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Regional Divides Could Shape FIFA's Future

After FIFA's tumultuous week, the divide between the organization's Western countries and African and Asian countries could shape its future.

By Sebastian Martinez | June 3, 2015

FIFA has had a rough week. 

Over the course of seven days, FIFA's seen its headquarters raided, its officials arrested and a slew of corruption charges handed down by the Department of Justice. (Video via CBS, NBC)

It has re-elected a controversial president — only to see that president resign days later, also under investigation from U.S. authorities.

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And now, it has to pick up the pieces and try to move forward by making some sweeping reforms to the way FIFA's run.  

But one of the biggest challenges FIFA faces going forward are the regional divides that currently split its members. (Video via SPOX)

While prominent Western European FIFA officials, like UEFA's Michel Platini, called for Sepp Blatter's resignation following the indictment, the president of Africa's confederation has stood behind Blatter — literally. (Video via France 24)

Which is unsurprising, given that Blatter brought about the first ever World Cup in Africa with South Africa's 2010 tournament. Ironically, allegations of bribery in that World Cup could have factored into Blatter's decision to resign. (Video via Al Jazeera, SABC)

But he's also had the steadfast backing of the Asian confederation, which got its first World Cup in Korea and Japan in 2002 under Blatter's leadership. The Asian confederation is also on course for a second World Cup in Qatar in 2022. (Video via Arirang, The Guardian)

Combined, the Confederation of African Football and the Asian Football Confederation have 103 members, making up just under half of FIFA's congress, which elects the president. 

When you add in the 14-member Oceania Football Confederation, which has also supported Blatter, his former voting block totals 117 votes. That's more than the two confederations that have criticized him, UEFA and North America's CONCACAF, combined. (Video via Oceania Football Confederation)

What all of that means is those who've supported the status quo in FIFA's congress can easily outvote those who have criticized it. (Video via CCTV)

So fundamentally changing how FIFA operates might have to start with how it votes. 

This video includes images from Getty Images and music from Chris Zabriskie / CC BY 3.0.

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