Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

FIFA Gen, Secy. cancels trip to Canada (for fear of arrest?). Will Blatter also cancel?

June 2, 2015

UPDATE!

Sepp Blatter has just resigned from the FIFA presidency. The next president will be chosen at a special congress to be held between December 2015 and March 2016. He continues till then. 

If it turns out that he does not go to Canada for the final of the Women’s World Cup, then I would believe that he has resigned now because the FBI has found some evidence tying him to the shady deals. The reports tonight are that the FBI may well have provided the final straw.


 

The FIFA General Secretary, Jerome Valcke, was due to travel to Canada to participate in the opening of the Women’s World Cup on June 6th. But yesterday there were reports that he had been named in one of the FBI’s indictments as the “high ranking FIFA official who had transferred monies to Jack Warner. He was not named as a defendant, but nevertheless he cancelled his trip to Canada “because he had important work to do in Zurich”.

The GuardianJérôme Valcke, Fifa’s secretary general, emerged in reports as the person described in an indictment filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, as a “high-ranking Fifa official” who in 2008 transferred the sum to another Fifa official, Jack Warner.

Valcke is not named as a defendant and has not been accused of any wrongdoing. He was not immediately available for comment. Valcke and Blatter are the top two officials within Fifa.

A spokeswoman for Fifa said the $10m in bank transactions were authorised by the then-chairman of Fifa’s finance committee. That was Julio Grondona, who died in 2014.

BBCFifa president Sepp Blatter still intends to travel to Canada for the final of the Women’s World Cup this month despite the crisis engulfing world football’s governing body.

General secretary Jerome Valcke announced on Monday that he will not be making the trip. He was due to attend the opening of the tournament, which begins on 6 June. “It is important that he attends to matters at Fifa’s headquarters in Zurich,” read a statement.

Presumably Jérôme Valcke is concerned that the history of cooperation between the FBI and the RCMP under the US/Canada extradition arrangements is too much of a risk. If the FBI have a warrant out and have passed it onto the RCMP then they would have no choice but to arrest Valcke as soon as he showed up. He could not be transferred to the US without extradition proceedings. I understand the warrant itself could be taken out under some grounds for suspicion even if the FBI only wanted to talk to him.

Now the Women’s World Cup final is due on 5th July and I would not be at all surprised if Sepp Blatter’s lawyers do not permit him to travel to Canada. I am quite sure that the FBI would now like to question him and attending the final, I suspect, will be too much of a risk.

I can imagine the discussions between Blatter’s lawyers and his PR advisors as to when they should announce that he will not be attending the Women’s World Cup Final. My guess is that he will only cancel publicly with less than a week’s notice – but the decision to cancel has probably already been made.


UPDATE: New York Times:

Bribery Inquiry Drawing Closer to FIFA’s President, Sepp Blatter


FIFA blattered, bothered and bewildered

May 29, 2015

to blatter, v, to maintain power by institutionalised corruption

So Blatter is going to be reelected.

FIFA’s wild again
Beguiled again
Simpering, whimpering children again
Blattered, bothered and bewildered, are they

Couldn’t play fair
And wouldn’t play fair
Could only cheat where they shouldn’t cheat
Blattered, bothered and bewildered, are they

with apologies to Lorenz Hart

I heard some football federation representatives describe on radio that they supported Blatter because their federations received so much “honest” money from FIFA!!

Sounded like the federations of most African and Asian nations had been “institutionally bribed” to continue with the status quo.

Hail Blatter.

Emperor Blatter and his Praetorian Guards

Deeply corrupt Asian Football Confederation backs Blatter as FIFA sponsors are silent

May 28, 2015

Qatar has the World Cup in 2022 partly because the former President of the Asian Football Confederation (and Vice President of FIFA) orchestrated the efforts to make it so. The AFC is entirely in the hands of oil money and is perhaps the most opaque of all the World’s football federations. That the corrupt football federations around the world now support Blatter is only to be expected.

FIFA sponsors

But why are the FIFA sponsors so silent? Adidas, Coca Cola, Gazprom, Hyundai/Kia, Visa, Budweiser and McDonalds. Sony had the sense to withdraw in 2014. FIFA received some $1.6 billion from these sponsors in 2014. That they don’t know about FIFA’s practices is virtually impossible. That they are directly complicit in these practices may not be so clear but some of their money is certainly flowing into some administrators’ pockets.

Yesterday the AFC put out a statement supporting Sepp Blatter for President of FIFA and resisting any suggestion that the Presidential election scheduled for Friday should be postponed.

The Asian Football Confederation expresses its disappointment and sadness at Wednesday’s events in Zurich whilst opposing any delay in the FIFA Presidential elections to take place on Friday May 29 in Zurich.

The AFC is against any form of corruption in football …….. blah …… blah ……. whilst recognising that there is still much work to do.

Furthermore, the AFC reiterates its decision taken at the AFC Congress in Sao Paulo in 2014, endorsed at subsequent Congresses in Melbourne and Manama in 2015, to support FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.

But the AFC is itself a hotbed of corruption and so perhaps their support of Sepp Blatter and the status quo is only to be expected. The former President of the AFC is heavily implicated in improprieties with the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. He could not finally be protected by even his friends in FIFA and was removed from office in 2012.

HuffPo: Media reports of questionable payments by a company owned by banned former world soccer body FIFA vice president and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president Mohammed Bin Hammam to another disgraced former FIFA executive committee member, Jack Warner, raise renewed questions about Qatar’s controversial winning of the right to host the 2022 World Cup as well the integrity of FIFA and the AFC’s efforts to root out corruption.

The Daily Telegraph reported that the Doha-based Kemco Group wholly owned by Mr. Bin Hammam, a Qatari national who was banned by FIFA in 2012 because of “conflicts of interest” during his AFC presidency and FIFA vice presidency, had paid some $2 million to former FIFA vice president Jack Warner and others related to him shortly after Qatar was awarded the World Cup.

Three weeks ago the President of the AFC, Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain, who is a Vice President of FIFA was re-elected in Bahrain amid corruption allegations. Sepp Blatter spoke in Bahrain but his opponents for the FIFA presidency were not allowed to speak.

Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has been elected president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for a second term and vice president of world soccer body FIFA amid unanswered questions about the AFC’s handling of corruption investigations and his apparent failure to enforce good governance in his own organization as well as among its members.

In an indication of the AFC’s apparent weak adherence to standards of propriety, the group decided to move the congress at which Sheikh Salman was re-elected from Kuala Lumpur to Bahrain, the candidate’s home country, even before it became clear that he would not be challenged in the election. …… 

The AFC’s non-transparent, manipulative politics were on display at the Bahrain congress, reaffirming former AFC general secretary Peter Velappan’s assessment in 2011 that “there is no democracy in AFC.” Sheikh Salman prevented Korean football association president Chong Mong-gyu from expressing criticism of gerrymandering of elections for Asian representatives in FIFA’s executive committee that ensured that Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, one of the most powerful figures in international sports, won the seat that could position him for a candidacy for president of the world soccer body in 2019. Sheikh Salman argued that such criticism would assault the AFC’s integrity and respect.

Similarly, FIFA president Sepp Blatter was allowed to address the congress as well as a gala dinner but his challengers in next month’s FIFA presidential elections were not.

And just 2 weeks ago the Secretary General of the AFC was suspended for allegations that he tried to hide evidence about the former President’s corruption:

ESPN: The Asian Football Confederation says that deputy general secretary Windsor John has replaced suspended general secretary Alex Soosay while the governing body investigates corruption allegations.

Soosay is accused of asking another official to hide documents during a review of AFC practices under disgraced former president Mohamed bin Hammam three years ago.

The claims were made last week by a Malaysian newspaper, the Malay Mail.

“Asian Football Confederation General Secretary Dato’ Alex Soosay was today suspended by the AFC following media allegations which have recently surfaced concerning a case in 2012,” said a statement released on Wednesday.

“A video statement conducted as part of a FIFA investigation was passed to media recently and the AFC has now been able to verify its authenticity.”

The Malay Mail reported that the video showed a conversation between AFC financial director Bryan Kuan Wee Hoong and FIFA investigator Michael John Pride in which Kuan refers to a discussion he had with Soosay in 2012.

When will the sponsors wake up? In this morass, silence is acquiescence.

 

Football gang-raped by its officials, but Blatter still won’t go

May 27, 2015

There are a lot of headlines, but is anybody really surprised?

A dozen corrupt schemes have been found by the US justice authorities, including the award of the 2010 World Cup.. But that is only those schemes which have a clear US connection. What about all the others? There is absolutely no probability that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were not also awarded according to the existing practices. That Qatar have bought their World Cup is an open secret. That money has changed hands to reschedule the championship to the winter is not so surprising either. The Qatar World Cup will have the highest number of deaths per goal than any previous championship. That the sponsorships and TV rights will generate more money than any previous games is also certain. Every sponsor has paid millions in kick-backs or in bribes to get the exposure that they have wanted. There is probably not a single FIFA contract which has not also had a side-stream of monies channelled through the sticky fingers of the administrators.

But Sepp Blatter denies any involvement and the FIFA spokesman has the nerve to say that “this is good for football and for FIFA”. FIFA is quickly distancing itself and blaming the “rogues” who have abused their trust, but there is little credibility left in FIFA. So we shall probably see Blatter re-elected on Friday. Even if Blatter loses the election, the institutionalised practices will continue. Nothing will be done to withdraw the championships in 2018 and 2022 from Russia or from Qatar.

And the existing practices will continue. The gang-rape of football by its administrators will not end anytime soon.

Graphic

BBC graphic

And the abuse is not limited to administrators.

We heard also today that David Lagercrantz, the ghostwriter of the Zlatan Ibrahimovic autobiography, I am Zlatan , admitted that the book was just all a big lie. All the quotations were just made up by the ghost-writer. The whole book was just fiction, a novel – not an autobiography.

No surprise – FIFA whitewashes itself and Qatar but their investigator dissents

November 13, 2014

UPDATE!!

It seems FIFA’s conclusions are not even shared by their own investigaor:

BBC: The findings of Fifa’s inquiry into allegations of corruption during bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups have been questioned – by the man who conducted the two-year investigation into the claims.

In an unexpected twist, lawyer Michael Garcia says the report “contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions”.


 

(more…)

Blitzkrieg on the football field – Superblitzingsmarticrushingvirtuosity

July 9, 2014

Brazil 1 – Germany 7

The match: Rout, embarrassment, master-class, depressing, exhilarating, staggering, bewildering, astonishing, awesome, disaster, historic, crazy, unbelievable, blitzed, farce …….

Germany: Rampant, masterful, ruthless, spectacular, skillful, superb, organised, brilliant, fast, memorable, unprecedented, clinical, triumphant, virtuoso, smart ……

Brazil: Crushed, humiliated, crumbled, swamped, shell-shocked, disgraced, heart-broken, dismantled, thrashed, shameful, farcical…..

There is a shortage of words and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious will not do.

Superblitzingsmarticrushingvirtuosity perhaps.

(super-blitzing-smarti-crushing-virtuosity)

Biter bit: Suarez banned for 4 months including 9 international matches

June 26, 2014

Luis Alberto Suárez Díaz, the serial biter / footballer has played his last match at this World Cup.

BBC: 

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has been suspended from all football-related activity for four months for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini.

Fifa’s independent disciplinary committee imposed the ban after finding the 27-year-old guilty of misconduct.

Suarez has also been banned for nine international matches, ruling him out of the rest of the World Cup.

ReutersSuarez was also suspended from any football-related activity for four months and fined 100,000 Swiss francs ($111,000).

“Such behaviour cannot be tolerated on any football pitch, and in particular not at a FIFA World Cup when the eyes of millions of people are on the stars on the field,” Claudio Sulser, chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, said in a statement.

“The Disciplinary Committee took into account all the factors of the case and the degree of Mr Suarez’s guilt in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Code. The decision comes into force as soon it is communicated.”

Nothing is reported (yet) as to whether he

  1. will be required to wear a muzzle whenever he plays
  2. will have to take an AIDS test before every match
  3. will have his “wisdom” teeth extracted
  4. will have to provide a written guarantee to all opposing players before every match
  5. will have to provide his club Liverpool with a personal indemnity for his future actions
  6. will have to attend psychiatric counselling
  7. will be prosecuted for assault

Liverpool will not get very much for him when they do finally get rid for him.

Best to write his financial value off.

Was Suarez paid to bite an opponent?

June 25, 2014

I just saw this article on Swedish Radio’s website:

Betting site Betsafe offered odds of 175-1 that Suarez would bite an opponent during the World Cup. Over 100 people won.

Jonathan Brack from Stockholm was one of them. ……. 

The Swede won over 14 000 kronor after the game and is now planning a trip to Manchester to see his favorite team Machester United play.

This was just in Sweden. And when there is big money or big odds at stake I tend to suspect that some kind of fixing could have taken place. If the bookies have paid out then it can no longer be in doubt for FIFA that he did the deed.

Luis Suarez’ action was so stupid and so outrageous – considering that he has done this twice before – that I cannot help suspecting that he could have been paid to do what he did.

The numbers are compelling. Just suppose he had placed – through a friend of course – $100,000 with someone offering 175:1. With $17.5 million, being suspended for just 2 years would be no big deal! Or suppose that 1,000 punters worldwide each bet $1,000. That would have provided a pot of $175 million to be shared with Suarez if he ensured that they would win!!

Suarez – 3 bites and time to pull his teeth

June 25, 2014

A dog which bit 3 times would most likely be put down.

After having attacked Branislav Ivanovic and Otman Bakkal in the past, Luis Suarez was at it again at yesterdays World Cup match between Uruguay and Italy. This time he managed to sink his teeth into Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder.

Time to put him down. Or only be allowed to play after a long suspension provided he has all his teeth pulled and plays with an empty mouth.

Luis Suarez - 3 bites and out

Luis Suarez – 3 bites and out

Few high points as World Cup kicks-off

June 13, 2014

We are off.

An own goal, a disputed penalty and two mediocre shots elevated by poor goal keeping.

The real battle going on within FIFA but off the pitch. Football fever muting the social unrest in Brazil.

Not a very noisy or musical crowd.

But Brazil won as they should have and Croatia can’t complain. Tradition has been upheld and the hosts have won the opening game.

No vuvuzelas.

 

 

 


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