Saturday, October 17, 2015

2006 Was a Long Time Ago

About three months ago, this FIFA (the international crowd who runs the soccer business and the World Cup) got into the news over corruption.  There were comments at the time that Germany paid to have the 2006 World Cup in Germany.  Well.....this past week, the comments were laid out and mostly proven.

To be honest, no one much is shocked over this except the journalists who are writing the stories.

Naturally, all of this required slush funds and what the public, or the news media wants to know....who had the slush funds and where did it come from?  This might also open up tax issues because the money had to come from some invisible pocket....likely outside of Germany and this could mean jail-time if some guy shows up in the middle with a donation to the slush fund of ten million Euro. Then you'd wonder....what the slush fund guy got in return?

But all of this opens up other doors.

For example....for 2002, did Japan and South Korea pay off someone for the World Cup?  For 1998, did France pay off someone for the World Cup?  For 1994, did the US pay off someone for the World Cup?  In 1990, did Italy pay someone off for the World Cup?  You might even go back to 1954 and ask if Switzerland paid off someone for the World Cup?

Another question...once Germany got the World Cup.....did other people then get into the bribing business and pay millions to get their piece of the 2006 German World Cup?  For example, how did Kaiserslautern get into the mix of cities for at least three games?  Did someone there throw more cash at the German soccer authority?  Once they got the games promised....political figures in the community went after tons of cash from the state and federal government for local enhancements.  Was some bribery going on even at the local level?

I don't think many Germans care.  They didn't win the 2006 World Cup.....they simply enjoyed the experience.  I was there, and admit....Kaiserslautern was actually booming for one short month, with tourism and revenue income.

Sadly, thousands of man-hours will be poured into an investigation over something that occurred fifteen years ago (the bribes, not the games).  Some big German names in soccer will quietly exit the country and leave their legendary status on the floor in shambles.  Some people will ask if Russia or Qatar paid bribes, and the natural tendency is to believe there is some type of bribe deal that worked for each.

As for fixing all of this?  How?  The minute that you open up some door for a billion-Euro experience for some country.....there's competition and people will resort to bribes.

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