SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Imagine This: A Possible Vote-Selling Scandal at FIFA (for Where to Locate the World Cup in 2018 and 2022)

I have to give USA Today credit, as they're all over the meatiest (if not most ribald) sports scandals.

So, the ethics chair is looking into allegations whether two of the voters offered to sell their votes. You would think that if this could possible happen, then could World Cup referees offer to sell their (no-) calls to the highest bidder, too, turning the World Cup into a more ballyhooed version of the Italian soccer leagues, where questionable calls have been legendary. Perhaps FIFA should take a different tact and just sell the darned decision to the highest bidder. You could imagine that a Russian oligarch could just buy the tournament for the year and put it on his private yacht, selling pay-per-view rights for a fortune and not have to worry about hosting the tournament in a location with high crime or, worse yet, bed bugs.

The possibilities, you see, are endless. It may be that this stuff has always gone on, but the scrutiny that it can get is magnified because of the internet, tweets and the like. And, of course, there are strict anti-bribery laws in many "western" countries, which scare the hell out of those in the west and perhaps put them at a disadvantage in competing against those where a bribery statute would be a luxury because, well, that's just the way business is done.

Sell a vote?

That just can't happen, shouldn't happen, must not happen.

As if. . .

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