With an average of one person dying every day in the construction of Qatar's stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, it's hard to conceptualize just how many fatalities are being suffered.

The Washington Post has a nifty chart to put it in perspective.


Previously, human rights organizations have estimated that around 4,000 migrant workers will die due to overwork, heat exposure and other dangers posed by the ambitious World Cup stadium constructions taking place in the rich Middle Eastern country.

Qatar's workforce operates in a rigid kafala system, in which employers maintain great control over their employees, even maintaining possession of their passports. Human rights organizations have decried the system as modern-day slavery, and they have repeatedly criticized Qatar for pretending to be a modern country while building its incredible wealth on this labor.

Ninety percent of Qatar's population is migrant workers forced into slave-like conditions.

FIFA has been heavily criticized for awarding a World Cup bid to Qatar when it was clear the massive construction projects would be delegated to slave labor. But FIFA has had little response to the criticisms, failing to pressure Qatar into change and refusing multiple overtures to rescind the World Cup bid and give it to a more civil, modernized country.

Earlier this week, Switzerland announced an investigation into potentially unlawful bribes that may have swayed votes in favor of Qatar, thereby corrupting the bid process that led to the country receiving the 2022 World Cup.

Finally, we get to see Sepp Blatter sweat. Since news broke late Tuesday night that the U.S. was planning to indict 14 present and former FIFA executives for various instances of corruption, the hope of every informed soccer fan was that Blatter, FIFA's long-running president and a notoriously corrupt, misogynistic and vindictive man, would be among the suits going down.

Blatter was not among the seven executives arrested by Swiss authorities and facing extradition to the United States. But he's far from out of hot water: Many believe the United States will use information gathered from the extradited officials to amass a case against Blatter, and then use that evidence to bring him down as well. So it's no surprise that Blatter, who has often remained smug and stubborn in the face of corruption accusations, is now sweating like a glass of lemonade in Qatar.

Blatter knows that the U.S. authorities are out to get him, and he knows better than we do just how long of a rap sheet he's racked up. It doesn't help him at all that his native Switzerland is helping American officials in every way possible. His best shot at escaping personal ruin is to be as accommodating and innocent-sounding as possible.

Step one in that process was issuing a statement that is unlike anything Blatter has ever said or written.

To help you put it into context, we've put the text of his statement in bold along with a sentence-by-sentence breakdown of how Blatter's statement conflicts with his lifelong body of work:

"This is a difficult time for football, the fans and for FIFA as an organisation."

This is far from a "difficult time" for soccer and its fans. If anything, it is the very end of a difficult time, and will hopefully be remembered as a day of emancipation. Fans and soccer players -- even low-level soccer executives representing individuals countries -- have known for years that corruption ruled the day among FIFA's executive leaders.

The rumored bribery and monetary gifts, extending into the millions, were a poorly kept secret that FIFA was lucky to carry on as long as it did.

"We understand the disappointment that many have expressed and I know that the events of today will impact the way in which many people view us."

The prevailing negative views of Blatter -- and, by association, FIFA's leadership -- have been more or less set in stone since 2013, when he patted himself on the back for presiding over a FIFA Congress that featured a record three women.

"Say something, ladies!" Blatter said. "You are always speaking at home, say something now!"

"As unfortunate as these events are, it should be clear that we welcome the actions and the investigations by the US and Swiss authorities and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken to root out any wrongdoing in football."

In reality, some of Blatter's closest allies were among those arrested in Switzerland early Wednesday, some of whom had been perpetuating a corrupt system and using FIFA as an anchor for organized crime for more than two decades.

In 2012, Blatter admitted that he knew about some of this corruption, including the monetary gifts and bribes, but he refused to take action over them.

"Back then, such payments could even be deducted from tax as a business expense. Today, that would be punishable under law. You can’t judge the past on the basis of today’s standards. Otherwise it would end up with moral justice."

One year earlier, Blatter had commissioned a study that recommended he implement a system for disclosing cash payments made to FIFA officials.

He refused.

"While there will be many who are frustrated with the pace of change, I would like to stress the actions that we have taken and will continue to take. In fact, today’s action by the Swiss Office of the Attorney General was set in motion when we submitted a dossier to the Swiss authorities late last year."

It's unclear how much of a role Swiss authorities had in the investigation, and no one is disputing that FIFA submitted a dossier. But officials on all sides seem to credit the U.S. Justice Department as the lead organization in running the investigation. Most of the charges levied against FIFA executives relate to unlawful practices regarding CONCACAF, the North American football confederation to which the United States belongs.

"I will take care of it personally, to ensure there is no corruption at FIFA," Blatter said in response to outrage over the league's rampant use of bribes and personal kickbacks when making business decisions. That quote was spoken in 2011.

"Let me be clear: such misconduct has no place in football and we will ensure that those who engage in it are put out of the game. Following the events of today, the independent Ethics Committee – which is in the midst of its own proceedings regarding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups - took swift action to provisionally ban those individuals named by the authorities from any football-related activities at the national and international level."

The Ethics Committee is more of a public relations tool than an actual committee with power. No matter what it turns up or recommends regarding FIFA's handling of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups -- both Russia and Qatar allegedly used bribes to buy votes from FIFA executives, ranging from millions of dollars in cash to valuable paintings gifted from Vladimir Putin himself -- Blatter and FIFA have insisted that both countries will go on as hosts of their respective tournaments.

FIFA's refusal to effectively address such corruption is why the Justice Department has stepped in.

"These actions are on top of similar steps that FIFA has taken over the past year to exclude any members who violate our own Code of Ethics.

Blatter is correct that several FIFA members associated with the World Cup bid bribery were either kicked out or chose to resign in light of the scandal. But a report from March 2014 revealed that several FIFA executives had also plotted to kick out Michael Garcia, the head of FIFA's Ethics Committee, for taking too hard a line with executives over numerous uncovered violations.

"We will continue to work with the relevant authorities and we will work vigorously within FIFA in order to root out any misconduct, to regain your trust and ensure that football worldwide is free from wrongdoing."

Here's Blatter in 2011, once again facing accusations of FIFA corruption:

"If this is true, I will fight this. I am fighting for FIFA to clean FIFA. I cannot answer for individual members of our committee. I cannot say if they are all angels or if they are all devils."

Blatter never did come up with a good answer. Now the Justice Department is cleaning his house, and all he can do is hide in the closet.

Winston Churchill famously quipped that "democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others." But democracy is exactly the problem with FIFA, which is why the world of soccer is left with the mess we have today.

At dawn on Wednesday in Zurich, Swiss law enforcement raided luxury hotels and arrested several FIFA executives on charges of corruption. Working closely with the U.S. Justice Department and the FBI, in all 14 officials were indicted and those arrested in Zurich will face extradition to the United States.

Not among those arrested (yet) is FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who is supposed to stand for re-election Friday and is widely expected to win once again, extending his reign -- of terror and corruption -- that began in 1998.

So far, FIFA remains steadfast that the election will go on as planned and, if it does, Blatter will win a fifth term despite the ongoing probe of his corrupt regime. If (when?) re-elected, preparations for the tainted World Cups of 2018 in Russia and 2022 in Qatar will continue as planned.

Why is it that Blatter has such an iron-clad grip on the levers of world soccer despite being nearly universally hated -- by fans, players and most of the high-profile national associations? The answer to that is simple: Because FIFA practices democracy in its purest form.

FIFA is made up of six confederations and 209 member associations, each representing an independent country or territory. In FIFA's form of democracy, each member has equal voting power, meaning Monserrat, a Caribbean territory of Great Britain with less than 5,000 residents, has as much pull as four-time and reigning World Cup champion Germany.

Blatter has this all figured out. To stay in power, he doesn't need to appeal to the better angels of his constituency, but the worst despots who will be most easily bought. If he gets 105 of the membership to vote for him, then his hold on power is secure. And there are plenty of votes to mine.

The math is pretty simple so you don't need Nate Silver's help. The 209 associations are broken down as such: AFC (Asia and Australia) 46, CAF (Africa) 54, CONCACAF (North and Central American and Caribbean) 35, CONMEBOL (South America) 10, OFC (Oceania) 11, UEFA (Europe) 53.

As you can see, there are far more votes from the CAF and CONCACAF -- which happen to be the most corrupt confederations -- than UEFA and CONMEBOL, the ones that actually dominate global soccer.

Blatter's method is nakedly effective. He entices the associations in the world's poorest regions with funds to allegedly improve infrastructure for soccer, since FIFA sits on $1.5 billion in reserves. Whether these representatives actually use the money to build soccer fields or line their own pockets instead, FIFA and Blatter do not care. But with each distribution, a vote is reliably purchased by Blatter.

That's why leading up to the election on Friday, Blatter has consistently refused to debate his challengers (having dwindled from three to one). When pressed by the media, he arrogantly stated that he'll let his work stand as his manifest. He has no fear of losing the votes from the core group that has been feeding at his trough for nearly the past two decades.

This is the same arrangement that produced votes that gave Russia and Qatar the next two World Cups despite both countries ranking far behind their competitors in FIFA's own evaluation reports. The most corrupt confederations are the ones with most votes for sale.

Faced with this reality, there is only one way to break FIFA's cycle of corruption. Dismantle FIFA's democratic sham.

The only organization with the clout to do this is UEFA, the governing body of European soccer. UEFA's members boast the world's top and richest professional leagues and club teams, within them a near monopoly of the world's best players. No World Cup final was contested without an UEFA team and of the 20 World Cups ever held, UEFA teams finished in the top four 56 times, more than all other confederations combined.

Simply put, a World Cup without a UEFA presence would not be legitimate. And it looks though the European association, composed of more democracies than any other confederation, is finally going to wield its power to force FIFA to reform. On Wednesday, UEFA formally demanded that FIFA postpone Friday's vote to re-elect Blatter:

The upcoming FIFA Congress risks to turn into a farce and therefore the European associations will have to consider carefully if they should even attend this Congress and caution a system, which, if it is not stopped, will ultimately kill football.

UEFA needs to keep the pressure on until it's satisfied that FIFA has enacted necessary reforms. It should force a revote of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting rights, even though it counts illiberal Russia as one of its own members. UEFA president Michel Platini, who was once among Blatter's biggest backers, now must follow through to tear down the monster he helped to create.

It might be ironic, but only people who practice democratic principles can topple FIFA's fraudulent democracy.

-- Samuel Chi is the managing editor of RealClearSports.com and proprietor of PlayoffGuru.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ThePlayoffGuru.

When Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton arrived for the NFL draft in Chicago wearing traditional Samoan dress and almost choked the life out of Commissioner Roger Goodell in an on-stage hug, it symbolized the amazing dominance that one tiny island and its Polynesian neighbors have in football.

Five Polynesian players were selected in the first 66 picks of the 2015 NFL draft, the most ever for the first three rounds. More than 70 players in the NFL are of Polynesian descent. There are 30 players from American Samoa in the NFL and more than 200 play Division I NCAA Football. A Samoan male is 56 times more likely to play in the NFL than an American non-Samoan.

Super Bowl champions Jesse Sapolu and Ma'a Tanuvasa along with Kevin Kaplan and his company Coaching Charities decided to pay recognition to the contributions by establishing a Polynesian Football Hall of Fame in 2013. It had its first group of inductees the next year including players like Junior Seau, Kevin Mawae and Jack Thompson ("The Throwing Samoan").

Earlier this year it inducted players like Sapolu and Mark Tuinei. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, selected second in this year's draft was honored as the 2014 college player of the year. The hall is located in the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu in Hawaii.

A pioneering group of college coaches recognized the uniqueness of Polynesia (Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Easter Island and New Zealand) in the quality of football athletes it produces. Dick Vermeil, Dick Tomey and LaVell Edwards made early trips. Former Hawaii and SMU coach June Jones established a special relationship with Samoa and established a foundation there to help with Samoan athletics.

"They have a unique culture that venerates family and work ethic," coach Jones says."There is an amazing spirit and feeling that one feels interacting with these warm and spiritual people."

The tiny island of Samoa, often referred to as "Football Island," has a population of 65,000 people. This is smaller than my city of Newport Beach, a very active and athletic area that has only Matt Barkley in the NFL. How is the hyper-productivity of Samoa even possible?

It starts with a culture that emphasizes community, self-discipline, respect, and spirituality. Families are close and supportive. The athletes tend to be humble, it may be the last bastion of youth outside the American South that says, "Yes, Sir." There is pride instead of jealousy for the accomplishments of other athletes. Passion for every activity is bred into young Samoans.

Physical anthropology somehow must play into the massive size and strength and speed of most of the athletes. One theory holds that the residents migrated far in the past from much colder climes and needed bodies that could add weight to protect them. Another theory is that there was a history of strife and warfare and a love of contact is part of the culture. There is poverty present in Samoa and other islands which serves as a motivating factor in using sports to advance.

The Polynesian Football Hall of Fame will continue to grow with the rising number of Polynesian players at every level. It celebrates a special culture and tradition. Tiny Samoa is an amazingly anomaly in the history of sports.

Since Affirmed captured the Triple Crown in 1978, 14 horses have won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Twelve of them fell short in the Belmont. One -- I'll Have Another in 2012 -- was scratched from the Belmont because of injury. And then there is this year's winner of the Derby and Preakness: American Pharoah.

In some respects, many are rooting for American Pharoah to take the Belmont just so we can stop listening to the chatter of "When will there be another Triple Crown winner?" But there is also the case to be made for keeping the intrigue alive. So how good are American Pharoah's chances? Josh Tepper of MyWinners.com joins this episode of The Rundown to provide some expertise.

Kevin Love is done. Kyrie Irving is hobbling like Uncle Drew in the set-up scenes. But the Cavaliers remain second on the Vegas board at 13/5 odds as the NBA heads into the conference finals simply because of LeBron James. The Warriors are a heavy favorite at 4/7. The Hawks (9/1) and Rockets (10/1) are long shots.

Stephen Curry and James Harden finished 1-2 in the MVP voting. Curry hasn't reached the NBA Finals and Harden did it as a sixth man with Thunder, while LeBron has won twice in five trips. Given the cities, players and storylines involved, most of the nation figures to be pulling for a Warriors-Cavaliers matchup in the Finals. If the Cavaliers make it to the Finals, it would be the fifth consecutive appearance for LeBron. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird each had a run of four years. Michael Jordan had two championship three-peats but there were two seasons in between them.

Here's more discussion of LeBron and the rest of the NBA picture on The Rundown:

HBO's Real Sports profiled Ronda Rousey just before her UFC debut in February 2013. Since then, Rousey has, as Springsteen would put it, burst just like a supernova, becoming a cultural phenomenon with domination inside the octagon and her camera-friendly persona outside it.

Now Real Sports has circled back to see how Rousey is handling life as a global sensation. Here's a preview of the segment with correspondent Jon Frankel that premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT:

At the 1974 NBA draft, the debate was about which player was going to be taken second overall. After two NCAA titles and three Final Four appearances in his three seasons on the varsity team at UCLA, Bill Walton was the unanimous No. 1 prospect. This year there is intrigue about which freshman center, Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky or Duke's Jahlil Okafor, will be the top overall pick.

For the team that ends up with the No. 2 pick, hopefully Towns or Okafor pan out much better than Marvin Barnes, the player selected after the Portland Trail Blazers took Walton.

Walton, the 1977 NBA Finals MVP and 1978 league MVP, has the résumé to judge center talent, but declines on making a call between Towns and Okafor.

"That should be answered by someone who spends their whole life just doing that," Walton says. "I'm a fan. I'm involved in the business of the sport and my business is not picking that one guy. What I know about them is they're both excellent."

In the 41 years since Walton was drafted, the two-time NBA champ points to the preparation for the draft as the biggest different in generations. Once upon a time, college scouting and general reputation was enough to make a draft decision. Now drafting involves extensive research. Walton admires the new system and explains why it makes him considerably less educated than team executives.

"You're going to have to delve into everything," Walton says. "You're going to have to delve into their health, the science of their genetic makeup. You're going to have to delve into their personalities and their background and their lives. The interviews that they're going to have -- it is a totally different world than when we played. I am not qualified to make that decision here today and if I were going to make that decision and I had between now and the draft, I would spend every waking moment on making that decision because they're both excellent and you have to make the right decision."

Although NBA fans may not have the Intel on potential draftees' genes and hobbies, they do have the ability to put their knowledge to the test. For the past month, the NBA and FanDuel have teamed up to give fans a chance to compete against one another in one-day fantasy contests. Since April 18, each day has consisted of one winner who receives a ticket to New York City for a two-day final round on May 22-23. May 18 is the final scheduled day for the promotion at nba.com/oneday. The 31 winners will compete in the two-day round for a prize of watching the NBA Finals with Walton.

"The whole nature of concept of e-sports is really the future and there are staggering numbers of revenue numbers, participation numbers, involvement numbers, all the things that businesses are looking for," Walton says. "This is the business of sports. All you have to do is look around and see all of the e-sports out there–all of the big boys. This is going to be the next generation of driving fan involvement."

The final round will be at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Walton will find his NBA Finals companion.

In the meantime, Towns and Okafor may see their fate determined on Tuesday night. Before Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals, the NBA draft lottery will determine which team gets the first overall pick.

The under-30 generation has grown up processing information in a dramatically different manner than their predecessors. Their attention span is shorter, and their need to multi-task is higher. This poses a challenge for collegiate and professional sports to keep these potential fans coming to and enjoying live sporting events. If young people have not played sports themselves or witnessed it live in a jam-packed stadium or arena, eventually the emotional connection with watching televised sports is weakened.

So, imagine a childhood dramatically different than the one some of us grew up in during the 50s and 60s. Our world had black-and-white television with three networks and a few independents showing old movies. The way to change a channel was to walk to the TV and turn the dial. Phones had rotary dials and rang busy when a call was in progress. There were no computers, much less cellphones, texting, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Facetime or LinkedIn. The way to reproduce a copy was by mimeographing a copy with a stencil or later a trip to Kinko's. People read books and used their imagination for entertainment.

Today, our youth grow up on big screen high-definition pictures, available on 350 competing channels. Vivid color and sound, and is fast cutting. It is possible to create their own content, or use the television monitor for other programming.

Young people learn to use iPads in infancy. They multitask on computer screens and cellphones, switching from stimuli to stimulus -- texting, tweeting, Facebooking, Instragramming, YouTubing, playing video games with headsets, creating viral affinity groups. There is an illusion that every second of sensory input can be controlled through the fingers. Twitching thumbs accompany every second. Attention span and patience are attenuated. Interactivity is prized.

The sports remedy? Creating stadia and arenas which are filled with multiple attractions. Jumbo scoreboards filled with quizzes, Kiss-cams, every form of clearly designed entertainment. Making the physical design of the stadium filled with activity zones. A winning baseball team is still going to lose quite a few games. Going to see a game in person needs to be exciting notwithstanding the result on the field. Wiring stadia and arenas with Wi-Fi is a necessity. Every form of creativity needs to be employed to find alternative stimuli. Crowdsourcing analytics can be employed to track user experiences.

Remember that a football game is filled with endless TV commercial timeouts, insufferable delays for instant replay, two-minute warnings, breaks for quarters and halftime -- generally nothing is happening on the field. A 60-minute football game stretches beyond three hours and actual play on the field is minimized.

For a younger generation a monitor should be put in front of each seat in a stadium or arena. Down one side streams the users fantasy team and how the game affects their standings. The other side can stream the progress of their wagers on different games. We allow the fans to vote on one referee call they can overturn. There is an on-screen texting feature that allows fans to "talk smack" with others inside and out of the stadium. They could send pictures to friends. They also could suggest one play call that the coach needs to call. Touching the monitor allows a fan to order from the snack bar. Endless content can be programmed through the screen that allows fan interactivity. Ultimately it leads to a full menu of product and experience inventory that can be monetized.

​Fans that are purists and simply​ want to focus on the play on the field, and discussions regarding it, are still free to enjoy the game in a traditional way. But for a generation that needs a higher degree of activity and stimulus -- a ballpark needs to be updated to keep them engaged.

When a fan called to question the findings in the NFL's Deflategate report, Mike Francesa blew a gasket Tuesday.

Francesa, whose WFAN radio show in New York is simulcast nationally on Fox Sports 1, jumps in quickly when he realizes where the caller wants to take the conversation.

"Stop! Stop now!" Francesa says. "You're a fan who's a fool."

The call ends with Francesa telling the caller identified as Steve from Maine, "Are you nuts? Go tell someone else!"

Check out Francesa going off like Mount Vesuvius:

When athletes behave badly, it puts fans in a philosophical dilemma. Can they still root for their favorite team if it has bad characters on it? And where is that line? Does the behavior need to be illegal? Or can it be something as a simple as being rude or crass? Can fans separate the incredible skills of an athlete with poor personal conduct? We consider these questions on the latest edition of The Rundown:

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