Wednesday’s high-profile US-Swiss raids against FIFA leaders set the football world, and by extension most of the world in general, astorm with controversy, and indications are that the arrests were timed to do the most harm to the governing body.
Already, we’re seeing a dramatic shift in focus for the FIFA conference, and the planned vote on suspending Israel for the mistreatment of Palestinian footballers seems almost certain to be delayed.
Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu is crowing about this, and bragged of telling FIFA president Sepp Blatter that a vote of the suspension of Israel would mean the destruction of FIFA outright.
The arrests also seem timed to greatly damage the international profile of the governing body with respect to events as well, with Russia playing host to the next World Cup. Though the US is denying any relation between that and the arrests, they spent much of the period around the Winter Olympics in Sochi harping about Russia, and would love nothing more than to undermine another major, Russia-based event.