Why are the Americans so interested in “cleaning up” a game that has been managed mostly by Europeans so far? Why did Swiss cops come with New York Times journalists in tow? Why did they arrest officials exclusively from South and Central American federations? The FBI’s move against seven FIFA officials on charges of corruption is seen by most countries as a desperate US-Euro effort to isolate Russia and re-open the bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. SHOBHAN SAXENA*
From Brazil to Russia: symbolic hand-over at the Maracana, Rio de Janeiro, 13 July 2014. Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, stands between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in this grab from the official FIFA video of the event. Russia will host the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
Rio de Janeiro (May 31) – Forget the analogies about football being more important than life and religion. The Beautiful Game has always been all about politics among nations – on and off the pitch. And now, it’s reaching Cold War levels. Continue reading