Monday musings is a weekly series, you can find the other entries here.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” – Lord Acton 1887

FIFA had been the subject of numerous inquests — most recently involving Sepp Blatter and a multitude of additional staffers. In 2015, Swiss authorities arrested 7 and US authorities arrested 39 more after bribes were found for marketing deals, World Cup placements, and other major actions. In light of these arrests and prosecutions FIFA made wholesale changes and promises of transparency and fairness… but it turns out that lasted but a few months…

Several high-profile clubs were reportedly able to ignore gross violations of financial fair play rules. Smaller clubs that violated these tenets were banned from continental competition. Turns out that if you’re rich enough, the rules don’t apply. Gianni Infantino is supposedly responsible for allowing (and even hindering the investigations of FIFA) gross abuses for Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

However, this is only the beginning of the revelations for this round of corruption in soccer. A new version of continental soccer was proposed with Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Chelsea, Arsenal, PSG, Manchester City, Liverpool and AC Milan would be the “Founders” with Atlético Madrid, Olimpique de Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and AS Roma as the “Initial Guests”. So far only Bayern Munich is specifically referenced as having look into withdrawing from the local national league and possibly prohibiting its players from partaking in the German National Team duties.

This sounds a lot like the beginning of an American sports model in Europe. One in which teams buy into a concept that is supposed to bring the best and brightest — while often it brings only money and prestige. Every American can point out at least a few teams strung along for years in painful agony while they are haplessly beaten while the teams with better prospects continue to succeed. Sometimes these teams make a comeback, but more often they don’t. The one thing they get from consistent humiliation and last place finishing — money. One of the things that has made European sports (soccer/football especially) is that anyone can win.

Last Update: November 2nd, 2018

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