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The only surprise about the arrest of seven FIFA officials in a Swiss hotel in the early morning of May 27 is that it happened at all.Whatever rumors flew or reports were made on bribes, kickbacks, vote-rigging, and other dodgy practices, FIFA President Joseph "Sepp" Blatter and his colleagues and associates always seemed to emerge without a scratch.So far, 14 men, including nine current or former FIFA executives (but not Blatter), have been charged with a range of fraud and corruption offenses in the United States, where prosecutors accuse them, among other things, of pocketing $150 million in bribes and kickbacks. FIFA is just the richest, most powerful, most global milk cow of all.One could, of course, choose to see FIFA as a dysfunctional organization, rather than a criminal enterprise.In the case of Qatar, this meant the right to stage the World Cup in an utterly unsuitable climate, in stadiums hastily built under terrible conditions by underpaid foreign workers with few rights.Pandering to authoritarian regimes and opaque business interests is not a wholesome enterprise.This is the most irritating aspect of Blatter's FIFA.If the sorry story of FIFA is any indication, we can be sure that, whatever forms government might take, money still rules.
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