FIFA bathed in shame as it prepares to host Women's World Cup final in Vancouver

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      The soccer world has been rocked by the arrest of nine Fédération Internationale de Football Association officials and five sports-management company executives.

      Among those taken into custody was FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb.

      It came as U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch claimed that corruption is "rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted" in the sport and had been going on for two generations.

      Swiss officials have also launched a criminal probe into the awarding of the Men's World Cup competitions to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

      FIFA president Sepp Blatter is not among those charged.

      Meanwhile, the FIFA Women's World Cup this year is being hosted in Canada and Blatter is expected to be among the dignitaries who visit B.C. Place for the championship final.

      Unfortunately for Canada's outstanding women's soccer players, the recent scandal has cast a pall over the event.

      Of course, none of this should shock close observers of the sport. Canadian journalist Declan Hill detailed the depth of corruption in his 2008 book, The Fix: Soccer and Organized Crime.

      In a 2010 interview with the Straight, Hill said that the European Football Associations took this issue seriously. He noted that German investigators had identified more than 200 matches that had been rigged in Europe, leading to more than 75 arrests.

      However, he maintained that FIFA was like the "Vatican of soccer" and had failed miserably in combatting match-fixing.

      “What they’ve done is set up a private company to monitor the gambling companies,” he said at the time. “I don’t know why you would set up a private company to do this.”

      Before the 2012 Summer Games, Hill claimed on his blog that soccer fixers would be in London.