FIFA: “Use of an American bank”

The federal government is bringing charges against the leadership of FIFA, the international soccer association, and Switzerland has arrested them in accord with American wishes. But are the jurisdiction of U.S. courts and U.S. criminal law really proper for this alleged international wrongdoing? David Post:

…ask yourself: if you think that the “use of an American bank” is a sufficient basis for the exercise of US jurisdiction over foreign nationals residing and conducting business abroad, then presumably you’re OK with being hauled into court in Singapore because you have used, say, a Singaporean bank, or into a Mexican court because your money found its way to a Mexican mortgage broker, or into a Danish court because you have at times used a Danish Internet Service Provider. Yes? When you look at it that way it becomes a little more difficult to applaud wholeheartedly – shouldn’t we have been able to count on the Swiss, within whose jurisdiction FIFA undoubtedly lies, to do something?


  • I’m absolutely certain this has NOTHING to do with the US not getting the World Cup.

  • I don’t know. If the head of FIFA had hacked into IRS computers and stolen money, then would you have the same beef about jurisdiction?

    The objection in this post sounds to me like a way for the rich and powerful to have another way not to be prosecuted for their misdeeds.

    If you abuse infrastructure in a foreign country, does that mean you committed a crime “in” that country? I’m sympathetic to the difficulty of the question but in the end my answer is “yes”.

    I’d also like to say congratulations to the United States, the only country brave enough to pursue this kind of prosecution. The Olympics should be next.

  • More about the US Justice Department setting a precedent that they can file charges against anyone they want, any time they want; even if they don’t have jurisdiction.

    Coca Cola, Visa, Nike, etc make money no matter where the World Cup is. Anheuser Busch might lose some money in Qatar, though.

  • Pax Americana

  • Universal jurisdiction is implied by a transcendant cause, n’est-ce-pas?

  • Re grunt doc ‘s comment, I believe I read the investigation actually started way back in the 90s. Maybe the impetus to investigate their sleazy dealings started on the heels of USA ’94.