In early 2015, the US Attorney General almost single-handedly stormed the defences of FIFA, the world’s largest and most powerful sports organisation. What was required to bring to light the highly suspect conduct of various FIFA officials was for an unbiased woman to come off the bench. In May, Loretta Lynch had various high-ranking members of staff at football’s governing body arrested, precipitating the resignation of its scandal-beset president, Sepp Blatter.
The Red Bulletin presents Game Changers. The people, things and ideas that will change our lives in 2016.
Two of Lynch’s strengths when conducting this investigation have been her distance from the football world and her unshakeable willingness to tackle burning issues.
Back in her days as a prosecutor, she blew the lid off several human trafficking rings and took on corrupt Wall Street bankers and police. Her stance is axiomatic: “No individual is impervious to the law,” she says. “No corrupt organisation is beyond its reach.”
Lynch and her team are only at the beginning of their investigation. Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini have been suspended, but the process of reforming FIFA may prove problematic. The old powers-that-be won’t be willing to give up their authority easily. Quite a few more red cards will need to be handed out before FIFA regains the trust of football fans.