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FIFA Scandal (Part Two) - New Angle to the Sport and Legal Sector

Posted by: Laurence Simons 12/06/15

Since our last blog on the Fifa scandal, much has come to light. Not only has Sepp Blatter stepped down two days after his re-election, but the UK’s Serious Fraud Office has stepped up to review material related to the case. Here is what we know so far:

Speaking at the World Football Forum in Moscow, the Russian committee has criticised the calls to take the 2018 World Cup  from them as they are “very deep into the preparation process” with 40% of the planned construction completed or underway. This follows the controversial suggestion that Russia was involved in the bribing process in the run up to their victory in the 2018 bidding.

In similar news, evidence has come to light of bribes reaching up to $10m that helped to secure South Africa as the location for the 2010 World Cup – and further evidence that Blatter himself was aware of the payment. The bidding for the 2026 Cup has now been suspended.

Over in Ireland, a payment of 5m euros was made by Fifa to the Football Association of Ireland in 2010, allegedly to incite their dropping of a claim they held regarding a handball during the match where France beat Ireland in a World Cup play-off.

Blatter has also fired his PR Chief Walter De Gregorio over a joke he made when appearing on Swiss TV. The joke was: "The Fifa president, secretary general and communications director are all travelling in a car. Who's driving? The police."

So what next? Not only has the corruption broken numerous international laws, but now that the legitimacy of the bidding has been questioned – including the integrity of numerous political figures involved – the entire scandal looks on track to get even uglier. Could this change the landscape of the legal sector’s relationship with sport forever?

To be continued…