FIFA's follies and soccer in the United States
Mohamed Bin Hammam was one of two high-ranking FIFA members suspended Sunday over allegations of corruption.
June 1st, 2011
11:11 PM ET

FIFA's follies and soccer in the United States

It was less than a year ago when the United States made it to the knockout stage of the World Cup in South Africa, giving soccer some new American fans along the way.

Now, two high-ranking members of the sport's world governing body have been suspended amid allegations of corruption. The uproar may be giving some of those new soccer fans a crash course in the role that FIFA plays in the sport, and it may leave them wondering what the corruption allegations might mean for soccer in America and around the globe.

"FIFA likes to say that it has more members than the United Nations - and it does," said Sports Illustrated writer Grant Wahl. "Their members include 208 nations around the world."

It also earned more than $4 billion last year, more than the gross domestic product of some of its member nations.

FIFA is the top of the pyramid of the organization of the sport worldwide. And like the U.N., the organization is full of politics and has the occasional scandal. In the latest scandal, high-ranking FIFA officials Jack Warner and Mohamed Bin Hammam - a candidate for FIFA's presidency - were accused of offering bribes in return for votes for Bin Hammam. Both were suspended over the weekend, and the only remaining presidential candidate, incumbent Sepp Blatter, was re-elected on Wednesday.

Before that, some FIFA members allegedly sought bribes for a different kind of vote - the December decisions on the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Two members have denied claims that they took money to vote for Qatar, which was awarded the 2022 event. That vote was of particular interest for the United States, which was vying to host the 2022 edition.

What do these allegations mean for soccer fans in the United States? Do they care? CNN Radio's Steve Kastenbaum looked for the answers. Click the audio player to hear Kastenbaum's story:

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Soccer • Sports
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Ellis

    That goes to show that corruption is everywhere, not just in government.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jennifer

    ok….i think anyone who falls for this new story isas ignorant as they come! That baby did not drownd! I know CPR and my first reaction would be to use my training….whether it was my child or grandchild or ANY child for that matter! Her father knew CPR…..he is an officer! That would’ve been reaction! Even if a child is already gone and u know it…..u still do it anyways! Not to mention, if this was a drowning then y was there duct tape on that baby’s head!!!? I mean how r they gonna defend that?….say that after she drowned they decided to just duct tape her for no appearent reason what-so-ever!? NO!!! She was duct taped because Casey Anthony wanted to go out and party every night and she couldent with Caylee and she diddnt want to ask her parents….NOW…..I think she diddnt want to ask her parents because maybe her dad did molest her when she was little and she diddnt want him to molest Caylee. So i think she chlorophormed her and duct taped her so that caylee wouldent wake up while she was out partying, and if she did wake up the duct tape would keep her quiet and still. I think she did not mean to kill her child….BUT…..the moment she realized her child was dead she should’ve instantly called 911 and told them what she had done and why and it never would’ve gone this far and a proper funeral could’ve been held for this baby girl’s lil body instead of it laying out for animals to pick at and water to spread all over the place. It makes me sick that someone would be that desperate to go out and party that they would go so far as to chlorophorm their child and duct tape them. It’s very sad…..but all in all…..i think George Anthony did molest her…..i think that is y she chlorphormed & taped her instead of asking her parents to watch the child……i dont think she thought little caylee would die…..i think when she found that she was dead she panicked and diddnt know what to do so she left the body in the trunk…..i think her dad helped her hide the body in fear of her telling about molestation

    June 1, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jennifer

    ok….i think anyone who falls for this new story isas ignorant as they come! That baby did not drownd! I know CPR and my first reaction would be to use my training….whether it was my child or grandchild or ANY child for that matter! Her father knew CPR…..he is an officer! That would’ve been reaction! Even if a child is already gone and u know it…..u still do it anyways! Not to mention, if this was a drowning then y was there duct tape on that baby’s head!!!? I mean how r they gonna defend that?….say that after she drowned they decided to just duct tape her for no appearent reason what-so-ever!? NO!!! She was duct taped because Casey Anthony wanted to go out and party every night and she couldent with Caylee and she diddnt want to ask her parents….NOW…..I think she diddnt want to ask her parents because maybe her dad did molest her when she was little and she diddnt want him to molest Caylee. So i think she chlorophormed her and duct taped her so that caylee wouldent wake up while she was out partying, and if she did wake up the duct tape would keep her quiet and still. I think she did not mean to kill her child….BUT…..the moment she realized her child was dead she should’ve instantly called 911 and told them what she had done and why and it never would’ve gone this far and a proper funeral could’ve been held for this baby girl’s lil body instead of it laying out for animals to pick at and water to spread all over the place. It makes me sick that someone would be that desperate to go out and party that they would go so far as to chlorophorm their child and duct tape them. It’s very sad…..but all in all…..i think George Anthony did molest her…..i think that is y she chlorphormed & taped her instead of asking her parents to watch the child……i dont think she thought little caylee would die…..i think when she found that she was dead she panicked and diddnt know what to do so she left the body in the trunk…...i think her dad helped her hide the body in fear of her telling about molestation

    June 1, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ellis

    Jennifer I'm choking on a chicken bone! Please give me CPR. What's your number and address? Place your lips on my mouth NOW baby!

    June 1, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TM

    Dear Jennifer: For one the jose biaz dude is goin to get his client the death penalty like she deserves but he is blamin this on her father when they have no facts nor anythin but a story from a liar( casey) . This has been the worst defense i have ever seen she actullay had a better defense by saying she didnt do it cuz other than the searches on the web and the odd behavior she cud get off if she had a better lawyer. And this stuff bout a good mother who cares im pretty sure we dont know the whole story what bout that bruise she had under her eye (caylee) pretty sure she wasnt watching her she looks like a woman who is goin to die and wants to take her family down with her she makes me sick and its a insult to the justice system that she is even allowed to have a fish net for a defense her story is full of holes. Too be honest she should just tell the truth and escape the death bed with honesty. She cares more for her boyfriend than her dad she is throwin him to the wolves when he and her family were the only ones defending her wow what a good child . what about her 911 call the state needs to not follow the defense lead and show the facts . jose biaz whatever his name is . He is a joke to lawyers.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cesar

    I like to get down with gay black men.
    I'm Cesar and I am gay. Ellis is my boyfriend.

    June 2, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    sorry folks the above post wasnt me,I only post comments that I believe everyone in my tiny universe SHOULD should read.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar

    I'm Cesar and I love being gay. Michael Jackson is my role model. I like the feel of a large black man holding me from behind.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    I'm going to name my first butt baby Ellis. I'm Cesar and I am gay.

    June 2, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ellis

    I ate chorizo and two big eggs for breakfast.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JT

    f'ing trolls, find another story to hijack!

    I'm sick and tired of having to put up with these comments that have absolutely nothing to do with the articles. I really wanted to talk FIFA politics with someone, oh well.

    The main thing that angers me about this is that Sepp Blatter was re-elected... I'd rather have a corrupt president than an inept one. Scandal is not new to soccer at all, and to suggest that it has any impact on how people view it in the US is both naive and patronizing at the same time. Does corruption in college football drive us away from it? Absolutely not! Likewise nobody who likes soccer gives a rat's behind if there's corruption in FIFA – if anyone's been listening to us we said that way back when they gave the tournament to S. Africa – and now Russia and Qatar? I think even people who don't follow soccer had to question those decisions.

    June 2, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Me

    I agree JT. I can't wait for the day Blatter is gone.

    June 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mara

    No, I really don't think the majority of the US really cares. To most of us, soccer isn't a 'sport' per se. It's a childrens game made popular by helicopter parents worried that their frail non-athlete might get hurt playing baseball or football. A 'sport' in name only...kinda like track, or bowling. It's always puzzled me that the rest of the world seems to go bonkers for a schoolyard game.

    June 3, 2011 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
    • MaraIsNonsense

      Sport Defined: An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others.

      You sound like a typical ignorant American

      June 4, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. PassingThru

    Unfortunately, is doesn't matter what the US does in the world of futbol, its been with other nations around the world longer and they see the US as young and immature in the sport. Sadly, most Americans prefer sports with lots of stop time in the game. But, among younger ages, soccer is still the most popular sport. So, there is hope after all.

    June 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. PetPapado

    Egina mellos se ena oreo podosfairiko site – http://www.scorebet1x2.com. Exoune kathimerini enimerosi sxetika
    me ta podosfairika nea kai epikaira links gia diafora 'online' paixnidia, kai gia to stixima.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |