So, this morning the FIFA members are voting on who will be the next president.
In the Blue Corner weighing in at four terms on the throne at football’s governing body, 79 year old Joseph “Sepp” Blatter is expected to take the title by almost 75% of the votes, according to this round-up from the Guardian.
In the Red Corner, the only contender for the crown, Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan, a 39 year old royal and president of FIFA Asia. Two days before the US Department of Justice’s swoop on FIFA officials, Prince Ali’s team contacted police in the UK to report an alleged offer of 47 more votes for Ali in the FIFA election. The votes were rejected. Prince Ali’s team engaged a UK based corporate intelligence firm, headed up by a former London police commissioner, to ensure integrity and high ethical standards throughout the campaign.
Blatter appears undeterred by the arrest and indictment of nine FIFA officials this week and apparently has the support of the vast majority of delegates, who when asked by the BBC this morning, seemed to err on the side of caution.
The party line appears to be this: you cannot blame whoever sits at the top of the tree for the actions of the apples hanging from it.
But should he not be responsible for what happened on his watch?
The indictment reaches back to 1991, eight years before Blatter ascended to the top job.
According to the DOJ: “The soccer officials are charged with conspiring to solicit and receive well over $150 million in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for their official support of the sports marketing executives who agreed to make the unlawful payments.”
Any money laundering techniques uncovered and publicised during this investigation will provide a blue-print on how to clean your dirty cash. Although, that said, if Jack Warner’s claims are correct, bribery was nothing to be ashamed of, there was nothing to hide, and maybe nobody cared where the money came from.
Jack Warner, the Trinidadian former FIFA vice president, was released from jail yesterday and has proclaimed his innocence to the press. He had resigned from the VP seat in 2011 amid allegations he had bribed Caribbean associates.
Could the Jack be reliving the same nightmare?
Read the full starting nine member of the FIFA executive arrested here. Banks will have screened the names of all nine as soon as the indictment sheet was published. Any half decent data link analysis software will bring up connected entities and transactions. But what will the world’s financial institutions now do with that info?