In a report from The Sunday Times in England, an investigation conducted by them discovered that three members of the FIFA Executive Committee including US Soccer President Sunil Gulati, Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan and Moya Dodd of Australia refused $25,000 watches from FIFA sponsor Parmigiani during the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The three Committee members reported the unethical interaction to FIFA even though everyone else on the Committee, including FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini, accepted their gift. According to Heidi Blake of The Sunday Times, they now have to return the watches.
This is the $25k Parmigiani watch Blatter & 26 Fifa execs got in Brazil against rules. Worth risking your job for? pic.twitter.com/ha4YAPb03Z
— Heidi Blake (@heidiblakeST) September 13, 2014
This hasn’t been a good week for sports. Domestic violence, child abuse, drug use, murder trials and now bribery has dominated the sports landscape for the past week. We have known for a long time now that Blatter, Platini and many others in FIFA are corrupt lowlifes and we kind of get immune to stories involving those kind of people taking gifts and just generally doing the wrong thing because we hear it all the time. I’m just glad that there are at least three people in FIFA who are noble and who still have things like integrity and ethics. They may not get credit where credit is due from within FIFA and I highly doubt this will get too much publicity in the US when compared to other very serious issues in the sports world but the three Executive Committee members should be commended by any and every soccer fan in the world for doing the right thing. I know it’s sad that we have to celebrate when a few people do the right thing but that’s the world we live in.