Right Field

Huge FIFA Scandal Brewing

I’d be outraged by this if I ever watched soccer, but since it is sports news, I figure I better link to it. AP:

The turmoil surrounding FIFA escalated Tuesday with calls for the presidential election to be postponed and leading global sponsors expressing concern that the corruption scandal is damaging the image of the game.

With incumbent Sepp Blatter the only candidate for president, the English and Scottish Football Associations said Wednesday’s election lacked the credibility FIFA needed to counter the flood of allegations rocking the sport’s global body.

Blatter’s only challenger, Mohamed bin Hammam, withdrew Sunday amid bribery allegations.

The English FA called for more time to allow “any alternative reforming candidate” to come forward to challenge Blatter, who has been president for 13 years and is seeking a final four-year term.

On the eve of the election, Blatter also had to deal with two more leading sponsors criticizing FIFA’s inability to deal with pervasive corruption claims, and with his second-in-command under fire for saying Qatar had “bought” the 2022 World Cup.

England’s intervention took European soccer body UEFA by surprise, with president Michel Platini saying the FA did not bring it up at a meeting Monday.

“They did not ask” for support to postpone the election, Platini said. UEFA is expected to largely back Blatter in Wednesday’s election.

Any postponement of Wednesday’s election would need the backing of three-quarters of the 208 federations attending the Congress, which was scheduled to be opened by Blatter late Tuesday.

The English FA had already said it was abstaining before the allegations emerged that led to suspensions for bin Hammam and fellow FIFA executive committee member Jack Warner.

The two were suspended by an ethics committee pending a full probe into allegations that Caribbean soccer leaders were paid $40,000 each to back bin Hammam’s presidential bid.

“The events of the last two days, in particular, have made any election unworkable,” Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan said in a statement. “The integrity and reputation of the game across the world is paramount and the Scottish FA urges FIFA to reconsider its intentions, and calls on other member associations to consider the long-term implications for the game’s image.”

The rest here.

Most Popular

World

Sweden: Trouble in Paradise?

Writing in Politico, Paulina Neuding returns to the topic of Sweden’s crime problem and the unwillingness of the Swedish elite to admit what has been going on: Indeed it is, although, to be fair, those taboos are fraying fairly rapidly. Nevertheless, Sweden remains a country where, whether by law or, even more ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Comey–Trump Dance

I never thought the Comey book would make much news for the simple reason that it would be outrageous if it did. If Comey knew something relevant and important about the Russia investigation that we didn’t already know, he couldn’t possibly put it in his book. Let’s say he did have something big on the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Is James Comey Michael Wolff-ing Himself?

Michael Wolff published a runaway bestseller that left his reputation in tatters. James Comey may be doing a version of the same thing. The rap on Wolff was that he made stuff up. That's not the issue with Comey. It's that his shots at Trump -- although mild by Trump standards -- don't accord with his high-minded ... Read More
Culture

Wednesday Links

T'was the 18th of April in seventy-five: The midnight ride of William Dawes and Samuel Prescott (and Paul Revere). The Forgotten Nazi History of “One-Pot Meals.” Dorothy’s Wizard of Oz Ruby Slippers on Sale for a Whopping $6 Million. On April 18, 1906, an earthquake and fire destroyed 80 percent of ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Underappreciated Barbara Bush

Making the click-through worthwhile: realizing how little we appreciated Barbara Bush when she was in the public’s eye; Mike Pompeo meets with Kim Jong Un and the long road to presidential attendance at high-stakes summit meetings; and Democrats propose a vast, expensive new plan to tackle unemployment . . . at ... Read More
White House

McConnell and Russian Election Interference

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell says he won't bring legislation to the floor to protect special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation. The incident has inspired liberals to revive their complaints that McConnell put party before country in the last weeks of the 2016 election. The charge, which I have ... Read More
U.S.

California’s Simmering Political Revolt

On the surface, California seems politically monolithic. But as its younger citizens come of age, and as they find themselves locked out of homeownership and economic opportunity, a revolt is brewing. In January, Kerry Jackson, a fellow at the Pacific Research Institute, publised a searing Los Angeles Times ... Read More
World

Macron’s Post-Democratic ‘Europe’

Whatever else you may think about France’s President Macron, he is, so far as his own country is concerned, an interesting and innovative politician. But when it comes to the EU, he remains committed to the old Procrustean vision that has caused the union so much trouble, is about to cost it one of its largest ... Read More