Wednesday 31 May 2023

The FIFA Scandal: A Lesson in Socialization and Culture

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(QCOSTARICA BLOG) The recent “take-down” of some very high profile FIFA Directors by the U.S. Authorities in Switzerland, on bribery, corruption, and money laundering charges, is actually an interesting study in socialization and culture.

The bulk of the accused are from either Latin American Countries, including Mr. Eduardo Li, a Director of FIFA from Costa Rica, or some Caribbean Countries, with the U.S. and Britain having one of the accused each.

This analysis leads to my opinion, that there is a distinct difference in the socialization and culture of those countries having Latin based, rather than British based colonial roots.

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In a British based society, the people are socialized to feel remorse and/or guilt for the committing of the socially unacceptable, or criminal act, in the conduct of the act itself. In a Latin based society, the aspect of feeling remorse and/or guilt only arises if one has been caught committing the socially unacceptable, or criminal act. In other words, it is not the act, but the fact of being caught, that one feels remorse and/or guilt for in a Latin based society. Otherwise, the act merely constitutes, “business as usual”.

In my blog of August 29, 2014, titled, “Corruption And Promotion of Chaos In Government By Costa Rica’s Ruling Class”, I stated that there exists a segment of Costa Rican Society, which I refer to as the “Ruling Class”, which generally don’t adhere to the ordinary “rules of play” and regulation, tending to make decisions only for their own benefit, and the benefit of their family and friends, giving little regard to the well-being of the Society, or Country in which they live.

This “Ruling Class” group is socialized into believing that such behavior is a right of entitlement. In my opinion, Mr. Li is likely to be another member of this “Ruling Class” group. Although he has only been charged at this point following a twelve year investigation of FIFA by the U.S. Authorities, and the possibility exists that the U.S. may lose jurisdiction over him without specific evidence of his having committed a crime within their jurisdiction, it would seem unlikely that he has not been involved in some criminal activity as alleged, within the FIFA structure.

Of course, Mr. Li is in good company with other such notables in Costa Rican Society, including some ex-presidents. Unfortunately for Mr. Li, these other notables all had to “face the music” in some varying degrees for such behavior.

The irony of this behavior, is that the members of this “Ruling Class” who commit these money-related crimes, really don’t, in my opinion, commit the crimes for the money, but more for the “sport” and of being in a position of power and privilege, providing them with a feeling of entitlement to behave in such a manner. In my view, these members of the “Ruling Class” are all victims of their own warped socialization and culture.

I don’t know if there is a lesson to be learned here, or not; time will tell.

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Richard Philps
Attorney Richard (Rick) Philps is a Canadian citizen, naturalized as a citizen of Costa Rica. Rick practiced law in Victoria, B.C., Canada as a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, for fourteen years, prior to moving to Costa Rica in 1998. Rick then earned his Bachelor of Laws and Licensing Degrees (Civil Law), with Honours, and a Post-Graduate Degree in Notary and Registry Law, from the Metropolitana Castro Carazo and Escuela Libre de Derecho Universities, in San Jose. Rick is a member of the Costa Rica College of Lawyers, and practices law in Costa Rica in the areas of real estate and development, corporate, commercial, contract, immigration, and banking. To contact Attorney Rick Philps about hiring him as your Costa Rican Attorney; Email:, Website:

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