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Football in the Caribbean: Turning a blind eye

ON MAY 27th an early-dawn raid at a posh Swiss hotel brought nine bigwigs from FIFA, football’s international governing body, into custody for allegations of corruption. After years when the game’s leaders managed to avoid any consequences for their unsavoury mismanagement, fans around the world cheered the round-up as a first step towards cleaning up the sport. But the American indictment that put these seemingly untouchable fat cats in the dock had nothing to do with FIFA’s best-known dirty laundry, such as the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Instead, it focused entirely on wrongdoing by officials in the Americas, and in particular on CONCACAF, one of the relative weaklings among FIFA’s six constituent continental federations, which includes North and Central America and the Caribbean. The two biggest fish, Jeffrey Webb and Austin “Jack” Warner (pictured)—the current CONCACAF president and his predecessor—hail from two of the smallest countries in the world, the Cayman Islands and Trinidad and Tobago.Given CONCACAF’s relatively modest stature, the American prosecutors’ focus on the federation is striking. They say that further investigations are still underway, and it would be no surprise if they subsequently reveal additional targets—though any FIFA officials with skeletons in their closets who escaped the first round of arrests will now presumably take …