FIFA scandal becomes exhibit at Mob Museum in Las Vegas


LAS VEGAS (AP) Al Capone, with raised eyebrows, appeared in a two-minute video of him playing football and a curious look on his face as he talked about corruption and crooks.

The same Las Vegas museum that chronicled the beginnings of the Sin City mob led by the likes of Bugsy Siegel hopes to score with a new exhibit looking into the sweeping criminal investigation into soccer’s governing body, FIFA .

The Mob Museum debuted the exhibit Tuesday morning, the first of a rotating crop of exhibits to explore more modern examples of potentially organized crime, which may or may not involve fedora-clad wise men and Tommy guns.

“It looks a little different,” said Geoff Schumacher, content director for the Mob Museum, adding that future exhibits could focus on drug kingpin El Chapo’s recent prison escape, human trafficking and cybercrime.

“You don’t have Lucky Luciano or Meyer Lansky. These are not household names today,” he said.

But ‘the godfather’ mystery persisted in news coverage following the FIFA investigation, including a headline on the French newspaper Lib√©ration ‘FIFA Nostra’ and a political cartoon depicting FIFA president Sepp Blatter wearing pinstripes and saying ‘Mafifa’. Don’ has been labeled. ,

US prosecutors in May indicted top FIFA officials and sought their extradition on charges of bribery, fraud and racketeering. Prosecutors allege that the defendants conspired to pay more than $150 million in kickbacks for the rights to broadcast and host major tournaments.

At the Mob Museum, an image of Capone, the infamous gangster who’s been dead for more than 68 years, looms large two doors down from the new FIFA exhibit.

Between a room filled with black-and-white family photographs of the infamous mobsters and an area where visitors can simulate shooting the bad guys, the small FIFA wall display is primarily a collection of news coverage, photos and captions that show how cash is being sold. Set against wallpaper with patterns and currency symbols.

Schumacher said the supposedly ‘torn from the headlines’ offer few artifacts beyond literal newspaper and magazine covers, news photos and video clips as any evidence is tied up in the ongoing investigation.

The text explaining the exhibition titled ‘The Beautiful Game Turns Ugly’ describes football’s status as the world’s most popular sport.

“It is also the most corrupt,” the text continues.

FIFA officials did not respond to an email seeking comment about the new exhibition.

Those accused of conspiracy have not been convicted, and Blatter is not among the accused. Former officer Chuck Blazer has pleaded guilty to racketeering, conspiracy and tax evasion, and he wore a wire to assist in the investigation.

Blazer’s picture is among several others filling the case for smaller displays, including longtime FIFA president Blatter, who has promised to resign; US Attorney Loretta Lynch, who brought the indictment; and former FIFA official Jack Warner, who quoted a story from the parody news site “The Onion” during a news conference after the indictment was announced.

The display also includes Scottish journalist Andrew Jennings and his press pass. “The scoundrels who control FIFA got away with it for so long because there was no real investigation,” Jennings said in a video interview.

Where there’s smoke, Schumacher said he sees too many fires to highlight in the museum.

“We’re very careful not to blame anyone,” said Schumacher, a former reporter and editor for Las Vegas-based newspapers. “We’re trying to be very responsible.”


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