In June 2014, John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight dedicated a segment to FIFA and its president (and supervillain) Sepp Blatter. Following a week where FIFA officials were arrested on corruption charges and Blatter was easily re-elected to his post, Oliver revisited the topic to update viewers on the current state of FIFA as well as the only hope soccer (or football) fans have of dethroning Blatter.
“I’m don’t know what I’m more surprised by: That FIFA officials were actually arrested, or that America was behind it,” Oliver said of the investigation that netted widespread arrests. “It took the country who cares the least about football to bring down the people who have been ruining it. That’s like finding out that Kesha arrested a group of bankers involved in commodities fraud.”
Oliver zeroes in on two allegedly corrupt FIFA officials named Chuck Blazer and Jack Warner. The former, who previously served as general secretary of CONCACAF, infamously rented a luxurious Trump Tower apartment in New York just for his cats. And the latter, formerly FIFA’s vice president, couldn’t tell the difference between reality and the satirical site The Onion, which posted a (fake) story about a 2015 World Cup in the United States. “It says something about how corrupt FIFA is that one of their ex-vice presidents could look at the story and think ‘Yeah, that sounds like something they might do,'” Oliver said.
However, despite the arrests, Blatter was still re-elected to a fifth term as FIFA president, ensuring that his controversial, bribe-filled reign over the sport would continue. “The problem is, all the arrests in the world are gonna change nothing as long as Blatter is still there, because to truly kill a snake, you must cut off its head, or in this case, its asshole,” Oliver says. “If America keeps driving this investigation and actually finds something to indict him, I don’t think you understand how much that would mean to everyone on Earth. The whole world’s opinion of America would change overnight.”
Oliver makes a final plea to the lone group that can unseat Blatter from atop FIFA, the one entity that is even more powerful than our world governments: The World Cup’s sponsors, like Adidas, Budweiser and McDonald’s. If those corporations can dislodge Blatter from FIFA’s throne, Oliver agrees to do anything they want, even eat everything on the McDonald’s dollar menu.
Watch Oliver’s original June 2014 segment on FIFA below: