FIFA World Cup Fix!?

Corruption in FIFA has been a big story recently as they decided who would host both the 2018 and the 2022 world cups. Two people who had the right to vote had already been banned from taking part in the election as a result of corruption thanks to a story in the English Sunday Times newspaper. The BBC played a big role in another controversy. They have directly accused three senior FIFA officials and implicated another of accepting bribes from a marketing company. So far FIFA have denied the claims and at least one of the officials has threatened to sue the BBC over the allegations. The BBC’s detractors say that they are only raking over old stories from the 1990s which were already covered in a trial in Switzerland a couple of years ago. The BBC, on the other hand, says that their evidence would stand up in court and they had an obligation to make the story public. What could be more serious are the rumours and suggestions from within FIFA that the attitude of the British press would harm England’s chances of hosting the 2018 world cup. These rumours have only become stronger since the vote itself: England expected it to be a very close election but in the end only won two out of 22 votes. What do you think? Is this an example of corruption? Indeed, is a bit of corruption an inevitable – and acceptable – part of big organisations? Is it right that some people in FIFA could be accused of essentially attacking the freedom of the British press and England’s world cup bid because of this freedom? Or is it time for more transparency from this officially not-for-profit charity which actually makes millions of pounds a year? Glossary:

  1. to be banned means that you can’t do something or go somewhere anymore because you broke the rules or the law
  2. to accept a bribe is take money from somebody to do something illegal; bribery is the crime
  3. to deny is to say that an accusation is not true; the opposite is to admit
  4. a claim and an allegation are more neutral versions of an accusation where we still don’t know if it is true or false
  5. to threaten somebody is when somebody says they will do something negative to somebody else, for example somebody could threaten to hit you
  6. to sue is when you ask lawyers to prosecute, normally because of what somebody else has said or done
  7. a trial is when a legal case goes to court and lawyers prosecute and defend a case
  8. evidence is information which shows an accusation is true, like in CSI Miami, and a similar word is proof
  9. if evidence stands up in court this means it is clear and strong enough to be accepted as real proof of a crime
  10. rumours are the unofficial stories people tell when they gossip

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