Jack Warner, the former FIFA executive who was arrested on corruption charges last week, inadvertently cited a fake news article as true in a video addressing the allegations.
In the video posted to Facebook on Sunday, Warner holds up a printout of an article from The Onion announcing that the 2015 World Cup will be held in the United States — beginning May 27. As soccer fans know, the World Cup takes place every four years, the next games to be held in 2018 in Russia.
“I look to see that FIFA has frantically announced [that in] 2015, this year … the World Cup [will] begin May 27,” he said. “If FIFA is so bad, why is it that [the] USA wants to keep the FIFA World Cup? Why is it that they have begun games on May 27?”
From the Onion spoof:
“We are thrilled to reveal that, for the first time in 21 years, the World Cup will finally return to America, with matches set to kick off today at 5 p.m. local time in Los Angeles,” said FIFA president Sepp Blatter, smiling broadly before unveiling the tournament’s official logo, a hand-drawn stick figure kicking a soccer ball with “USA 2015!” hastily scribbled in black marker above its head.
The video isn’t available on Facebook anymore, but Deadspin captured it on its site.
The soccer world has been in disarray since the Justice Department announced last week that it was indicting several top FIFA executives, including Warner, on corruption charges including racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering. The DOJ is alleging that the FIFA officials took bribes from marketing and media groups over rights to air and promote games.
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