Defiance of Washington costs Blatter’s post

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-6-4 0:03:02

FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced Tuesday his resignation, just four days after being re-elected for a fifth term. The 79-year-old Swiss, who has governed FIFA for 17 years, is now under FBI investigation, according to reports. "While I have a mandate from the membership of FIFA, I do not feel that I have a mandate from the entire world of football," Blatter said as he announced he will step down from his role.

US investigators accused the South African Football Association of directing a $10 million bribe to a group of FIFA officials, including secretary general Jérôme Valcke, with evidence that the global soccer organization has been embroiled in a corruption scandal. Several FIFA officials were arrested in Switzerland last week and are facing extradition to the US. This was widely interpreted as a clear-cut signal Washington sent to Blatter that he shouldn't be elected to another term. In defiance of the message, Blatter bluntly lashed out at the US, suggesting that the US Department of Justice should only act within US jurisdiction. 

It's an open secret that Washington doesn't like Blatter. Russia and Qatar respectively won the races to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups while England and the US failed in the bids. Given Blatter's proximity to Russian President Vladimir Putin, FIFA was rarely heard in the surge of Western criticism against Russia.

The resignation of Blatter and the investigation into him reminds people of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss Kahn, who was also universally deemed as unwelcome to the US. Kahn was charged with sexually assaulting and attempting to rape a maid in a New York hotel. But the US prosecutors declared his acquittal after he was removed from the post of IMF chief. As they often do not coincide with opinion with Washington, former UN secretary general Boutros Boutros-Ghali failed to be re-elected due to a US veto, and Kofi Annan was once forced to the edge of the cliff because of a charge the US lodged against his son.

The US is adept at legalizing political issues. Viewing its domestic law as "international law," the US carries out "selective law enforcement" on the international stage based on its own interests. It could be true that FIFA is corrupt, like many other international institutions, however, the scandals' exposure happens to serve the interest of the US each time. It seems that whether the problems are to be investigated, it depends on Washington's will.

The US has never had a plan to fight corruption on a global scale. Rulers of some of the most corrupt nations in the world have been chosen by Washington as close friends. The occasional tough crackdown on corruption looks like Uncle Sam's selective strike for a specific purpose. Those who don't plan to be a friend of the US have to make sure they have a clean record. This seems to be the game rule of today's world.
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