Culture, Science & Faith

Who Knew Bill Clinton Liked Soccer So Much?

The same people who donated to the Clinton Foundation were accused of racketeering, wire fraud and bribery

Dan Gilmore · May 28, 2015

The Department of Justice is coming down on FIFA like it’s the Mafia. As the officers for the international soccer organization met in a five-star hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, Swiss law enforcement acting at the request of the U.S. government moved in, arresting seven of FIFA’s top officials. The U.S. unveiled its indictment Wednesday, listing 47 charges against nine FIFA officials and five others, alleging that the group corrupted international soccer with racketeering, money laundering, wire fraud and bribery.

Acting U.S. Attorney Kelly Currie said in Justice’s statement, “After decades of what the indictment alleges to be brazen corruption, organized international soccer needs a new start … Let me be clear: this indictment is not the final chapter in our investigation.”

For the world of sports, it’s huge news that the U.S. is using its own laws to prosecute the governing organization of the world’s most popular sport. Yet underneath this epic of corruption is yet another example of the Clintons popping up in the wrong place at the wrong time — again.

FIFA was always rumored to be a corrupt organization. But the ire against the organization crystalized on Dec. 2, 2010. It was then when FIFA announced that the next two World Cups would be held in Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

Qatar was particularly unsuited for the international sporting event, as the summer temperatures hit 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Just imagine some of the world’s top athletes trying to play the game of their lives in that kind of weather.

To add insult to injury, the U.S. was also trying to convince FIFA to award the opportunity to host the 2022 World Cup here. That effort was led by none other than Bill Clinton.

As the honorary chairman of the U.S. bid, Clinton tapped celebrities like Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman to try to convince FIFA to give the U.S. Soccer Federation responsibility for the World Cup. The Australian newspaper, The Morning Herald, reported that everyone thought the decision would come down to Australia, Japan and the U.S.

But when FIFA announced Qatar, Clinton was enraged.

“Bill Clinton looked anything but happy as he strode into the Savoy Baur en Ville hotel in Zurich in December 2010. The receptionists could tell he was irritated, but had no idea just how angry he was.

"After closing the door to his suite, he reached for an ornament on a table and threw it at a wall mirror in a fit of rage, shattering the glass.”

As the Department of Justice alleges today, the unfair ruling was due to a couple well-placed millions. Clinton was feeling what it was like to get the bitter end of a deal made with bribes sweetened in someone else’s interest.

Ethically dubious organization, meet another. For years, Bill and Hillary Clinton structured their finances in what the Associated Press graciously called complicated. Not only did the Clintons funnel the millions they earned in speaking fees through their “nonprofit,” the Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton set up a company — WJC, LLC — that held no assets but through which money was routed to the former president. The amount of money that passed through the shell company is not known. This is just the most recent example of the Clintons’ murky, complicated and suspect financial deals.

It was through the Clinton’s financial channels that Bill Clinton appears to have been appeased of his anger toward FIFA. According to Clinton Foundation disclosures, FIFA donated between $50,000 and $100,000 to the Clintons several times. And the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, the organization wooing FIFA for the World Cup, gave the Clinton Foundation somewhere between $250,000 and $500,000. The government of Qatar directly gave the Clintons’ slush fund nonprofit millions of dollars.

Furthermore, right on its website, the Clinton Foundation lauds the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee for partnering with the Qatar National Food Security Programme to develop food security in the Middle East and to develop green infrastructure surrounding the World Cup.

The Clinton Foundation commended Qatar for its commitment to global change because Qatar’s soccer stadium “will build on their carbon-neutral stadium prototype, successfully built in 2010, that can be cooled in the environmental conditions of the Middle East with sustainable technology.”

That is the only bit of progressiveness that the soccer stadium can claim. The stadium itself is made by migrant workers who work under poor conditions. Qatar earned its infamous human rights record in part for its disregard for the wellbeing of its migrant workers. Since the 2022 World Cup location was announced, it’s estimated 1,200 migrant workers have died in the country.

And when the people responsible for such abuse of human rights choose to give to charity, they choose the Clinton Foundation. Then the Clinton Foundation accepts the money and writes nice things about them on its website. The Clintons don’t bring up how Qatar used bribes to unfairly leverage FIFA because calling them out on it would be like the pot calling the kettle black.

Meanwhile in Florida, Larry Klayman, the founder of Freedom Watch, filed a racketeering lawsuit against the Clinton Foundation in a Florida court. Seeing what kind of company the Clintons and their Foundation entertain, it certainly appears there is a case.

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