Skip to navigationSkip to content

Video: John Oliver hands FIFA the thorough beatdown it deserves

John Oliver FIFA
HBO/YouTube screenshot
If only John Oliver were in charge of world soccer.
  • Adam Epstein
By Adam Epstein

Entertainment reporter

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Following the arrests of several high-ranking FIFA officials on corruption charges, the world awaited John Oliver’s response. Oliver, a UK comedian transplanted to the US and a huge fan of football, had previously launched a pithy diatribe against international soccer’s governing body on his HBO show Last Week Tonight before the World Cup last summer (video).

But this time around, he’s even angrier, and for good reason.

Much of Oliver’s ire is directed at FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who has so far escaped prosecution and was recently elected to a fifth consecutive four-year term as the head of FIFA. ”All the arrests in the world are going to change nothing as long as Blatter is still there,” Oliver said. “Because to truly kill a snake, you must cut off its head. Or in this case, its asshole.”

He also tears into Jack Warner, the former FIFA vice president who, long before being arrested last week, resigned all his positions in international football following a bribery scandal. Warner, shortly after leaving jail, released a video in which he discusses an article from satire news site The Onion, apparently believing it to be true.

Oliver goes on to thank the United States for going after FIFA, even though football, or soccer as it’s known there, tends to rank fairly low on the country’s list of priorities. ”I don’t know what I’m more surprised by,” Oliver said. “That FIFA officials were actually arrested, or that America was behind it. It took the country that cares the least about football to bring down the people who have been ruining it.”

The next step, Oliver says, is to go after Blatter. And if that can’t be done, then the only way to end the corruption is for FIFA’s sponsors—the source of the organization’s never-ending pile of money—to start pulling out.

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.