Following yesterday's political intervention by the US in which 14 FIFA affiliates were perp-walked out of Zurich's swankiest hotel just days ahead of Sepp Blatter's re-election, one person was quite displeased with this latest US intervention on the international arena: Russian president Vladimir Putin who accused the United States of meddling outside its jurisdiction by arresting officials from FIFA, further hinting that it was part of an attempt to take the 2018 World Cup away from his country.
As a reminder, Russia won the right to stage the 2018 World Cup during 2010 under Blatter's governance. The award is now the subject of a Swiss criminal investigation.
As a further reminder, epic corruption at FIFA, as well as every other global institution, from the Clinton foundation to the global capital markets, to US Congress, has been firmly established and well known to everyone for years, if not decades. And yet, the rigged system has worked well enough that nobody dared to touch it.
That is until US AG Loretta Lynch decided it was time to take matters into American hands. This, in turn, raised Putin's blood pressure as the Russian understands what the true purpose of this latest US intervention was.
According to Putin, the DOJ indictment which led to the arrest of over a dozen individuals on massive corruption charges "is yet another blatant attempt [by the US] to extend its jurisdiction to other states."
Putin added that the arrests were a “clear attempt” to prevent the re-election of Sepp Blatter as Fifa president and that the Swiss had Russia’s backing.
Vladimir Putin, right, with Sepp Blatter.
"It looks very strange, the arrests are carried out on the request of the USA side,” he said. “They are accused of corruption – who is? International officials. I suppose that someone broke some rules, I don’t know. But definitely, it’s got nothing to do with the USA. Those officials are not US citizens. If something happened it was not in the US and it’s nothing to do with them."
“It’s another clear attempt by the USA to spread its jurisdiction to other states. And I have no doubt – it’s a clear attempt not to allow Mr Blatter to be re-elected as president of Fifa, which is a great violation of the operating principles of international organizations. The US prosecutor, as our media report, has already said that those Fifa officials have committed a crime. As if the prosecutor didn’t know about the principle of the presumption of innocence.”
What is just as ironic is that the one reason the US determined it has jurisdiction over the case is only because FIFA's corrupt officials had used US banks as intermediaries to funnel and otherwise launder bribes and other flows of funds. The same criminal banks which the Department of Justice busted just a week earlier for rigging the FX market.
How many people were arrested in the DOJ's crackdown on criminal US banks? 0.
How many people are arrested as part of the DOJ's crackdown on FIFA: 14.
One can start to sense an agenda in play.
Quoted by the Guardian, citing the former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, both of whom have evaded prosecution in the United States by hiding abroad, Putin questioned Washington’s right to request the Fifa officials’ extradition from Switzerland.
“Unfortunately, our American partners use such methods to achieve their selfish aims and illegally persecute people. I do not rule out that in the case of Fifa, it’s exactly the same,” Putin said.
What happens next? Sepp Blatter's reelection this coming Friday, which until yesterday had been guaranteed, is now virtually assured to fail as Putin's frontman at FIFA is shown the door.
What else likely happens? Following some dramatic procedural changes, Russia loses the hosting of the 2018 World Cup.
One thing that is certain not to happen: Qatar will keep the 2022 World Cup venue. Why? Because as we showed yesterday, the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee had donated between $250,001 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation. And that is all it takes to buy the silence of the US DO"J".