FBI investigation zeroes in on Blatter, $100 million in bribes


Sepp Blatter’s day is coming — that’s what we’ve steadfastly told ourselves since a number of former and current FIFA executives were arrested on corruption charges back in May, while the then-president skated by untouched and won yet another president election before announcing his eventual resignation (which, if you’re keeping track, still hasn’t actually happened) days later.

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At least, that’s what we’ve had to tell ourselves to hold onto hope that the ringleader and kingpin of world soccer’s governing body’s corrupt ways would one day be held accountable for nearly two decades of shady dealings.

It would appear, according to a Sunday report by the BBC, that Blatter’s day is fast approaching, as the 79-year-old is reportedly the focal point of an FBI investigation regarding $100 million of bribes paid to former FIFA officials for the hosting rights of World Cups. According to the report, Blatter is said to have had “full knowledge” of fellow FIFA officials accepting bribes for their respective votes in awarding the hosting rights of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

[ MORE: Blatter, Platini to face lifetime bans at hearing in two weeks ]

As for what Qatar spent to secure the 2022, rights, the BBC reports an astounding figure:

Lord Triesman, a former Football Association chairman, was given the figure by sources close to British intelligence.

“I was told by two sources that have always been very reliable with good information, good intelligence, that the sum that Qatar had spent on their bid was £117 million ($176 million).”

This is six times what England spent on its bid for the 2018 World Cup, and almost 12 times the American expenditure on their 2022 bid.

On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, speaking at a press conference following the arrests of 16 more soccer officials from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, announced a 92-count indictment which features charges against those very figures, as well as superseding charges against a number of figures arrested in May. When asked whether Blatter was currently being investigated with charges forthcoming, Lynch refused to comment directly, but assured those in attendance that investigations were still ongoing with more charges expected.

Sepp, your day is (finally) almost here.