The Father of Detroit Professional Soccer on FIFA

Roger Faulkner talks about FIFA corruption and professional soccer.

Stephen Henderson talks with Roger Faulkner, the father of Detroit professional soccer, about FIFA.  Faulkner is the former General Partner and Executive Director of Detroit Express, a team in the former North American Soccer League.

They discuss the ongoing global FIFA corruption scandal, how and why the US is involved, and whether or not Major League Soccer has a future in Detroit.

  • Long-standing corruption.  Faulkner says FIFA officials have been corrupt and engaging in illegal bribery since the nineties.  He says that the organization has had no accountability and no transparency.   
  • International politics. Faulkner points out that this has become an international issue.  He says Russian president Vladimir Putin has argued that the United States has overstepped its jurisdiction by arresting and indicting FIFA officials.  International bribes also play a role.  Faulkner says South Africa paid Carribean countries $10 million to win the world cup nomination in 2010.
  • US DOJ indicting FIFA officials.  The United States Department of Justice has issued 47 indictments to FIFA officials.  Faulkner says that Attorney General Loretta Lynch has said there will be more indictments.
  • How much can the DOJ do?  Faulkner believes that the US is the country that has the ability to eliminate corruption in FIFA.  He says that the US Department of Justice will have help from Swiss police, advertisers such as Adidas, and European countries that oppose newly re-elected FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
  • Major League Soccer in Detroit? Faulkner thinks that there probably will not be an MLS team in Detroit in the near future because in order to qualify for MLS Detroit would have to have a large soccer stadium. 

Click the audio link above to hear the full conversation.