FIFA World Cup gets red-carded by John Oliver for the death, slavery, and bribery things.
All the deep, deep trouble FIFA has been getting into — explained.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced June 2, 2015, that he will resign, just days after being reelected. In his resignation speech, Blatter called for a new election, which may not take place for several months.
Let's be honest, though, the real question is whether or not John Oliver will actually make good on his promises (see below) to FIFA's sponsors on next Sunday's "Last Week Tonight."
UPDATE 6/1/2015: John Oliver offers to help FIFA's sponsors if they help get rid of FIFA President Sepp Blatter.
Scroll down below the first video to see the original story.
A FIFA representative used an article from the satirical newspaper The Onion to defend himself from corruption charges. For reals. (You can see at 4:41.)
John Oliver explains how FIFA is hurting women players by making them play on artificial turf, causing horrific bruising and scars from sliding around on plastic. (6:41)
And, most importantly, you should see what John is offering to do for FIFA's sponsors if they help get rid of FIFA President Sepp Blatter, the man at the top, who has yet to be charged with anything. (11:40)
Here's the video update:
Now back to our original story.
Everyone has a thing they are too obsessed with.
For John Oliver and a lot of other people, it's soccer.
Some bad news just hit FIFA, the international governing body of the World Cup. The U.S. Justice Department has just announced that nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives have been indicted for racketeering conspiracy and corruption.
Want to know what makes FIFA so awful? I'll let John explain.
Here's his rant from before the World Cup in 2014 about how truly corrupt they are.
Why is it a bad idea to let FIFA come to your country?
They use slave labor, they take all the money from the host country, they are shielded from taxes and laws, and they are basically horrible. Here are reasons why you shouldn't let them come to your country.
1. FIFA doesn't pay taxes.
You'd think bringing a major sporting event to your city would bring in lots of money. But that's not the case when FIFA is involved. FIFA strong-arms cities into exempting them from all taxes. All of them. In 2014, Brazil missed out on $250 million in tax revenue.
2. FIFA can force law changes in countries to appease sponsors — laws that save lives.
Brazil passed a law 13 years ago banning alcohol sales at soccer games. Why? Because they lead the world in deaths at soccer games. Between 1988 and 2013, there were 234 soccer fan-related deaths. 30 in 2013 alone. Seriously. That's without alcohol in the stadiums.
FIFA has a sponsor you may have heard of: Budweiser. When the World Cup came to Brazil, Budweiser wanted to make money. They forced Brazil to repeal the law during the World Cup. So...
3. FIFA forces countries to let it create its own court system.
When South Africa hosted the World Cup, they had to cede jurisdiction to FIFA.
That court system then did this:
4. FIFA chose Qatar for the 2022 World Cup — where temperatures can reach 122° F.
Not only does FIFA not particularly care about the fans or the people working to build the stadium (more on that in a second), but FIFA apparently doesn't care about the players either. Playing soccer in 122° temperatures is basically asking the teams to be cooked alive in front of an international audience of millions.
To give you perspective on how hot that is, here's what it's doing in India's heat wave right now.
After months of unsurprising horribly negative reaction to that idea, FIFA agreed to move the World Cup to wintertime in Qatar, when temperatures only reach 84° F. So classy of them.
5. Qatar's human rights record is atrocious. Workers are basically enslaved, and many die.
The Washington Post's WonkBlog reports that the slave labor conditions in Qatar's migrant workforce are appalling, pointing to a report by the Qatari government of 964 deaths of migrant workers from India, Nepal, and Bangladesh in 2012 and 2013. This figure is not the number of deaths directly related to World Cup construction — and the Post notes that "there could be hundreds of deaths even without a World Cup." But the International Trade Union Confederation still estimates that if the number of migrant worker deaths continue there at current trends, an estimated 4,000 migrant workers will have died by time the match is held in 2022 — surely a fair number of which were drawn there for the World Cup construction opportunities.
6. BONUS: FIFA has a cartoonishly evil headquarters conference room.
You can't make this up. They really did this. This is an actual thing. It's TOTALLY REAL.
It's too ridiculous to be true. But it is. Which is why, obviously, the head of FIFA is refusing to step down as more and more corruption and bribery comes to light.
Yet millions of soccer fans around the world still can't quit FIFA. Which is why we need to hold them accountable.
Correction 8/31/2015: A previous version relayed an incorrect figure from The Washington Post that had said over 1,200 people had already died working to build the World Cup venues in Qatar. As noted in the revised text and Washington Post correction linked above, that figure had misleadingly included all causes of death for migrant workers in Qatar. Conflicting reports have made it unverifiable how many migrant deaths, if any, are related directly to World Cup construction.