Written by Will Parchman

infantino

Everything you love is expanding into the undefined margins of space. It is an inexorable truth that the march of humanity is – to borrow a Trumpian word – embiggening everything around us. From population size to fruit to waistlines.

Part of this is money. Part of it is access. A lot of it is both. And therein lies our current situation with the World Cup.

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Written by Will Parchman

Ben-Lederman

Madrid fell silent this week.

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Written by Will Parchman

gianni-infantino

One of the beautiful things about Sepp Blatter’s lengthy, controversial fiefdom over FIFA from a federation’s perspective is the lack of general culpability. You can’t be truly guilty of hitching your wagon to the wrong horse if everyone was guilty.

So in that sense, the fact that the USSF voted for Blatter in the past – before finally taking a stance against him at the contentious 2015 election Blatter “won” – tells us more about the direction of the prevailing wind than it does about the way U.S. Soccer was directing its gusts. For years, the U.S., like dozens of other federations, did not want to risk the ire of the Blatter-run FIFA that would accompany a turned vote. So vote it did.

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Written by Will Parchman

Extraordinary FIFA Executive Committee Meeting

Sepp Blatter is blaming America for things again.

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Written by Will Parchman

fatter

We’ve been hearing for weeks now about how bad United Passions is. FIFA’s self-styled unintentional mockumentary about its past, featuring dinosaur doctor Alan Grant and a terrifying amorphous blob named Gerard Depardieu, is awful. So bad, in fact, that even its reviewers couldn’t enjoy hate-watching its miserable moments of putridity.

Now, we have firm confirmation that at least in America, United Passions is the worst movie ever made. After the DOJ took down FIFA, American moviegoers took down FIFA. ‘Merica.

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Written by Will Parchman

John Oliver, he of The Daily Show and HBO’s Last Week Tonight fame, is a soccer fan. That’s good news for us, because it means he routinely shines his withering spotlight at the corrupt business of FIFA’s malfeasance.

Oliver’s feud with Jack Warner is undoubtedly his finest act so far. He aired an ad in Warner’s native country of Trinidad & Tobago pulling Warner’s corruption into the light, and Warner actually responded. To which Oliver responded again here. Got that?

Oliver upped the production ante with sparks and a couple belching spires of fire. If Warner comes back with dancing tigers, this beef is on.

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Written by Will Parchman

world-cup-germany-060715-620

The veil lifted on the Women’s World Cup to a fine, if stilted, display. Canada and China, two historically good women’s soccer teams, waged an even but typically grunty display in the opener. World Cup openers, after all, only happen in your back yard once a lifetime. Canada ended up 1-0 winners thanks to a generous (but not incorrect) penalty awarded in stoppage time. The some 53,000 fans there left pleased.

Later that afternoon, Group A rested in a good place after its first round of matches. The Netherlands had beaten New Zealand 1-0 on a world class effort from Lieke Martens. Close matches. Tense matches, all. Plenty to play for in the second round.

That was not, however, the tenor on Sunday. Group B was a bloodbath.

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Written by The 91st

blattnscat

Tuesday was, depending on your level of cynicism, a good day. Maybe even a great day. Sepp Blatter, just four days after spitting on the very idea of justice, stepped down after nearly 18 years heading FIFA. He’ll be in power through December, it seems, while FIFA scrambles to find a replacement. Whether that’s Prince Ali of Jordan, Michel Platini of France or someone else, we won’t know.

For now, revelry. Ruminations, jokes, thoughts and celebrations from around Twitter today. It was a good day.

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When justice loses

Written by Will Parchman

sepp

Sepp Blatter stood at the dais in front of thousands of his FIFA peers, hands firmly affixed to its sides, leaning in toward the crowd as a storm system moved across his watery eyes. He waited about 10 seconds before talking, as if acquiring targets and fixing his missile system.

Blatter did Friday exactly what we expected of him. He groveled, but with a practiced ease that makes pandering and pleading look like selling, like smug moralizing. His speech’s delivery meandered through one brushfire after another without ever touching the flames, without acknowledging that reforms he’d promised to enact the “second” he got back in office had not been touched in 2011, or 2007, or 2003, or 1999.

Sepp Blatter won the FIFA presidential election. Again. A fifth term. Sometimes justice doesn’t win.

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Written by Will Parchman

GTY_FIFA_150527_DG_16x9_992

The photo was one of those beautiful moments of convergence between things we know and things we suspected were true. A white sheet stretched across a road, indicted FIFA officials hurriedly scurrying behind it to escape the harsh glare of a public that suspected but couldn’t prove their guilt for years.

A simple sheet. But so much more.

On Wednesday, 14 were indicted for various charges of corruption, seven of whom were arrested in Zurich as the biggest names involved. So far, anyway. These are those seven.

Wednesday was a bombshell without parallel in the history of FIFA. These men are the ring wraiths themselves, jealously driven by power and greed until it put them into a waking grave. Amazingly, Sauron himself is not joining them. Yet, anyway. For now, Sepp Blatter is above reproach.

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