The United States is not the world's most soccer-loving nation. Yet it is U.S. law enforcement that is suddenly at the forefront of the attack on soccer's global governing body. On May 27 it indicted nine current and former FIFA officials for allegedly taking part in a corruption scheme that's been going on for 24 years.

Why would that be? Perhaps the experience the Americans had with FIFA four and a half years ago opened their eyes to the problem. On Dec. 2, 2010, the executive committee of the International Federation of Football Associations voted to hold the World Cup in Russia in 2018 and in Qatar in 2022. These countries' strongest rivals were, respectively, the U.K. and the U.S.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron was emotional about his country's shocking defeat. He said he was "bitterly disappointed" and pointed out that England's bid had received the best technical evaluation from FIFA. "It turns out that's not enough," Cameron fumed. President Barack Obama, in contrast, was content tocall FIFA's decision "wrong." (Former President Bill Clinton, who'd presented the U.S. bid in Zurich, reportedly threw an ornament at a wall mirror, shattering the glass.)