Local soccer fans react to FIFA corruption scandal

Walter De Gregorio, FIFA Director of Communications and Public Affairs, addresses the media during a press conference at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Swiss federal prosecutors opened criminal proceedings related to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, throwing FIFA deeper into crisis only hours after seven soccer officials were arrested and 14 indicted Wednesday in a separate U.S. corruption probe. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A big question on all the soccer fans’ minds is how news of FIFA corruption will impact host bids for the World Cup.

Indy and Lucas Oil Stadium have played a role in the U.S. bids.

The fans hope this legal action by the U.S. might increase the chances for hosting future games.

Indictments of racketeering and money laundering among FIFA officials do not sit well with Indy Eleven fans, though some are not surprised.

“It’s sad that a game that supposedly promotes integrity is going to be indicted over these things and it’s even more sad that it’s probably true,” soccer fan Ben Osborn said.

“Anything involving this type of money, corruption is going to be there,” Fan Kerry darrenkamp said.

Indy Eleven President Peter Wilt wasn’t surprised at the corruption either, but it shocked him that a country finally held FIFA accountable.

“Kudos to the United States Department of Justice for following through and making these indictments,” he said.

He doesn’t see these events impacting local soccer but should make a difference in World Cup bidding.

“Ultimately it’s going to lead to more clean administration of the governing body worldwide,” he said.

That could mean reconsideration of the host nations for the next two World Cups.

But if they don’t, he said 2026 could be America’s and Indy’s year.

“Indianapolis has to be considered a leading contender to host,” he said.

And the fans agree.

“I would not be shocked in fact if we try for it. I think we should probably get it,” Osborn said.

The fans hope the strong attendance numbers for Indy Eleven games is a good indicator that Indianapolis supports soccer.

“Absolutely. Haven’t we proven with some of the championship games from the Premier League coming over that we could fill Lucas Oil Stadium?” Darrenkamp said.

Those fans said they will be first in line for tickets if a World Cup game came to their city.

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