Samuel's legal analysis on FIFA Investigation published in Sputnik News

Sputnik News

Written by : Samuel Okoronkwo

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) should become more transparent in order to resolve the serious management problems that have surfaced following Wednesday’s indictment of the organization’s top officials on corruption charges, experts told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, seven FIFA officials were arrested in Zurich, Switzerland on a US warrant of federal corruption charges, including fraud, racketeering and money laundering in marketing and broadcasting deals over the past 20 years.

 

“There seems to be a serious internal governance problem,” Johns Hopkins University International Law Lecturer Steven Schneebaum said on Thursday. “Certainly, there has to be more transparency.”

The suspects are alleged to have received some $150 million in bribes. They may now face extradition to the United States, according to the US Department of Justice.

FIFA should address the problem of corruption in two ways, UK Sports Law Barrister Samuel Okoronkwo, who specializes in professional soccer, told Sputnik.

The organization should act by “adopting transparent and independently verifiable practices and enacting a fixed term of office for all executive positions to avoid entrenchment and the possibility of abusive conduct,” Okoronkwo said.

Earlier on Thursday, FIFA President Joseph Blatter said the organization needs to do a better job of policing itself, as well as change internally while putting an end to secret transactions.

“All of that is great, but one can only wonder where he has been all these years,” Schneebaum said. “He is not a newcomer.”

Schneebaum argued FIFA is going to take a serious public relations blow amid the corruption scandal. However, he added, it would be “next to impossible” for any organization replace FIFA and take over an event as enormous as the World Cup.

“Maybe there will be a greater emphasis on the regional soccer associations or even the national ones,” Schneebaum suggested.

FIFA elections for a new president are scheduled on Friday. Following the corruption ongoing scandal, numerous US and UK politicians as well as leading football officials throughout the world have warned against reelecting Blatter.

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