The FIFAGate Scandal of 2015 unmasked the industry and hypocrisy at the highest levels of the game.
It resulted in bans and even jail for some. It was clear that FIFA (the Federation of International Football Associations) had become a bloated and corrupt institution. Joseph Sepp Blatter became the only FIFA President to be impeached and then banned from football. But for his age – he was in 90s – Blatter’s predecessor, João Havelange would have suffered a similar fate.
There is no doubt that the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) was riddled with corruption for many years – and shamefully CONCACAF and the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) acquiesced with it. Former CONCACAF President, the notorious Jack Warner started out in football in the 1960s.
Football and corruption seem constant bedfellows now, but, in fact, it dated back decades. The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) fell into disgrace in 2015 with the arrests and indictment of many officials, but the flaws were deep-rooted, and it wasn’t just about trousering riches.
Imagine a national football team, say Spain in 2007, or England in 1965 that was tipped for great things, were killed in a plane crash before they achieved their potential. Now imagine successive governments over two decades promising to release the report of what happened and each of those governments broke their promises. And somehow, despite the tragedy, the players that replaced them reached the final the following year, losing narrowly.