On May 27th, in Zurich, Switzerland, 14 high ranking officials of FIFA, soccers governing body, were arrested for their supposed part in racketeering and corruption. This is mainly in large part of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, given to Russia and Qatar respectively, as reports came in that the Qatari's bribed millions of dollars for votes. According to the U.S. Attorney General, this has been going on for two decades now, and U.S. banks were involved in this terrible act.
These recent events overshadow the upcoming FIFA presidential elections, featuring incumbent Joseph "Sepp" Blatter and Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan. Blatter has been running FIFA for four terms, starting in 1998. He has been known to attempt to bring the sport to third world countries, and even implemented an act that would allow FIFA World Cup to rotate between countries in each continental soccer body, which would explain the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea and the 2010 edition in South Africa. Both were huge successes in my eyes, but that is where the good about Blatter ends.
Common sense would dictate that you would not have a summer sporting event in the desert for health and safety reasons. Last I checked, Qatar is in the desert, so a simple human being would try to figure out a solution to this problem. Yet as many people angrily discovered, Blatter would not have a re-vote for the 2022 World Cup. The 2018 World Cup is one I don't really have an issue with, besides the human rights issues in Russia, but Qatar hosting a World Cup, regardless in the summer or the as-planned winter, is a terrible idea. That's like having an outdoor speed skating event in the middle of Miami in July. It makes no sense!
This election will make or break world soccer, and it's all in the candidates. Should Al-Hussein be elected, we will see a new era in FIFA, one where growth and betterment of the game will be top priority, and where every competing federation will be dealt with equality and respect. He is already backed by the European soccer federation, UEFA, who has demanded that Blatter resign immediately. While there will be tough times ahead for FIFA, Al-Hussein will be a fresh face at the helm and do what he can to resolve this issue.
Should Blatter be re-elected, it will be another four years where his iron will will take over. UEFA has already announced that they will leave FIFA if Blatter is re-elected. This will be a huge loss, as European soccer is the hottest market out there currently, fan- and marketing-wise. The landscape of world soccer will change, and it won't be for the better. Where would the 2026 World Cup be held in? If you think the U.S. will have a chance if Blatter is re-elected, you might as well go to Vegas and bet that Cuba will host it.
I can't see Sepp Blatter being re-elected after this crisis. Many people blame him for all the corruption going on. The problem is, as for right now there's no proof that he took part of it. He's claimed he's innocent, yet no one buys it. The vote comes soon, and the results will either bring cheers of change, or an earthquake of negativity in the world of soccer.