Of course, one might stake out the principled position that official corruption is bad and ought to be prosecuted, but that Americans are not the people to do that job in the case of FIFA, or in many other cases. There is indeed a rather breathtaking arrogance in the American attitude about territory, especially in matters of taxation and business regulation. If (say) the French indicted senior officials in the (say) National Football League because they had held a relevant meeting in (say) Martinique or wired money through a bank regulated by France, most Americans -- and especially most American politicians -- would sputter in indignation. Yet that is what the Obama administration is doing in the FIFA case, more or less.
All of this nattering about American arrogance and British payback for losing out on the 2018 World Cup distracts us from the real point, which is that the biggest sport in the world is corrupt at its core. Don't forget that, no matter the blather about the Obama administration or American legal "imperialism."
We Anglo-Saxons, however, need to look at our own clay feet. In the United States, we have legalized corruption in our politics by various means. Everybody sees that Washington and many state capitals are places where permissions are now bought and sold with a careful attention to legality. See, e.g., the ridiculous posturing over the Clintons and their foundation, which has devolved in to a discussion of whether laws are broken rather than an honest debate about whether their behavior is wrong and morally corrupt, which it surely would be if everybody to the left of center were not terrified of a GOP sweep of the federal government in 2016.
This is the seemingly inevitable result of three big changes over the last couple of generations. First, political campaigns have become tremendously expensive, so politicians need a huge amount of money just to stay in office. Second, the regulatory state only metastasizes, with ever more federal, state and local permissions required to do really anything, and a swelling growth of affirmative mandates that extend well beyond basic consent. Many of these permissions and mandates involve such high stakes that the various victims and beneficiaries push for changes in the law or regulation to favor them at the expense of their competitors, and those changes tend to come from politicians who are financially supported by interested parties. This is "regulatory capture" to a progressive, and "crony capitalism" to a Tea Partier, but the meaning is the same. And the politicians say that it is not their money -- that will come after they leave office and start representing victims and beneficiaries of regulation -- but they need it just the same to pay for the next campaign. Third, our courts have correctly recognized that free speech also costs a great deal of money, and that if we require permissions from politicians for that we will have destroyed the First Amendment.
Progressives believe that the best solution to this is to regulate the spending of money on speech, at least if they do not approve of the source of the money or the speaker. Genuine small government conservatives, who are in no greater supply than principled progressives, believe that the best solution is to restore the inherent limits on government, so that there are many fewer permissions and mandates to be traded by politicians. Since neither progressives nor small government conservatives are likely to win their argument any time soon, if ever, and since political campaigns are not going to get any cheaper, we can expect our American style of lawful corruption to continue. Deep down, Americans understand this, which is why only partisans are worked up over the Clintons, pro or con. We know of no other way for the system to work, given that campaigns are so expensive, free speech costs money, and government now involves itself in virtually every moment of American life. But it still disgusts us.