ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - OCTOBER 30:  The sign of the FIFA headquarters during the FIFA Executive Committee announcement for the host venue of the FIFA Womens World Cup 2011, at the FIFA headquarters on October 30, 2007 in Zurich, Switzerland.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)

In perhaps the least surprising development since Tom Hicks' idiotic comments on the end of his Liverpool tenure, members of the FIFA executive committee, the body responsible for handing out the two World Cup bids for 2018 and 2022, have been caught offering to sell their votes.

Of course you're not shocked.  Why should you be?  This is FIFA we're talking about.

Word of the scandal may push back the bid announcement, scheduled for December 2nd; what this means for the US bid for 2022 isn't clear, though it's hard to imagine it will seriously affect American chances.  Despite the fact that The Sunday Times reporters chose to pose as American businessmen in the scheme to trap Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii (thanks for that, ya jerks), there is no connection to the US bid.  The bid most hurt is Australia, as Temarii had declared his support for former Oceania federation's candidacy.

Though there were few expectations of ethical behavior, the scandal is a PR hit for FIFA.  Nevertheless, Sepp Blatter will make some noise about being distraught over the allegations (oh wait, he already has), the ethics committee will speed though a "review", and the process will continue.  The losers will have a grievance, but since this is FIFA, those that played by the rules will have no one to blame but themselves.  Corruption is the way of FIFA world.

"The information in the article has created a very negative impact on Fifa and on the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 Fifa World Cups. Some current and former members of the executive committee are mentioned in the article," Blatter said.

"Fifa will open an in-depth investigation, which we will start immediately together with the Fifa ethics committee and the Fifa secretary general." - via The Telegraph

If we have a healthy cynical attitude about the bidding process, which was never going to be clean whether the US bid organizers "did the right thing" or not, and if we only care about another American World Cup, it's even somewhat defensible to say that a clean American bid isn't good enough.  Do what it takes, in other words, and take comfort in the fact shenanigans throughout the organization make it necessary.  If American bidders didn't want to have to dip their toes in the mud, they shouldn't have put their foot out in the first place.

Yes, that's a distasteful conclusion to draw.  But FIFA's corruption runs deep enough that a few dollars directed various places by Americans outside of the nominal rules are misdemeanors in a world fraught with felonies.  Adamu and Temarii aren't unique, Jack Warner is just the most visible and brazen of the transgressors, and Sepp Blatter's house is rotten to the core; playing the angel would only serve to make the United States the cleanest of the also-rans.  Unless US Soccer entered the process to make a point that will ultimately change nothing, the whole thing has been a waste of time.

England is worried that because the sting operation was conducted by a domestic paper, their bid will suffer.  Chuck Blazer doesn't think so, nor does the one American on the FIFA executive committee think the decision should be postponed.

"I do not think there is anything wrong with the voting procedure. We have come to expect it to be carried out morally and ethically based on good judgment and on what has been presented by a bidding committee." - via Reuters

"I'm disappointed with what I have read but you can't say the system is bad. They have created a scam, a trap, tempting people to do something wrong and it's up to the Fifa ethics committee to make their recommendation." - via The Telegraph

Good old Chuck. Backing FIFA to the hilt and defending a notoriously corrupt process that makes IOC shenanigans look like a church bake sale.  And why wouldn't he?  FIFA lets Chuck travel the world, a life he so kindly shares with the rest of us through his blog, "Travels with Chuck Blazer..."

There is nothing surprising about the FIFA vote-selling scandal, and while it would be nice to see world soccer's governing body cleaned up to the benefit of the game, it's not going to happen soon and it's not going to happen in time to put the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process on the up and up.  That being the case, it all comes down to winning, rules be damned.

When in Rome Zurich...
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