Roger Bennett: FIFA is "a rotten culture to the core"

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, one of the sports world's most powerful men, faces growing pressure to resign after a series of U.S. indictments targeting the sport's governing body were unveiled Wednesday.

But Roger Bennett, one half of the "Men in Blazers" podcast and television show team, warns replacing Blatter may not solve systemic problems in the organization he says has "a remarkably corrupt culture."

"It's a rotten culture to the core," Bennett said Thursday on "CBS This Morning."

Blatter is not among the 14 people currently being investigated by the U.S. government. When asked about his involvement, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said "the investigation continues."

Bennett, who described Blatter as a "wedding singer-turned-sports industrialist (sitting) over a medieval fiefdom," would agree.

"I'm sure right now conversations are being had, exits are being negotiated and political pressure is being applied," he said.

Wednesday, the Department of Justice launched an investigation into what it called FIFA's deep-seated and brazen corruption. Prosecutors allege that over 24 years, soccer federation leader's misdeeds have amounted to $150 million in bribes and payoffs. Nine of the 14 indicted are soccer officials, while four are sports marketing executives. Another works in broadcasting.

Bennett said the investigation is America's "greatest contribution to the world since the Marshall Plan."

"It did what we've always believed, anyone that's followed this story, what we've always known but we've never been able to prove," he said.

While this may be worst crisis in the organization's history it's not the first time Blatter is under the microscope.

"Sources in England have been investigating him for years, and every time the English papers investigate him, he uses it to rally his base. This is Chicago politics on a global scale. That's how FIFA works. It's a medieval fiefdom. There's no Democratic process, there's no transparency. Every time they investigate him he rallies his base in Africa, rallies his base in Asia and says 'They're trying to push us down,'" Bennett said.

Most recently, he has come under fire as investigators look into corruption related to the Qatar 2022 selection.

Last year, The Sunday Times said a "senior FIFA insider" had provided a vast quantity of emails and other documents detailing payments totaling $5 million that Qatari official Mohamed bin Hammam allegedly gave football officials to build support for the bid.

Hours after American officials made sweeping arrests, Swiss officials launched criminal proceedings, looking into FIFA's awarding of the 2018 World Cup to Russia, and the 2022 World Cup to Qatar -- or as Bennett said, an investigation into the "bags of money that have swapped hands."

"To have the World Cup in Qatar -- Qatar is as big as Connecticut, the population is as large as New Mexico, it's 122 degrees there in the summer, Mars or Antarctica would be as logical. It's obviously a little questionable," he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. of meddling in international soccer, saying the corruption investigation is an attempt to take the 2018 World Cup away from his country.

Blatter is up for reelection Friday and is expected to win. It remains to be seen how these latest allegations will affect the vote.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron recently endorsed Blatter's opponent.

"With the election on Friday this will either going to happen very quickly and he'll be pulled away or this is going to be a long embroiled investigation which will pull in massive global brands and be humiliating for all," Bennett said.

The indictment also noted "a multinational sportswear company" bribed a Brazilian soccer official for a sponsorship deal. While Nike isn't named in that indictment, its website says the company signed a sponsorship deal with the Brazilian Soccer Federation in 1996, the same year the events described in the indictment took place.

As the investigation continues, advertisers like Visa, Budweiser, Coke and McDonald, Bennett said, are turning up the heat.

"Right now VISA are the first to come out to say they're extremely concerned, which is marketing language for they're applying pressure, they need to take it to the next level. There's marketing code words that make it clear that if money, which is the only language that FIFA understands, is going to still be siphoned to them, they have to make that transition at the top."