/Sports of The Times: FIFA Charges Have Ring of Familiarity

Sports of The Times: FIFA Charges Have Ring of Familiarity


Holiday decorations outside the FIFA headquarters in Zurich.

Fabrice Coffrini/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The impertinence is so terribly uncouth.

There the FIFA dons lay in their beds in the deeply luxurious Baur au Lac in Zurich, digesting their splendid dinner from the Sonnenberg restaurant — the chef is reportedly Sepp Blatter’s favorite in the whole wide world.

They had passed the previous day dutifully talking the glum language of reform. Now, in tramped the Swiss police at 6 a.m. to haul away two of their worthies to face bribery indictments in the United States.

About 480 miles to the north, Sebastian Coe, president of the august International Association of Athletics Federations, track and field’s world governing body, was recovering from prickly questioning by British Parliamentarians. They asked about Russia, where athletes’ use of banned drugs is epidemic and apparently state sanctioned, and what he knew of his retired…

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