If you are a soccer fanatic, then the summer time is your prime sports viewing time. From international matches to league championships, it really is an exciting time for the soccer world.
The past month has been dedicated to the Women’s World Cup where, like the men the year prior, women from all over the world have come together in Canada to see who’s the best.
One team has been dominating play since the qualification rounds a year ago and has played their hearts out for the chance to have their revenge from the previous World Cup. That team is the U.S.A.
Flashback to four years ago, and the women of team USA were in the final moments of a game that had been tied long enough that it fell to penalties kicks. Despite their hard work and best efforts, they fell to Japan.
They moved on and returned this year to face Japan in what was set to be the grudge match of the century. Yet they are not alone.
In recent matches, the men’s team has traveled to Europe and defeated the Netherlands and Germany—both finalists in the recent World Cup—on their home turf.
It seems that now is a good time to be an American on the field. We are winning on such a larger scale that, at one point, I was able to sit in a sports bar and witness the entire crowd erupt in cheers and chants over the recent women’s team victory. Good old-fashioned American pride found a new hero in soccer.
Yet the heroics aren’t just on the field. They are also in the courts, and I don’t mean athletic ones.
On May 28, the U.S. Department of Justice in conjunction with Interpol arrested nine members of the current governing body of FIFA, the international federation that regulates soccer in the world, as well as five former governing members. The members were indicted on 46 different charges for crimes ranging from money laundering to racketeering. The arrested leaders of FIFA are charged with over $150 million worth of embezzlement.
This case has taken over two decades to investigate. With such a deep-set patronage for many of the countries that are a part of FIFA, it may take that long just to fix the damage that has been done.
In response to the charges, the re-elected president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, denied the accusations and stated that the charges came from the US as payback for losing the 2022 World Cup bid to Qatar. A week after that statement, he resigned.
What has both shocked and shaken up the world of professional soccer is not a surprise for Americans. From Pete Rose to the recent Deflategate scandal, Americans believe in the idea that sports need to be fair and just for all players and fans.
Justice and integrity from the land of the free and the home of the brave—I like the sound of that. As a soccer fan, we sure could us a few more bold and brave people in the soccer world and fewer of the con artists and the cheaters. This weekend especially, I am proud to be an American and a fan of soccer.
Oh, and in case you didn’t see it, the women of the US scored four goals in the first 15 minutes of their World Cup final match before beating Japan 5-2. God bless America.