John Oliver has for the second consecutive week issued a hilarious, brutal, and elucidatory rant about a galling but sometimes tedious issue. On last week’s episode of Oliver’s new HBO show Last Week Tonight, it was his brilliant takedown of the FCC’s newly proposed anti-net-neutrality rules that went viral. This week he digresses beautifully on the corruption, crassness, and general ugliness of soccer’s world governing body, FIFA.
“For American viewers who may never have encountered them, FIFA is a comically grotesque organization,” Oliver begins, before comparing the group to ancient Egyptian slave masters, unaccountable hegemonic global religions, and the makers of 2 Girls 1 Cup. Among the many FIFA sins Oliver lists are the human rights abuses of 2022 World Cup host country Qatar, various bribery scandals, its imposition on Brazil of a law legalizing beer sales at World Cup matches, white elephant World Cup stadiums, and its farcical self-description as a nonprofit organization with a billion dollars in the bank.
The segment perfectly encapsulates every soccer fan’s great moral quandary: How do you support a sport you love so much without supporting an organization so clearly worthy of disdain?