Friday, November 19, 2010

Corruption pays @ FIFA

Fun stuff at FIFA. Six members of the voting body that decides where the next world cup takes place have been found guilty of bribery charges to some extent or other. Remarkably so, none of those voting members received more than the equivalent of a slap on the wrist. None of them, for instance, was dismissed from the committee in question. Some of them are banned from voting for up to four years, and that's where it ends.

Now, these guys ended up in a typical Murdoch 'news'papers style sting operation. You know, one of those Ms Ferguson is used to these days. Basically the newspaper offers bags of cash to folks with either access to folks in power (Ferguson) or folks with actual power (FIFA Executive Committee members), films their response to the bribery offer and publishes the results of their sting operation in order to sell more of its 'news'papers. These kinds of 'news'media create the news they then report about.

You can argue about the question of whether it's fair game to offer huge amounts of money to FIFA folks who come from impoverished parts of the world, in the hope that they might take the bite. At least one of those folks made quite clear that he didn't mean to take any of the offered dosh for himself. He wanted it to be channeled to his local football association so that they could build more soccer fields. The other bloke wanted it transferred into his personal bank account, also ostensibly to support soccer in his home country. Who knows what would have happened to that money.

Either way, these votes were on sale, and for FIFA to not kick those folks off their voting committee for good tells you all that you need to know about that organization's ethics code and more important ethics standards!

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