The scandal enveloping Fifa should have come of no great surprise...Football fans and pundits have long known about slush funds and payola. But it was tolerated, a reason why Sepp Blatter has been elected its head five successive times.
There never before has been a revolt about such policies allowing Blatter & Co. thinking they could ride the gravy train forever on the back of million pound bribes.
What this long-in-coming scandal will also reveal to the public is the business of sport is bigger than the sports themselves. For decades ticket revenues have been far outpaced by TV rights, sponsorships and simple advertising. It may signal the only way change will truly come is through a new football governing body.
Yet, going with little notice is the fact that America brought the charges only a few days before Fifa's annual meeting and election. Oddly, this also comes after the US lost out to Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.
It wouldn't be surprising if this was orchestrated not to just shock Fifa but to eventually have Qatar lose the tournament, handing 2022 to second place America. Losing its bid was a bitter pill for the US. America has a good record hosting the World Cup. Its 1994 games were a smashing success. Yet having Qatar, a small and wealthy Arab emirate, but with 45plus degree summer temperatures the norm, getting the games was mind boggling.
But much more than this, more than 1,000 immigrant labourers have perished so far building the desert venue from scratch. This alone has caused an outcry and a separate published investigation into its bid, something that was hushed up and shelved by Fifa. Now the Swiss have also launched a probe on the bids for the planned 2018 Russian and 2022 Qatar tournaments. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-27/qatar-200-billion-world-cup-under-more-scrutiny-amid-fifa-probe
America levelling charges and demanding arrests is also significant because, unlike some European nations, when it comes out so openly about what it regards as organized crime, it won't rest until people high or low in Fifa face justice. As some officials say, "This is only the beginning."
The big question for international football, the players and clubs: Will Fifa, as Blatter says, return to business as usual? How can an idealized sport, where players face bans for slight infractions of rules or disgraceful public conduct, operate business as usual when their 'uber guvnor' is either bent or incompetent?
In the wake of Blatter's re-election and his omnipotence amidst the ongoing Fifa scandals, there a justification for national football associations to form a new international body. Such a schism if composed of most of the game's top teams, would eventually gather more recruits and either replace Fifa or more probably become Fifa Mark II.