What You Need To Know:
✓ It is unlikely that there will be a unilateral boycott of Russia's 2018 World Cup because of the scandal;
✓ The corruption charges go back over 20 years and involve tens of millions of dollars;
✓ Putin's support of FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s re-election, despite the ongoing investigation is a sort of my enemy’s enemy is my friend logic.
“On the one hand it’s very surprising given that FIFA has never really been caught out on anything,” said James Appell, a freelance sportswriter, “on the other hand it’s not really a big surprise in the sense there have been journalists, investigative bodies sniffing around FIFA for quite some time and if you look at the FBI’s list of charges they go back 20 years".
Several FIFA officials were arrested on 27 May, 2015 after being accused by US of racketeering, fraud and money laundering involving tens of millions of dollars over 24 years.
According to Appell, it is very unlikely that this will lead to a boycott of Russia’s 2018 World Cup. People involved in sport will be little more careful and we won’t see unilateral withdrawal, said Appell. However it is a serious blow for anyone who wants to participate or associate with FIFA.
“I think that Putin’s entry into the subject on Thursday, making it clear his feelings that the US should leave be and stick to crimes within its own boarders, is a sort of my enemy’s enemy is my friend logic,” said Appell of Putin's public support of FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s re-election, despite the ongoing investigation.
Hromadske International's Nataliya Gumenyuk and Ian Bateson spoke with James Appell via Skype on May 31, 2015.