As the corruption scandal surrounding FIFA deepens, and American and Swiss federal cases continue, Prince William has taken a spray, telling the international governing body to clean up its act and “put the sport first.”
The Prince’s unusually blunt remarks came when he spoke at yesterday’s FA Cup final between Arsenal and Aston Villa.
“There seems to be a huge disconnect between the sense of fair play that guides those playing and supporting the game, and the allegations of corruption that have long lingered around the management of the sport internationally,” he said.
He continued that the current FIFA corruption scandal might be the organisation’s “Salt Lake City moment”, a reference to a similar scandal that plagued the International Olympic Committee
“FIFA, like the IOC, must now show that it can represent the interests of fair play and put the sport first,” he continued.
“Those backing FIFA, such as sponsors and the regional confederations, must do their bit to press these reforms – we are doing football and its fans no favours if we do not.”
“I have no doubt that when FIFA reforms, its mission to spread the benefits of the game to more people, especially those in developing countries, can only be enhanced.”
Last week, seven FIFA officials were arrested at a luxury Swiss hotel, and a further 18 people connected to the sport have been indicted for corruption by the US Justice Department.
Former FIFA executive Chuck Blazer, who resigned from the organisation in 2013 amid bribery charges, acted as an FBI informant, gathering large amounts of evidence against his former colleagues.
It has since come out that, amongst other extravagances, Blazer rented an $18,000-per-month apartment for himself in Trump Towers, as well as an adjoining $6000-per-month space to house his cats.
Chuck Blazer’s apartment (artist’s impression)
Although he is currently in hospital with colon cancer, Blazer is theoretically facing more than 10 years in prison for charges relation to failing to report foreign bank accounts and tax evasion.
Speaking about the ongoing investigation, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that FIFA officials have “corrupted the business of worldwide soccer to serve their interests and to enrich themselves.”
FIFA President Sepp Blatter laughed this off, insisting that America is only pursuing the case because it lost a bid to host the 2022 World Cup, and because of its friendship with Jordan, whose Prince Ali bin al-Hussein was a recent leadership challenger.
He says that he is “shocked” by the allegations agaist FIFA, and when asked if he is concerned that he might be arrested in connection to the investigation, he brushed the idea off, saying: “Arrested for what? Next question.”
Blatter also insisted that this investigation will have “no impact” on America’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup, presumably while trying to stifle a fit of giggles, causing a little bit of pee to come out.
via News Limited
Photo: Getty Images Pool
Photo: Getty Images Pool