Posts Tagged ‘Sepp Blatter’

As expected, Blatter follows Valcke and cancels Canada trip for fear of arrest

July 1, 2015

On June 2nd the FIFA General Secretary, Jerome Valcke, cancelled his trip to Canada for the opening of the Women’s World Cup and I observed then,

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”. …..

Sepp Blatter has just resigned from the FIFA presidency. …….  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.

And the news today is that Sepp Blatter has cancelled his trip to Canada to attend the final of the Women’s World Cup for “personal reasons”.

BBCFifa president Sepp Blatter will not travel to Canada for the final of the Women’s World Cup on Sunday for “personal reasons”. The 79-year-old Swiss had planned to attend the match in Vancouver, despite Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke pulling out of the opening ceremony.

……. Blatter’s lawyer, Richard Cullen, said Fifa senior vice-president Issa Hayatou would attend the match instead.

Well, I suppose the risk of being arrested is about as “personal” as it is possible to be.

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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


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.

It is time to take the 2022 World Cup away from Qatar

June 1, 2014

If FIFA is to retain any semblance of credibility they need to re-run the selection process for the 2022 World Cup. This time without Qatar participating.  That won’t stop the corruption of course but at least it could clean out the stable before it is despoiled again.

The latest revelations in the Sunday Times (paywalled but reported by the BBC) merely confirm that Qatar did buy selection.

BBC:

Fifa is facing fresh allegations of corruption over its controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.

The Sunday Times  has obtained millions of secret documents – emails, letters and bank transfers – which it alleges are proof that the disgraced Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam made payments totalling $5m to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid.

…….. the Sunday Times alleges Bin Hammam’s strategy was to win a groundswell of support for the Qatari bid which would then influence the four African Fifa executive committee members who were able to take part in the election.

The Sunday Times also alleges that it has documents which prove Bin Hammam paid 305,000 Euros (£250,000) to cover the legal expenses of another former Fifa executive committee member from Oceania, Reynald Temarii.

Temarii, from Tahiti, was unable to vote in the contest as he had already been suspended by Fifa after he was caught out by a Sunday Times sting asking bogus American bid officials for money in return for his support.

But the paper now alleges that Bin Hammam provided him with financial assistance to allow him to appeal against the Fifa suspension, delaying his removal from the executive committee and blocking his deputy David Chung from voting in the 2022 election.

The paper claims that had Chung been allowed to vote he would have supported Qatar’s rivals Australia. Instead there was no representative from Oceania allowed to vote, a decision which may have influenced the outcome in Qatar’s favour. The paper also makes fresh allegations about the relationship between Bin Hammam and his disgraced Fifa ally Jack Warner, from Trinidad. ….. 

That Qatar bought its selection was already known.

But what now becomes obvious is that many of the FIFA officials currently in power and including Sepp Blatter have known about this for some time. Some of them were probably involved themselves.

A Qatar World Cup will probably break all records in the number of deaths per goals scored. The competition will probably have to be shifted to the winter.

It is time for FIFA and Sepp Blatter to bite the bullet and take the 2022 World Cup away from Qatar. Blatter will probably try to pin the blame for Qatar on Michel Platini.

It would be best if neither Platini or Blatter stood for the FIFA Presidency next year.

FIFA Presidential electioneering underway as Blatter blames Platini, France and Germany for selling 2022 World Cup to Qatar

May 17, 2014

FIFA Presidential electioneering for 2015 is underway as Sepp Blatter (who is Swiss) blames Michel Platini (who is French), France and Germany for selling the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. But this attack is just positioning by Blatter in case the 2014 World Cup in Brazil doesn’t go too well and Blatter will have to take that blame.

FIFA bows primarily to financial inducements (not political pressure as it sometimes appears). In many cases the financial inducements are just simple, straight-forward  bribery implemented in a very sophisticated manner. Even after the FIFA technical committee had clearly indicated that Qatar was unsuitable as a location for a World Cup tournament, the Executive Committee decided otherwise. That Qatar bought the 2022 World Cup is clear and it seems likely that the number of deaths per goal will be the highest ever by a long way in 2022.

Qatar 2022 will achieve more deaths than goals

Based on the track record of World Cup Tournaments, the Qatar 2022 championship will see between 100 and 180 goals – most likely around 150. But this number will be easily exceeded by the number of construction workers who have been killed by then. Already over 70 Nepalese workers have died since 2012 and the total number is probably around 200. By 2022 this number will exceed 1000.

Perhaps FIFA could introduce a safety performance index for the Qatar World Cup? Maybe to have less than 6 deaths per goal?

FIFA’s next presidential election is in 2015 and Sepp Blatter will be trying to retain his seat and Michel Platini will probably be opposing him. And so the electioneering has begun. This year’s World Cup is less than a month away and kicks-off on June 12th. The stadiums and infrastructure are still not quite ready. A fiasco in Brazil will be blamed on Sepp Blatter and will undermine his chances in 2015 of being President again. For some time now he has been trying to ensure that anything negative to do with Qatar is tied to Platini. Come 2015 Platini will have to deal with the Qatari dirt if he opposes Blatter.

A plague on both their houses!

November 2013Sepp Blatter Now Blames France and Germany for 2022 World Cup Fiasco

Always looking to blame somebody else, Sepp Blatter hasn’t let us down by now blaming France and Germany for the 2022 World Cup mess in Qatar. According to theFIFA fool, these two nations are to blame for the ongoing turmoil regarding Qatar hosting the 2022 event. In addition, he believes they’re also accountable for some of the ill treatment of the migrant workers over there, along with the construction firms. 

Blatter said on November 22 that France and Germany exerted a lot of political pressure to grant Qatar with the World Cup because of their financial interests and they’re the two biggest economies in Europe. In Blatter’s own words, there was a lot of “political pressure from European countries…because there were so many economic interests. Two of these countries pressured the voting men in FIFA: France and Germany…I think the heads of state of these two countries should also express what they think of this situation.” 

March 2014: Only I Can Beat Sepp Blatter In FIFA Elections – Platini

“Only one person can beat Blatter,” Platini said at UEFA congress in Astana (quotes from Reuters). 

Platini told the UEFA Congress he would have more meetings with European football leaders in coming months before announcing whether he would stand for FIFA.

“I will give my answer after the World Cup. There will be a series of meetings with European federation officials. Maybe 99% of them will say ‘we prefer that you stay at UEFA’, that could also be an element of reflection” in the decision, Platini said.

Meanwhile, the Frenchman earlier blasted the world federation’s lack of action over secretive companies owning players as he stepped up a war of nerves with Blatter. Platini said the so-called ‘third party ownership’ of players is a “danger” to football.

May 2014: Sepp Blatter: awarding 2022 World Cup to Qatar was a mistake

“Yes, it was a mistake of course, but one makes lots of mistakes in life,” said Blatter, Fifa’s president, in an interview with the Swiss broadcaster RTS. “The technical report into Qatar said clearly it was too hot but the executive committee – with a large majority – decided all the same to play it in Qatar.”

… Blatter is believed to have voted for the USA to host the 2022 World Cup while his prospective rival for the presidency, Uefa’s Michel Platini, voted for Qatar and has been closely linked in the public mind with the controversial plans for the 2022 tournament.

The Fifa inspection team ranked Qatar as the only “high risk” option overall, yet it was still chosen by 14 of the 22 voting members of the executive committee in December 2010. ….. 

Platini and others have denied being influenced by their heads of state into voting for Qatar for business reasons. ….. 

“I will never say that they bought it, because it was political pushing. Really, both in France and Germany,” said Blatter, who has previously claimed there was “definitely direct political influence” on European executive committee members to vote for Qatar.

France’s foreign ministry said the assertion was “without foundation”, despite the fact that Platini has admitted to attending a high level meeting with former president Nicolas Sarkozy and the now Qatari Emir.

 

Blatter and his stinking mess of FIFA corruption

May 30, 2011
Sepp Blatter

Image via Wikipedia

Sepp Blatter is standing unopposed and the writhing mess of corruption that FIFA has become continues. That World Cups are bought and sold is patently obvious. Apart from masses of money Qatar brings nothing to a World Cup competition and takes away much. The corruption – under Blatter’s watchful and forgiving eye – has of course resulted in stupid decision after stupid decision.

As long as Blatter continues the corruption and stupidity will remain institutionalised and there is no chance of FIFA even beginning to put its house in order.

The BBC

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke has denied Jack Warner’s claim in an e-mail that Mohamed Bin Hammam “bought” the 2022 World Cup finals for Qatar. 

Suspended Fifa vice-president Warner made public the e-mail which also questioned why Asian football boss Bin Hammam was running for Fifa president. Valcke wrote: “[Hammam] thought you can buy Fifa as they bought the World Cup”.

But in Valcke’s denial he insisted he was not referring to any “purchase of votes or similar unethical behaviour.” ….. And last weekQatar 2022 World Cup officials denied allegations, published in the Sunday Times, that they paid bribes in return for votes.

Meanwhile, independent Australian senator Nick Xenophon has demanded that Fifa refunds the Aus$45.6m (£29.6m) his country spent on their unsuccessful bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Xenophon said: “It appears corrupt and highly questionable behaviour goes to the core of Fifa. Australia spent almost $46m on a bid we were never in the running for. Now we hear that bribes may have been made to fix the result for who will head up Fifa.”

As vice president, China’s Zhang Jilong will take charge of the AFC in the absence of Bin Hammam. However, the decision to suspend Bin Hammam has been met with widespread criticism throughout the Middle East.

AFC vice president Yousuf al-Serkal, from neighbouring United Arab Emirates, said: “I think Bin Hammam has been mistreated. “Bin Hammam is the right person who should have been elected to the presidency of Fifa from the point of view of change.”

The Telegraph

The prospect that Sepp Blatter will tomorrow be returned unopposed as president of Fifa, the game’s governing body, is enough to make any true football fan, of whatever nationality, cringe with embarrassment.

Unopposed? Does that mean people think he is doing a good job? Couldn’t some tramp be brought in from the streets of Zurich to contest the election? Are ballot papers being printed to give this fiasco a veneer of legitimacy? And who is paying for the prerequisite slap-up lunch for the stooges flying thousands of miles to rubber-stamp Blatter’s election?

The sheer absurdity of the process makes Premier League footballers look like paragons of virtue. Unless 75-year-old Blatter does the decent thing and agrees to the deferment of tomorrow’s election – and nothing in his record of ruthless, self-important nest-feathering suggests that he is capable of doing the decent thing – a coronation of look-away-now awfulness, with toadies in blazers applauding the Supreme Leader, is in prospect. 

His 13-year-old presidency of Fifa has been marked by faux pas after faux pas. When he has not been mulishly resisting long-overdue reforms, such as goal-line technology, he has been insulting women, by advising female footballers to wear tight shorts and low-cut tops, and homosexuals, by urging gay fans to practise sexual restraint at the 2022 
World Cup in Qatar.

But it is the sheer incompetence of Fifa under Blatter that has been truly shocking. Never mind the bribery allegations and counter-allegations swirling around the Qatar bid. No sporting body with any pretensions to seriousness would have agreed to award a World Cup, traditionally held in June/July, to a country where temperatures at that time of year top 40C. ….  Half-cocked plans for air-conditioned stadiums, or for the tournament to be held mid-winter, have only underscored the ludicrousness of the bidding process – with the minnows of world football all too easily seduced by large cheques.


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