Football is a global phenomenon, a game played around the world uniting nations and families together, traversing language barriers, religious, economic and social divides, on the other hand, corruption is a global problem which occurs around the world destroying free markets, thriving business and competition. The fact that corruption should not be found in football is a farfetched reality. This view comes at the back of the recent announcement by the BBC on the 27th of May 2015, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32895048 that the Swiss police had arrested 6 top ranking Fifa officials attending their annual meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, where Mr. Sepp Blatter was seeking a fifth term as Fifa president. The arrest relate to corruption charges dating back to the early 1990s where these officials were suspected of receiving $100m worth of bribes. The officials arrested include the Vice President of Fifa, Jeffrey Webb – head of the Confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean, Costa Rica’s Eduardo Li, who was due to join Fifa’s executive committee on Friday, Uruguay’s Eugenio Figueredo, President of South American football governing body Conmebol, Brazil’s Jose Maria Marin, a member of Fifa’s club committee and another unnamed person.
The significance of these arrests relates to fact that the crimes were agreed to and prepared in the US via US bank accounts. Accordingly, these officials can be tried in the U.S. hence the move to extradite them to the U.S. to face prosecution. But with the fight against bribery and corruption reaching a new global height, with joint operations between countries to arrest and prosecute persons that engage in these activities, in this particular case, the U.S. and Swiss authorities, it is reassuring to see that persons engaged in bribery and corruption cannot avoid prosecution no matter how long investigations takes. Thus in your opinion what does this recent arrests of the Fifa governing body officials mean for the global fight against corruption?
Contributed by Uchechi Dibiaezue