American lawyers are now calling most of the shots in the FIFA corruption scandal and will continue to do so until lameduck president Sepp Blatter leaves after the election in February.
The new power in Zurich is FIFA’s director of legal affairs Marco Villiger. He is effectively No 2 in the organisation behind deputy secretary general Markus Kattner following secretary general Jerome Valcke’s suspension last week in the latest FIFA scandal.
Villiger is being closely advised in what is a legal minefield for FIFA by US law firm Quinn Emanuel, Urguhart & Sullivan – one of the most prestigious, with prices to match.
Blatter also is now listening mainly to voices from across the Atlantic as the clock ticks on his FIFA tenure. Blatter’s chief advisor since FIFA went into meltdown with the mass arrests on May 27 is Richard Cullen, chairman of Virginia-based McGuireWoods and a former US federal prosecutor.
And Valcke has hired prominent New York defence attorney Barry Berke whom he will need more than ever after the allegations about his personal side-deals to net huge profits from tickets for Brazil 2014.
The rush for American legal expertise follows the US Department of Justice charging 14 football officials with fraud offences and the promise of more arrests to come from US Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who has staked her reputation on cleaning up world football’s rotten ruling body.

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