The soccer world has been rocked as 14 FIFA officials have been indicted in an alleged $150 million bribery scandal. On Wednesday, seven of those officials were arrested with more arrests expected in coming days. The federal lawsuit includes allegations of fraud, money laundering, racketeering and other charges. Soccer fans have long suspected the sleaziness and corruption of FIFA officials, but there are some ramifications beyond just money — the cost of human lives.
FIFA Headquarters in Zurich – Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images
As pointed out by The Washington Post, FIFA’s decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup has been controversial with allegations of bribery from the get-go. After all, why would a rich country that is sweltering hot in the summer — one that has no soccer culture — be awarded the coveted tournament? Qatar has a track record of horrible human rights violations, and sadly hundreds (maybe even 1,200 or more) worker fatalities have occurred in preparation for the event.
Let’s take a look at the Post’s chart that compares those fatality numbers to those of other major sporting events, including recent Olympics.
Source: The Washington Post
Keep in mind that we are still seven years away from the Qatar World Cup… those numbers will undoubtedly climb.
So all of a sudden, the FIFA scandal isn’t just about some rich officials lining their pockets, it’s about human lives lost… lots of them.