World Cup FIFA games
SEPP BLATTER IS not just FIFA's president. He is its Sun King, answering to no one and deciding who will bask in the warm rays of soccer's governing body. Blatter is 79 and has now presided over FIFA for 17 years, the third-longest tenure in the body's 100-plus-year history. His watch has been marked by a series of scandals, most recently the ones embroiling the impending World Cups in Russia (2018) and Qatar (2022). At dawn today, Swiss authorities arrested several top FIFA officials with plans to extradite them to the United States, where they'll face corruption charges relating to the bidding process of those Cups. A separate criminal investigation, carried out by the U.S. Department of Justice, is on going. Fourteen people have been named in the DOJ indictment, nine of them FIFA officials; Blatter himself has thus far escaped charges, and FIFA has said its presidential election, scheduled for Friday, will nevertheless take place.
In a recent documentary produced by E:60, Jeremy Schaap told the tale of corruption, injustice and moral depravity behind FIFA's naming Russia and Qatar as World Cup hosts. Based largely on that reporting, we present a guide explaining just why everyone is so outraged with FIFA.
1. BY ALL MEANS: THE COST OF HOSTING
South Africa held the 2010 World Cup for roughly $2.7 billion. Brazil hosted in 2014, amid protests, for $15 billion. Even that is chump change next to the rubles and riyals on the table. Russia's bill is approaching billion; Qatar's cost is more than 10 times that! FIFA's success now depends on nothing less than the recovery of international oil markets.
Qatar projects to spend $200 billion on the 2022 World Cup. According to a 2013 Deloitte report, the spending will go mostly to infrastructure. About the size of Connecticut, the nation still must upgrade highways, build an airport and develop a mass transit system. Oh, and construct 12 high-tech stadiums with nearly 700, 000 seats (400, 000 more than there are Qatari nationals).
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