Washington: Comparing FIFA to the mafia is "almost insulting to the mafia," a US senator said Wednesday, turning up the heat on football`s corruption-tainted world governing body to reform.
Richard Blumenthal made the remark at a Senate subcommittee hearing scrutinizing FIFA, after US authorities in May indicted 14 people -- including top football officials -- over tens of millions of dollars of alleged bribes for media rights contracts.
Swiss authorities are also investigating the hugely controversial award of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.
"The fact of the matter is that what has been revealed so far is a mafia-style crime syndicate in charge of this sport," Blumenthal told the subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security.
"The only hesitation in using that term is that it is almost insulting to the mafia because mafia would never have been so blatant, overt and arrogant in its corruption."
Senators on the subcommittee oversee consumer protection, which includes sports.