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FIFA president Sepp Blatter has faced down previous scandals and assaults on his integrity during his controversial 16 years at the helm, but he has never before had to deal with such a serious rebuke from FIFA’s biggest financial backers.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has faced down previous scandals and assaults on his integrity during his controversial 16 years at the helm, but he has never before had to deal with such a serious rebuke from FIFA’s biggest financial backers.
(Andre Penner/AP)

The real reason world soccer is cleaning up its act

The worst thing that could have happened to Sepp Blatter, the autocratic chief of world soccer, has been the sport’s rapid growth in the lucrative U.S. market.

That powerful lure has prompted major marketers and media companies to commit record sums to sponsorships and broadcast rights for soccer’s signature global tournament, the quadrennial World Cup, which kicks off Thursday in Brazil.