If the US Department of Justice’s dawn raid on FIFA was meant as an attempted putsch against perennial president Sepp Blatter, it doesn’t seem to have worked.
Seven FIFA officials, including vice-president Jeffrey Webb, were arrested on charges they received oodles of greenbacks in bribes over a number of decades, with twice that number named in a 47-count racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering indictment.
Former vice-president Jack Warner must be feeling a touch of the Lance Armstrongs right now, after calling corruption allegations “press foolishness” “BBC foolishness” and “damn foolishness” over the years.
The Trinidadian could be extradited to the US after being named in the indictment, while sons Daryan and Daryll are thought to cooperating with the police.
On top of all that, a separate criminal investigation into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded has also begun.
While Rome burns around him, Emperor Blatter glides serenely towards another term in charge of football’s governing body, where he has been making puppets dance for 40 years.
At least there’s something in the way of competition this time round (Blatter ran unopposed in 2011), with Jordanian Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein priced up at 3/1 with bwin to win Friday’s election, but the boys in black and gold strongly fancy the incumbent to keep his job at 1/5.
The full list of 14 FIFA officials and corporate executives appearing in the indictment is as follows:
Jeffrey Webb: Current FIFA vice-president and executive committee member, Concacaf president, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) executive committee member and Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president.
Eduardo Li: Current FIFA executive committee member-elect, Concacaf executive committee member and Costa Rican soccer federation (FEDEFUT) president.
Julio Rocha: Current FIFA development officer. Former Central American Football Union (UNCAF) president and Nicaraguan soccer federation (FENIFUT) president.
Costas Takkas: Current attaché to the Concacaf president. Former CIFA general secretary.
Jack Warner: Former FIFA vice-president and executive committee member, Concacaf president, CFU president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser.
Eugenio Figueredo: Current FIFA vice-president and executive committee member. Former Conmebol president and Uruguayan soccer federation (AUF) president.
Rafael Esquivel: Current Conmebol executive committee member and Venezuelan soccer federation (FVF) president.
José Maria Marin: Current member of the FIFA organising committee for the Olympic football tournaments. Former CBF president.
Nicolás Leoz: Former FIFA executive committee member and Conmebol president.
Alejandro Burzaco: Controlling principal of Torneos y Competencias SA, a sports marketing business based in Argentina.
Aaron Davidson: President of Traffic Sports USA Inc.
Hugo and Mariano Jinkis: Controlling principals of Full Play Group SA, a sports marketing business based in Argentina, and its affiliates.
Jose Margulies: An alleged intermediary between the officials and sports marketing officials