Perhaps no human endeavor inspires the turning of more conspiratorial gears than professional sports. From Michael Jordan’s eyebrow-raising first retirement to Sonny Liston’s suspicious fall against Muhammed Ali to Curt Schilling’s bloody sock, the quest to identify corrupting forces is a sport unto itself.
Of course, when it comes to the world’s most popular game, the Internet is practically one enormous smoke-filled room. Last week’s arrest of several FIFA officials and executives, which preceded the surreally tidy reelection of FIFA head Sepp Blatter, appeared to be unimpeachable proof of true sports wickedness—corruption, graft, shadowy dealings, thrown bidding processes—the very salt and meat of evil connivances.
What could trump this kind of malfeasance? According to the anti-American conspiracy theorists, the indictments themselves are the real scandal. Russia was among the first to cry foul. “We know the pressure that was exerted on [Blatter] with the aim of banning the 2018 World Cup in Russia,"said Russian President Vladimir Putin, who blamed the United States for “persecuting” the FIFA chief.
On Sunday, Blatter’s daughter Corrine chimed in to call out the “dark forces” responsible for the plot against her father. "I wouldn't say from the Americans and the British, but certainly people working behind the scenes, yes absolutely,” she said.