Under the Black Flag

Football Mafia

The greatest criminal and most profitable enterprise in the world is FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association).  As I write, billions are watching obscenely overpaid footballers competing for a cup that is long overdue for a total remake.  The World Cup was a very good idea long ago, but so was selective democracy and waging war with bows and arrows.

The head gangster is Swiss and goes by the name of Sepp Blatter.  He’s straight out of central casting: fat, stumpy, bald, and rather vulgar.  FIFA was founded in 1904 as a rule-making committee that regulated football (soccer in America) when played between nations.  That was simple enough, and for a while, it worked.  Then the game got big, was played the world over, and commercialism reared its ugly head.  Television billions poured into the game, and nations paid billions to build stadiums in order to stage the extravaganza.  When Blatter took over as president in 1998, the so-called beautiful game was swimming in billions of dollars.  Some of the stars were paid 500,000 greenbacks per week, and some so-called countries like Qatar—run as a fiefdom by a family called Thani, which employed near-slave labor to modernize the sandy hellhole—wanted in.  Blatter was more than eager to oblige.  FIFA’s ruling committee is made up of delegates from African, Asian, South American, North...

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