ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - Let's talk about soccer where something is rolling, and this time, thanks to the FBI, it's not only balls. One by one the once all-too-powerful FIFA leaders are getting arrested or end up striking deals with the investigators, promising to spill secrets of bribery and money laundering in exchange for shorter sentences. The latest, Alejandro Burzaco, the guy who controls all the South American TV rights and is wanted by the U.S., has given himself up in Italy.
There's been noise about taking the World Cup away from Russia and Qatar, but that's not going to happen. Though FIFA, now, says the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup has been delayed: with the clouds of corruption hovering up above, the international body is waiting for better weather conditions.
"Due to the situation, I think it's a nonsense to start any bidding process for the time being", said Jerome Valcke, FIFA secretary-general. The U.S., Mexico and Canada were expected to be among the bidders.
All this overshadows the beautiful game played by beautiful people. The Women's World Cup started great for the U.S. WNT and their 3-1 win over Australia. Defending champion Japan beat Switzerland 1-0. France defeated England 1-0 and Brazil celebrated a 2-0 victory over South Korea. The favorite, Germany, is drawing all the early attention, though, after a 10-nothing win over Ivory Coast.
It looks like the love of soccer brings fans and, sadly, crooks together. But one thing is for sure: those who broke the rules might have to watch behind bars.