In addition to the points raised earlier, the defense attorneys can contend that much of what is described in the indictment reflects the skills of savvy and aggressive businesspersons, not the misdeeds of corrupt officials. They might cite empirical data, for instance, demonstrating fierce intentional competition for FIFA-sponsored activities.

This competition, the defendants are poised to insist, reflects the global popularity of soccer and successful coordination by FIFA. Countries spend considerable monies in bidding for FIFA-sponsored events. Perhaps it is because of passionate rivalries and citizens’ love of the sport, not because of illegal shenanigans.

Put another way, the defendants might assert that what the U.S. frames as unlawful conspiracies are more accurately viewed as lawful enterprises driven by market forces. The defendants can also recast monetary gains outlined in the indictment as simple evidence of business success.

The indictment, for instance, links a surge in the value of FIFA media, marketing and sponsorship rights to purported evidence of bribes and kickbacks. The indictment also details increases in FIFA profits relating to broadcasting, mobile telephone and Internet contracts and casts them in a suspicious light.