern parts of Ukraine. Both acts are equal provocative and condemnable.
Also condemnable is the weakness of Europe in face of this situation. There is consensus that Russia needs to be told enough is enough. Likewise all attempts at explaining its point of view, Russia is described a reincarnation of the Empire and Putin and Tsar Vladimir. While there may be a notion of truth in this, the West should be wiser and try to find a compromise. Sadly, the current European leaders are gutless and narrow minded. Their argumentation: there is no alternative. This lack of imagination is dangerous to say the least and highlights that these people have not learned a thing from the past.
As things stand, Russia is increasingly isolated; moreover described as a pariah state. The same can be said about the UK and the US and their respective roles in Iraq and Afghanistan. The worst case scenario is a military strike by Russia against NATO. The consequences would be inconceivable. As for the World Cup 2018, Russia would of course be stripped of the right to host the tournament; yet no one had any qualms to send their Olympic athletes to Berlin 1936 in what was a perversion of the Olympic or sporting spirit.
The point made here is that the arrest of those FIFA officials was of course to cleanse the game of the cancer of corruption, yet there appears to be a different reading taking into account the actions of NATO and in Russia in Eastern Europe over the last 15 months. The aim was to find evidence that Russia has bribed its way to the World Cup 2018. And in creating evidence the West is almost unbeatable. At the same time Russia appears to be forced to military action against NATO, thus delivering more justification to strip them of their hosting rights.
Whatever the outcome of the FIFA crisis, the FIFA crisis and ongoing investigation may have a totally different outcome than most people are expecting.