Ten days ago, when the FIFA scandal broke out, it took just a few hours to figure out what the US DOJ’s motive was. The answer was simple: stripping the 2018 (and 2022) World Cup hosts, i.e., Russia (and to a lesser extent Qatar), of their respective hosting venues, and long before the Blatter’s resigned we 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.
The next step in the US’s FIFA regime change was finally revealed after Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee, told a Swiss newspaper that Russia and Qatar could be stripped of their World Cup hosting rights if evidence emerges of bribery in the bidding process. From Reuters:
“If evidence should emerge that the awards to Qatar and Russia only came about thanks to bought votes, then the awards could be invalidated,” Scala told SonntagsZeitung in an interview published on Sunday.
“This evidence has not yet been brought forth.”
Of course both countries have denied wrongdoing in the conduct of their bids for the 2018 and 2022 events, which were not the subject of charges announced by U.S. prosecutors last week against FIFA officials.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he supported Qatar hosting the 2022 tournament. We can guess with near 99.9% certainty that Mr. Hammond does not support Russia hosting the 2018 tournament.