ZURICH—Stressing that soccer’s international governing body will continue to conduct business as usual in the face of high-profile fraud charges, FIFA officials assured the public Friday that the ongoing U.S. Department of Justice investigation will in no way affect the 2022 Qatar slush fund. “While our organization takes these allegations very seriously, we can guarantee with total confidence that the charges will not hinder or restrict the 2022 slush fund in Qatar,” said FIFA president Sepp Blatter, adding that the unreported personal expenditures and under-the-table government kickbacks will take place at multiple venues throughout the Middle Eastern country as scheduled. “Regardless of this ongoing probe, our officials are committed to accepting bribes in exchange for FIFA media and marketing rights, redirecting construction funds to personal expense accounts, and offering lavish gifts to Qatari political ministers in order to sidestep government regulations exactly as originally planned. These accusations of wrongdoing will not be a distraction as we prepare for what we all hope will be the greatest FIFA slush fund yet.” Blatter added that the indictments will also have no effect on the 2018 slush fund in Russia, noting that the country’s framework for corruption is already firmly in place.
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