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The Big Numbers Behind The Beautiful Game's Ugly Scandal


FIFA's become an acronym for corruption this week. Seven of its officials have been arrested after an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department. At the same time, Swiss authorities have their own investigation. And FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, was reelected for a fifth term despite all that. FIFA is global, powerful and rich. Now, in just a moment, we're going to hear from Roger Bennett of NBC's "Men In Blazers" about where this leaves the game. But first, just to remind you of the scale of what's at stake in international soccer, Planet Money's Stacey Vanek Smith has FIFA by the numbers.

STACEY VANEK SMITH, BYLINE: Three-point-two billion - that is how many people watched at least part of the World Cup final in South Africa. The numbers for the World Cup in Brazil are still being counted. To put 3.2 billion into perspective, the audience for this year's NFL Super Bowl was 114 million. Here is another number - 1.6 billion. And this is dollars. That's how much FIFA got for the global marketing rights to the 2014 World Cup. The next number is a little smaller but no less interesting - 150 million. That is the amount that was paid in bribes and kickbacks to win marketing rights for World Cups and other tournaments. That is according to the Justice Department. Fifteen million - that is the amount Chuck Blazer, the FIFA executive-turned-informant, is said to have misappropriated during his 20-plus years in the industry. Our final number - actually, we don't know. It's a question mark. It's the salary of FIFA president, Sepp Blatter. FIFA does not break out individual salaries, so we don't know how much of the $397 million FIFA spent on personnel went to Blatter.

SIMON: Stacey Vanek Smith of NPR's Planet Money team. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.