FIFA, for a variety of different reasons to do with bribing and other corruption schemes, hasn’t exactly been in the news for the best of reasons recently. But with the FBI’s investigation rumbling on and Sepp Blatter seemingly holding true to his promise to step down by early next year, preparations are being made within FIFA to aid that transition.



François Carrard, the former media director for the International Olympic Committee, is the man in charge of leading that reform process. Speaking to the Swiss newspaper La Matin Dimanche on Sunday, Carrard opened-up about the process and made some controversial comments along the way.

After calling some of the criticism leveraged against Sepp Blatter “unfair,” and claiming that soccer would die if not for FIFA, Carrard turned his attention to the 2002 Winter Olympics — another major event plagued by scandal.

Carrard was trying to describe how corruption festered in a tournament that occupied a more prominent role in American society than FIFA tournaments have in the past. Instead he made some pretty sweeping and alarming generalizations about the sport in the America:

“The IOC’s case was probably initially more serious than the case of FIFA. Because it was about the Olympic Games in the United States. It was Salt Lake City, it was corruption where it should never have existed: in the heart of Utah, among Mormons. Politically and legally, it was a shock. But for the US, football, soccer, does not have the same weight as baseball, basketball and American football. There, it’s just an ethnic sport for girls in schools.”