This photograph was taken at a FIFA press conference in June of 2015. It depicts the moment after former FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter’s resignation, which occurred days after the United States government indicted many current and former FIFA officials and marketing companies for money laundering and bribery. Numerous allegations of corruption and financial mismanagement have been made against Blatter, although no formal indictments have been made and he continues to deny wrongdoing. In December 2015, FIFA’s Ethics Committee banned Blatter from all international football-related activities for eight years due to mismanagement of a financial payment worth $2 million USD. This ban was later reduced to six years.
The Allard Prize Photography Competition jury selected this photograph as a reminder that corruption can take place in any sector, anywhere in the world, including in the leadership of the world’s most popular sports.
Valeriano Di Domenico is a freelance photographer based in Zurich, Switzerland.