Soccer (or what most the world calls "football") is barely an American game. None of the FIFA officials arrested are American citizens and none of the alleged crimes involved American citizens.
And yet FIFA officials are subject to American extradition warrants on the basis of American law.
This is from one of the countries that is not a participant in the International Criminal Court and does not like to subject itself to international law.
I have little doubt that FIFA is corrupt. And I don't doubt it deserves to be cleaned up.
But try this scenario. A country (say France) makes it illegal to emit greenhouse gases above a certain quantity in non-compliance with international agreements. US utility executives (who emit huge amounts of greenhouse gas) are travelling in a third country (say Switzerland) and get arrested to be tried in France.
Would you be comfortable?
I would not. But you could reasonably argue that ensuring the planet is not despoiled is more important than cleaning up corruption in football. And you could reasonably argue that emissions in the United States affect France far more than say soccer corruption affects the United States.
This is just anti-democratic. We non-Americans did not vote for the US laws and the US legal system is not responsive to our votes.
But the US system applies to us even when we are not dealing with Americans.
It seems strange to me to explain democracy to Americans - but alas it seems Americans have forgotten the tyranny of foreign laws.
Postscript. It seems some of the crimes involved US Citizens and on US soil... but the extraterritorial claim is still made. Some are non US citizens concerning Brazilian tournaments.
Many people commented on extradition treaties requiring the crime be a crime in both jurisdictions... but the arrests took place in a third country - Switzerland - that had tenuous links to the crime.
This editorial is also to the point...
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