7:23 p.m. (1723 GMT, 1:23 p.m. EDT)
A Kuwaiti sheikh who is set to join FIFA’s executive committee on Friday has criticized the “Hollywood-style” raid by Swiss police on the FIFA hotel in Zurich as part of a U.S. investigation into corruption.
Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, already a powerful Olympic powerbroker, questioned whether the American probe stems from the country losing out on the 2022 World Cup to Qatar and its tense relationship with 2018 host Russia over the Ukraine conflict.
“Is it because they (the U.S) want to kill FIFA? Is it because they (US) didn’t win the election?” Sheikh Ahmad told The Associated Press, referencing the 2010 vote on World Cup hosts. “Is it related to the Ukraine-Russian war? A lot of questions (are being) raised … maybe not a lot of people can say it.”
Sheikh Ahmad, who heads the Association of National Olympic Committees, endorsed Sepp Blatter to win a fifth term as FIFA president in the election on Friday.
“He is the best from the names we are seeing on the list of who is running for the leadership of this organization,” Sheikh Ahmad said. “He is the most qualified one to continue.””
Perhaps the Shiekh is afraid that the Arab nations habit of bribery will be exposed and he’s trying to divert attention. And perhaps the Shiekh doesn’t understand the American desire of corruption free sports, ones that go the highest bidder. America has a long history of rooting out corruption in sports and just as long a history of being passed over for an international sports event and NOT seeing to punish anyone for freedom of choice.
If the Sheikh doesn’t like honest competition, perhaps he needs to do something else with his time