2. It has comedy
The statement begins:
FIFA welcomes actions that can help contribute to rooting out any wrongdoing in football. We understand that today’s actions by the Swiss Federal Office of Justice on behalf of the US authorities and the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (initiated by FIFA through the submission of the file on the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process) relate to different matters.
A bold introduction. FIFA is willing to do anything to root out wrongdoing. That’s comforting to know from the outset. It gives me that same warm, cozy feeling that I get when FIFA “President for Life” Sepp Blatter suggests that he’s adamant about fighting sexism, despite years of boorish behavior under his belt. It’s that nostalgic sense of relief that washes over me when Blatter tells a group of Africans that racism in soccer is terrible while seeking votes for re-election, despite suggesting that black players should handshake their way through racial abuse on the field.
When FIFA says it’s serious about rooting out wrongdoing, FIFA is really, really serious about stabbing wrongdoing in the chest, guys.
3. More comedy
The statement continues:
Firstly, the arrest of six individuals this morning in Zurich concerns investigations by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of the State of New York. The Swiss authorities, acting on behalf of their US counterparts, arrested the individuals for activities carried out in relation with CONCACAF and CONMEBOL business.
Just in case you missed it, the “individuals” arrested for activities carried out in relation to “CONCACAF and CONMEBOL business” are conveniently no longer FIFA officials; they are individuals carrying out business away from FIFA.
[insert “bad apples spoiling the bunch” defense — *vomits*]
Fall guys, prepare yourselves for takeoff.
4. Somebody’s not included!
This is a great, sneaky paragraph. Somebody earned their $80 trillion bonus this year.
The second instance follows FIFA’s initiative of presenting the file on the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup™ bidding process to the Swiss Office of the Attorney General in November 2014. The authorities are taking the opportunity of the FIFA Congress to interview those FIFA Executive Committee members who are not Swiss residents who voted back in 2010 and are still in office.
We learn from this paragraph that the pool of people being interviewed by authorities is extremely shallow. Of the 22 (all male) FIFA executive committee members who voted for the World Cup hosts in December 2010, only 12 are still executive committee members. Of that group, only one will miss being interviewed because he’s a Swiss resident.*
Can you guess who that might be?
HINT: It rhymes with Tepp Flatter.
5. Fully cooperating!
More cooperation! Yay!
Today, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General announced that it has opened criminal proceedings against persons unknown in relation to the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup™ bidding process. FIFA is fully cooperating with the investigation and is supporting the collection of evidence in this regard. As noted by the Swiss authorities, this collection of evidence is being carried out on a cooperative basis.
Here’s a quick note regarding legal processes, full cooperation and providing evidence: Behind the scenes, there are lawyers fighting tooth and nail to prevent documents from being turned over. Privileged documents — e.g., documents prepared by or for attorneys in anticipation of litigation — won’t be turned over. That is, unless they’ve just been taken in a raid. Then, yeah, oh well.
Full cooperation doesn’t necessarily mean that FIFA’s just handing over all paper, emails, and other communications to authorities. Expect FIFA, at least institutionally, to fully cooperate at the lowest level of full cooperation possible.
Lawyers gotta eat, too, guys.
6. More jokes
We are pleased to see that the investigation is being energetically pursued for the good of football and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken.
FOR THE GOOD OF FOOTBALL. FOR THE GOOD OF FOOTBALL, SEPP BLATTER IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT.
This statement gets an arbitrary 7.5/10 on the hilarious scale.
*Note: UEFA president and FIFA executive committee member Michel Platini (France) is also a Swiss resident.