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A FIFA Vocabulary Problem?

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino has continually insisted that the organization under his leadership is a democracy and not a dictatorship, but the decision to give the Ethics Committee the opportunity to ban officials for defamation casts doubt on that assertion. Photo: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

By Evan Weiner |

If a company is under investigation by authorities in the United States and Switzerland for corruption, it probably is not the smartest thing for that company to update its ethics code and remove the word corruption and add defamation to the document. But the governing body of soccer, FIFA, has done just that.

Apparently FIFA is afraid of people who might become whistle blowers. Certain FIFA members have had legal problems because of corruption and were arrested by American law enforcement.  Some top FIFA officials have been sentenced to jail. Some such as former FIFA head Sepp Blatter have been suspended. FIFA seems to want to silence anyone who might have information that might hurt the group or individuals who are policy makers or part of the bidding process for the World Cup.

The new language spells it out. “Persons bound by this code are forbidden from making any public statements of a defamatory nature towards FIFA and/or towards any other person bound by this code in the context of FIFA events.”  

In 2015, the Obama Justice Department went after FIFA. In May 2015, charges were filed against more than 40 people who were involved with FIFA for corruption. It is unknown what spurred the investigation but the United States did not win the bidding for the 2022 World Cup of soccer and there may have been some people in the United States who were upset with FIFA’s decision. I

t has been alleged that money changed hands which gave the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. United 2026, made up of the United States, Canada and Mexico, was awarded the 2026 World Cup.

Will office holders and business’s connected to FIFA in the towns that get the matches be intimidated by FIFA? Taxpayers footing the bill for FIFA’s sports party should know about FIFA’s ethics.

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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