All the FIFA officials arrested before the elections in Zurich were Latin Americans from Central America and South America. Aside from their own corruption investigations, this has prompted both resentment and backlash in CONCACAF and the Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol/South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL).
The Wire gives the Latin American perspective on why the US and its allies targeted the Latin Americans in FIFA. «Why did they arrest officials only from our federations and that too in Switzerland? Why didn’t they approach our governments through Interpol? Is it because they knew that extradition from South America to US is impossible?» one of Brazil’s soccer/football official asks (ibid).
This account points to an organized effort to derail FIFA with a coup: «There was also anger about reports in the western media about the CBF chief Marco Polo Del Nero ‘fleeing’ Zurich for Brazil as he ‘feared’ arrest. In fact, when papers like the Guardian and New York Times were reporting Del Nero’s ‘escape’ from the FIFA meeting, the Brazilian official was still in Switzerland. ‘They brought all this pressure on us to force us to vote for Prince Ali. They have been lobbying with us for months. When they didn’t see it working, they conducted the raid followed by veiled threats to others that they could be arrested too. Some British and American journalists were part of this pressure tactic,’ the Brazilian official alleged» (ibid).
Rescinding the Selection of Russia as the Venue for World Cup 2018
What it comes down to is World Cup 2018 in Russia. The Latin American perspective is the following: «From the versions of the Zurich raid given by some South American officials, it appears that the FBI, Swiss police and a few western reporters hunted them together,» Saxena reports (ibid). He was also told by one FIFA delegate from South America that the US was trying to pressure the Latin Americans. «As the Asian and African vote was solidly behind Blatter, they wanted the votes from the Americas for Prince Ali. They were desperate to make the prince the new chief of FIFA as he could re-open the bids for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments,» testifies the Paraguayan official (ibid). «Since the UK and the US lost the 2018 and 2022 bids respectively, they have been working to somehow cancel the World Cups in Russia and Qatar. They haven’t accepted the fact that they lost the bids in a fair contest» the same official has explained (ibid).
Prince Ali, who is also the head of both the Jordanian Football Association and the West Asian Football Federation, was the candidate that Blatter’s opponents in the US and Britain had put forward to implement their agenda. The US, Britain, and the leadership of UEFA had for months been actively lobbying for Prince Ali against Sepp Blatter. True to his pedigree, like the other so-called «royals» of the Hashemite scion in Jordan, Prince Ali is a puppet or a «stooge» that represents US and British interests as one anonymous Brazilian official told Saxena in an interview (ibid).
The whole FIFA scandal is not about corruption or dignity. The whole affair is about geopolitics and managing the world. Joseph Blatter was forced to step down because FIFA refused to cancel its decision to allow Russia to host World Cup 2018 and to reopen the bids for hosting World Cup 2018 and World Cup 2022.