Blatter scandal just one of many in soccer

“I feel that football will always be corrupt,” said head soccer coach at University of North Carolina at Greensboro Justin Maullin. “Whether it be Europe, Africa, South America, etc. Then you look at our leaders, FIFA and yes, Blatter, that is why he resigned, votes were being bought. It is very sad.”

Over $150 million of misappropriated funds in question. Scandal after scandal under investigation. Sepp Blatter has left quite a legacy in the world of soccer.

Recently, FIFA President Sepp Blatter was accused of many felonious crimes including bribery, mismanagement and misappropriation of funds.

Blatter had been the FIFA President since 1998, until being banned on Oct. 8, 2015, and ultimately resigning. Since 1999, he has been under constant investigation for various crimes, each totaling up to millions of dollars. But Blatter did not act alone.

Union of European Football Association President and FIFA Vice President Michel Platini was also banned for 90 days after being accused of accepting a 2 million Swiss franc “disloyal payment” from Blatter.

“Absolute power corrupts,” said former United States men’s national soccer team goalkeeper Kurt Kuykendall to The Guilfordian. “Corruption of this degree is reserved for those at the very top of football.”

At least 14 other soccer officials have been indicted after Blatter’s most recent accusations. The term “corruption” is an understatement.

“I took a team to Dominica in the Caribbean,” said Kuykendall. “It became apparent to us that the Football Association administrators misappropriated FIFA funds also. The national team players and academies were not well taken care of …  I believe that there were zero licensed coaches on the island. All of the coaches were sincere and well intentioned offering their time to the kids. There just wasn’t any developmental blueprint.

“The FA and their representatives were not highly thought of by the local football community. Absolute power corrupts is absolutely accurate in this instance.”

Soccer is growing as a sport across the world, but that does not mean that it is flawless. Not only do the high-ranking officials seem to have an issue with fraud and misconduct, but teams, coaches and players do as well.

“Being from South Africa, I know all too well the crime and stealing that goes on,” said Maullin. “Look at Juventus a couple of years back, bribing the refs and ending up being caught and relegated.

“It’s also in our youth sports and college sports with the want to win, the pressure to win and then the money involved at these levels.”

The future of soccer is in the hands of some very high-up individuals, but can they be trusted? With Blatter out of the picture, along with countless other officials being indicted in the football world, maybe there is a glimpse of hope.

“It’s going to get better,” said senior at UNCG Matt Sage. “It can’t really get worse than it was. At the moment, people see FIFA as a corrupt organization. Once you get new reform and policies on World Cup bidding, hopefully the bribery and scandals will end.

“People just want to see transparency in the future of football.”