[guest post by JVW]
Note: Please forgive my crude interruption of the Weekend Open Thread, but I love this story so much that can’t help but report it in its own post.
European Union Vice-President Eva Kaili has been arrested by Belgian authorities in connection with corruption stemming from Qatar’s successful bid for this year’s World Cup. Authorities have been investigating allegations of payoffs to prominent politicians in return for support for the first ever World Cup held on the Arabian Peninsula, and today Ms. Kaili was pinched along with four unnamed Italians, one of whom is alleged to be a former Member of the European Parliament.
Nobody with any sense has ever believed that the Qatari bid for the quadrennial soccer tournament was on the up-and-up, and now that the tournament is reaching the semi-final stage it’s safe to acknowledge all of the dirty money flowing from Doha. A few years back I characterized FIFA, soccer’s governing body, as a collection of “sleazy bankers, corrupt lawyers, and assorted louche princes and counts from defunct royal courts,” and it’s only natural that they would form alliances with grifting politicians.
Despite what must be an embarrassment to FIFA, the Qatari organizing committee, and the EU — Oh, whom I am kidding? None of those reprobates are capable of embarrassment — and despite the fact that I am delightfully wallowing in the tidbit that Ms. Kaili is a member of the Greek Socialist Party, I still hope to see her beat the rap. Why do I feel this way? Just take a look at her:
I still hold to my controversial belief that beautiful people are above the law, and there’s no telling me otherwise.