The Best Thing That Happened This Week: Loretta Lynch Took on FIFA

The U.S. (the U.S.!) decided to clean up soccer.

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Sepp Blatter at a reception for members of the FIFA in the Chanclery in Berlin in 2007. 360b /

He sounds like the abbreviation for a painful urological condition. Most Americans think she’s a country singer. That’s only part of why it was so improbable that new U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch took on president Sepp Blatter’s FIFA this week, indicting nine current and former high-ranking officials of international soccer’s governing body for dirty dealing and bribery. Blatter, who’s been with FIFA since 1975, is known worldwide as the most powerful man in sports; he wasn’t named in Wednesday’s indictments, and he was actually reelected to a fifth term on Friday, giving him the opportunity to say in a speech, “I am the president of everybody.”

Except Loretta.

What really made the indictments unlikely is that Americans don’t even like soccer. Oh, sure, we get mildly riled up for the World Cup (off which FIFA made $5 billion the last time around), now that our team is less embarrassing. And there are those crazy Sons of Ben who shoot off cannons for the Union down in Chester. Compared to the bloodthirsty fans in Europe and South America and Africa, though, we’re greenhorns. Rookies. Bantamweights.

But maybe you’d have to be new to think you could take down the titans of FIFA and the suitcases full of money that have been open secrets in the soccer world for so long. Spain wouldn’t do it. Nor would France, or Germany, or Brazil.

And Lynch says her investigation is only beginning. When you’re done with FIFA, Madame Attorney General, may we suggest you take a look at the NFL?