US Takes Action Against Corruption in FIFA

February 1, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. perpetrate 
ˈpɜr pɪˌtreɪt / (v.) – to commit or do something, usually a crime
Example: The people want to know if cheating was perpetrated in the game.

2. fraud / frɔd / (n.) – a dishonest act done for profit or advantage
Example: They realized that the organizers’ promises were a fraud.

3. extradite ˈɛk strəˌdaɪt / (v.) – to give up a criminal to another nation upon its request
Example:  Some governments will only extradite foreigners once they are proven guilty.

4. chronic ˈkrɒn ɪk / (adj.) – happening repeatedly or for a long time
Example: He has been suffering from chronic injuries because of the sport.

5. implicate ˈɪm plɪˌkeɪt / (v.) – to show that someone is involved in a criminal act
Example: She was implicated in a scandal at work.


Read the text below.
Federal prosecutors in the United States took action against criminal acts perpetrated by officials in FIFA.

Sixteen FIFA officials were arrested and charged last year with crimes that include racketeering, money laundering, and wire fraud. Among those arrested were Alfredo Hawit, a Honduran who is the acting president of soccer governing body CONCACAF, and Juan Angel Napout, a Paraguayan and the former president of soccer governing body CONMEBOL.

Both officials were suspected of taking bribes in exchange for selling marketing rights. The money involved in the bribery charge alone is estimated to be more than $200 million. The two presidents were extradited at the request of the US authorities upon discovery that some of the violations were set up in the US and paid through US banks.

According to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, corruption has become chronic in the world of soccer. In 2012, two former FIFA executive committee members were also accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes to grant marketing rights for World Cup finals tournaments. In May 2015, fourteen FIFA officials were accused of taking bribes amounting to more than $150 million in exchange for media and marketing rights for the past 24 years. In a separate investigation last year, Swiss officials investigated corruption allegations tied to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Implicated organizations FIFA and CONMEBOL expressed that they would cooperate with the investigation of the authorities. Likewise, CONCACAF said that it would enact reforms in how it is structured and governed.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are some well-known sport scandals in your country?
·         How can scandals affect a sport and the people involved in it (e.g. officials, athletes, fans)?

Discussion B

·         Do you think it’s possible to avoid corruption in sports? Why or why not?
·         What are some of the most profitable sports in the world?

February 1, 2016