Wednesday's arrest of a handful of FIFA officials has been the culmination of years of accusations and investigations, many of which have been conducted by the U.S. After a three-year FBI investigation, the Department of Justice charged these FIFA officials with corruption related to racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering. One central figure in this mammoth case is U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who is only one month into her position, but you'd never guess that from the way she's been handling the FIFA controversy. Lynch's statement on the FIFA corruption charges will give you shivers in the best way.
Lynch was sworn in as Attorney General by Vice President Joe Biden exactly one month ago, but she's already showing her strength in delivering swift justice — which, according to Lynch, is a heavy dose of punishment. Lynch released the following statement on FIFA's charges:
The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States. It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks. And it has profoundly harmed a multitude of victims, from the youth leagues and developing countries that should benefit from the revenue generated by the commercial rights these organizations hold, to the fans at home and throughout the world whose support for the game makes those rights valuable.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you bring down the hammer.
If you're like me, then you totally got chills down your spine as you read this stirring statement. And here are the eight emotional stages that I — and probably you and anyone who's human — felt as Lynch came down hard on FIFA.
At first, I was pretty oblivious to FIFA's nefarious behavior, since, as John Oliver put it, most people know the organization as "that soccer video game you have."
But after I learned about the depth and scope of FIFA's corruption, I was pretty stunned by the revelations. I mean, Russia and Qatar? Really?
But I wasn't really all that invested until I read Lynch's statement, which eloquently sums up what FIFA has done and the consequences of its actions, particularly the line:
It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.
My anger turned into searing fury as I continued to read her statement, which notes that FIFA's actions have hurt people on every level:
And it has profoundly harmed a multitude of victims, from the youth leagues and developing countries that should benefit from the revenue generated by the commercial rights these organizations hold, to the fans at home and throughout the world whose support for the game makes those rights valuable.
This whole time, the popular perception was that the World Cup brought an economic windfall to whichever country was hosting it, lending the popularity of soccer an extra humanitarian aspect. But to find out that FIFA predominantly profited is just gross.
Now that this reality has set in, I am deeply disappointed in an organization that has betrayed the trust of so many fans around the world, who value the sport above almost everything else in life. FIFA has probably ruined their favorite pastime for them, and that's just not cool. It's like if I found out that the people behind Netflix have been involved in a massive 12-country drug ring. It'd be a moral dilemma every time I wanted to stream Malcolm in the Middle.
But amid the disappointment and shame that I now feel for FIFA, I also feel galvanized by Lynch's words to do something, whatever that is, to help the countries and fans who have been hurt by FIFA.
Ultimately, I'm walking away from all of this feeling pure awe for Lynch. If she handles all future cases the way she handled FIFA, then we should be in very safe hands. Because she basically just opened up a can of whoop-ass on them.