Corrupt FIFA Files Report On Its Corruption

It's 1,300 pages and it's still unknown what exactly the report reveals

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Mar 31, 2017 at 11:46 AM ET

FIFA announced on Friday that a nearly two-year long internal investigation into suspected criminal misconduct, bribery, and corruption was completed and handed over to Swiss authorities.

The review, conducted by the contracted law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, took so long because there was a lot to consider. (FIFA is very corrupt, you see.) Even a top FIFA official recently admitted as much.

More than 2.5 million documents were examined, FIFA said, in addition to interviews of “numerous key witnesses,” resulting in a report package that tallied more than 1,300 pages and more than 20,000 exhibits for consumption by both the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland and the U.S. Department of Justice. The first published edition of War and Peace was 1,225 pages, for perspective’s sake, although Tolstoy’s famous novel had the benefit of not being written in legalese.

Those evidentiary numbers are impressive even if we’ll never know how much is propaganda (the total could be inflated by including barely relevant documents) or justification for more billable hours (more than $30 million according to Bloomberg). Then again, the DOJ has charged more than three-dozen people already for bribery and kickback allegations for more than $200 million; FIFA boss Sepp Blatter, his right-hand man Jerome Valcke, and ex-European chief Michael Platini have all been ousted and banned.

“FIFA committed to conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation of the facts so we could hold wrongdoers within football accountable and cooperate with the authorities,” the group’s president, Gianni Infantino, said in a statement.

Though FIFA released no new details about the results of the investigation, the soccer body offered a fairly detailed glimpse into its early findings during a preview last June. At the time, Quinn Emanuel said three officials—Blatter, Valcke, and former deputy secretary general-slash-CFO Markus Kattner—conspired “to enrich themselves through annual salary increases, World Cup bonuses and other incentives totaling more than CHF 79 million—in just the last five years.” (The Swiss Franc and U.S. dollar have a 1-to-1 exchange rate at present.) Each of the aforementioned executives have denied wrongdoing.

It’s about time that FIFA is taking its situation seriously and apparently doing something about it. By the end of April, FIFA said it will announce changes to its rules of governance as a direct result of this report. Until then, it’ll continue ruining the World Cup.