The Dirty Truth Behind a Beautiful Game

The FIFA World Cup is, for many nations, the most important soccer tournament, but few people actually know the truth and corruption behind this event.

Savannah Selin, Columnist

This year, the 2018 World Cup is going to be held in Russia, and nations across the world are excited to be part of this world-wide event. Even though they may be looking forward to it, the winners might not be awarded the title for their great playing, but possibly from bribes or the massive corruption in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) corporation, and for this, the countries could be questioning the integrity of this association.

Starting off in 2010, senior FIFA official Julio Grondona allegedly took a $1.5 million dollar bribe from Qatar to vote for them to host the 2022 World Cup. Grondona, the head of the Argentinian soccer association, died in 2014. However, before his death, he told the Argentinian sports marketing executive, Alejandro Burzaco, that he took the bribe, according to The Guardian.

There has always been a big problem in the corporation for taking bribes. In 2015, three men were arrested for being involved in a 24-year, $150 million dollar bribe in exchange for lucrative broadcasting, states CNN. Along with those men, there have been about 40 other officials, business executives, and entities that have been charged with corruption. As it stated earlier on, Grondona took a $1.5 million dollar bribe, but most men that were bribed took away about $75 million dollars, explained CNN. Additionally, according to CNN, there have been some disturbing effects from this corruption, such as suicide and threatening gestures during trial. There has even been political links included in this world-wide soccer tournament, although specific political links have not been elaborated on.

Even though the sport of soccer is beautiful, there is so much corruption that has impacted the FIFA association. There is a risk that the foul play could carry to this upcoming World Cup in Russia. Russia has been involved in some doping scandals. They have had 51 Olympic medals taken away due to their multiple doping scandals, including one that has prevented them from having their national flag and song at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Is it an odd coincidence that Russia, the host nation, got put in a group of countries that best suits them? The group consists of Uruguay; they have qualified for 12 world cups ever since the first world cup in 1930. The other team is Saudi Arabia, and they have managed to qualify for the world cup five times. Then Egypt, who has qualified for the world cup only three times. So, as you can see, Russia, which has qualified 11 times, is almost guaranteed to make it into the top 16 teams.

There are many theories on how the 2018 World Cup will go and what the results will be, but there is no way of telling the true story between the corruption, trials, bribes, and other aspects. Despite everything, for now all we can do is sit back and at least enjoy the soccer that will be played this summer.