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FIFA Scandal: Why the US is Policing a Global Game

A man walks next to the FIFA logo at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday morning, May 27, 2015. Swiss federal prosecutors say they have opened criminal proceedings related to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The prosecutors' office says the proceedings are against "persons unknown on suspicion of criminal mismanagement and of money laundering" in connection with the votes won by Russia and Qatar. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP)
A man walks next to the FIFA logo at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday morning, May 27, 2015. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP)

(BBC) – America does not even like football, or so many people think. Why is it leading the charge against alleged FIFA corruption?

At dawn, Swiss police rounded up seven FIFA officials at the behest of US authorities who have conducted a massive investigation into corruption at football’s governing body.

So how did a country where football is more niche than entrenched come to police the world’s beautiful game?

“Too many countries are cowed by FIFA,” said Alexandra Wrage, a former FIFA anti-bribery adviser who resigned in protest from the organization.

“As with international bribery more generally, the US Department of Justice has said they’ll step up to investigate corruption if others won’t,” she said.

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