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What shall FIFA do now?


105 members have voted

  1. 1. Should Blatter resign?

    • No
    • Yes
  2. 2. Should the elections for 2018 and 2022 be repeated?

    • No
    • Yes (both)
    • Yes (only 2018)
    • Yes (only 2022)
    • No, but the country, which bidded but lost, should host the next ones
  3. 3. Should the bribery scandal be investigated by public authorities?

    • No - the FIFA ethic council will handle that perfectly
    • Yes - the FIFA isn't able to handle it "in the family"

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  • 1 month later...

This doesn't ring false to me. I've always been a bit uneasy about some of the allegations that have flown around about our bid after the 2022 debacle:

Whilstleblower claims Australia paid disgraced Jack Warner half a million dollars for World Cup influence

AUSTRALIA’S bid team for the 2022 World Cup have been accused by a whistleblower of paying the disgraced former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner almost half a million dollars in the belief that he would vote for them.

The allegation has been made to Michael Garcia, the American lawyer leading FIFA’s investigations into claims of corruption in the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The whistleblower, who attended meetings at which the Australian bid team discussed the Warner transaction and others of a similar nature, claims that while the money was paid to upgrade the Marvin Lee Stadium in Macoya, Trinidad, it was always intended to influence Warner’s vote.

Warner was at the time president of CONCACAF, the governing body for football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The stadium is part of the Joao Havelange Centre of Excellence, a football academy built on land alleged to have been owned by Warner. He denied ownership, insisting it belonged to the Caribbean Football Union, of which he was president.

A cheque for $462,200 was deposited into an account controlled by Warner in September 2010 and an official report into integrity in Caribbean football in April 2013 concluded that he ‘misappropriated these funds’.

The 2018 and 2022 votes, in which Warner participated along with 21 fellow members of FIFA’s Executive Committee (ExCo), took place in December 2010, the tournaments being awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively.

Australia, whose bid for the 2022 tournament had been in competition with Japan, South Korea and the United States as well as Qatar, received only one vote in the initial ballot, despite spending $43 million on their bid.

Warner, who is believed to have voted for the US in that ballot, resigned from all his international football posts in June 2011, which effectively placed him beyond sanction by FIFA.

The significance now of the whistleblower’s testimony to Garcia is that it has been made to a formal FIFA investigation, specifically linking money paid by a bidding nation for bidding support.

Not only were bribes explicitly outlawed in FIFA’s ‘Rules of Conduct’ for the bid processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup but the ‘ethical behaviour’ clauses also said bidding nations ‘shall refrain from attempting to influence members of the FIFA Executive Committee (ExCo) or any other FIFA officials, in particular by offering benefits for specific behaviour’.

Giving money for a stadium upgrade if it was intended as a ‘sweetener’ to influence the World Cup vote would have been against the rules unless Football Federation Australia (FFA), under whose leadership the bid was mounted, could demonstrate that the money was going to be given to that project anyway.

An FFA spokesman told the UK Mail on Sunday: “Australia, like all nations bidding for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, was required by FIFA to establish football development programmes in other nations where football facilities and funding were lacking.”

However, The Mail on Sunday has seen a copy of FIFA’s official bid guidelines and rules for the 2018 and 2022 events, and no such requirement is mentioned.

The FFA spokesman added: “Under FFA’s International Football Development programme, a grant was made to fund preliminary design and feasibility work on a CONCACAF Centre of Excellence in Trinidad. The funds were paid to a CONCACAF bank account in 2010 and the programme was documented in FFA’s World Cup Bid reports, which were in turn subject to Australian Government oversight.”

The Mail on Sunday has seen the official FFA World Cup report, submitted at the end of the process, and the money paid to the account controlled by Warner is not mentioned.

The FFA spokesman also said: “Subsequently, FFA was informed in early 2013 by CONCACAF of allegations that the funds had been misappropriated. FFA assisted CONCACAF in its inquiry into the matter ...

“It’s regrettable that the funds provided to CONCACAF were not used in the way in which they were intended.”

Garcia is expected to visit Australia in the coming days to meet people who worked on the country’s World Cup bid, having already met some of the team in meetings conducted outside Australia.

One source said Garcia hopes to meet Frank Lowy, the billionaire businessman who backed Australia’s bid. Lowy has not responded to questions. There is no suggestion that Lowy was involved in the payment to Warner. The FFA declined to comment on whether bid staff will meet Garcia.

The new whistleblower allegations come at the end of a month in which FBI paperwork in the US suggested that Warner was paid more than a million US dollars by a company controlled by another senior FIFA executive, Qatar’s Mohamed Bin Hammam, after the Gulf state had been awarded the 2022 tournament in a shock vote. Bin Hammam and Warner have denied wrongdoing.

The whistleblower also alleges that money was paid for projects in Oceania and Africa on the understanding that FIFA ExCo members representing those areas would vote for Australia in exchange. Garcia is also looking into claims that Australia and Russia, who won the right to stage the 2018 tournament, attempted to set up a vote swap, contrary to FIFA’s bidding rules.

The FFA spokesperson declined to answer questions about Australia bid payments to projects in Oceania or elsewhere, and declined to respond to a question about alleged collusion with Russia.

It is an open secret that Qatar and Spain colluded to exchange votes among their backers for 2022 and 2018 respectively, despite that being against bidding rules.

A FIFA investigation before the 2010 vote found there were not ‘sufficient grounds’ to conclude there was collusion but in February 2011 FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitted that there had been.

THE Garcia investigation is likely to provide extensive evidence of that collusion, as well as ‘voting incentives’ of cash paid, by various bidders, to projects linked to ExCo voters.

Another whistleblower, from Qatar, is understood to have told Garcia that funding was promised to African ExCo members in exchange for supporting the Qatari bid. Sources say Garcia is actively pursuing these lines of inquiry and ‘building a picture of a hugely flawed bidding process’.

Garcia was in Zurich two weeks ago seeking information from ExCo voters and one source said his ‘forthright’ questioning left at least one ExCo member, from South America, ‘fuming’ at suggestions of impropriety. “Garcia is seriously ruffling feathers,” said the source.

More than one disgruntled ExCo member tried to gain support for a plan to have Garcia’s anti-corruption investigation axed. Reform-minded colleagues thwarted that and Garcia’s work goes on.

The Australian whistleblower has also told Garcia that another FIFA vice-president and ExCo member, Reynald Temarii of Tahiti, requested and was granted money for ‘sports development’ in Oceania.

“In itself, that is not a bad cause,” said the whistleblower. “But he [Temarii] also sought a further $4 million over three years, and in return it was always understood that if the Australia bid team did that Australia would have his vote. And that was absolutely a core element of [Australia’s] strategy.”

Australia’s bid team also had extensive dealing with Nigeria’s ExCo member, Amos Adamu, and Paraguay’s Nicolas Leoz, and Jamaican football was ‘allocated’ funds of more than two million dollars.

“No one from Jamaica even had a vote, but we were there giving them $2.5m with a clear understanding that it would affect Jack Warner’s vote,’ said the whistleblower.

Adamu and Temarii were both suspended from FIFA and then ousted for corruption before the vote even took place, while both Warner and Leoz have subsequently left under a cloud of corruption allegations.


That's the reason Australia should refrain from pointing fingers and demanding redress for the 2022 los. And why we should steer clear of any bid again for the foreseeable future.

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  • 1 month later...

Blatter targets FIFA members for presidential run

ZURICH (AP) — Sepp Blatter says he will ask FIFA's 209 member countries for their backing to seek a fifth term as president.

Giving his clearest indication yet of an expected candidacy, Blatter says: "Yes, I would like to do it."

Blatter, who has led FIFA since 1998, will be 79 when the election is held next May. He said in 2011 that his current four-year term would be his last, but has dropped repeated hints he would run again.

Blatter said at the Sochi Olympics he would not say no if FIFA members asked him to be a candidate when they meet on June 11 in Sao Paulo.

Speaking on Thursday at the opening of a Swiss publisher's headquarters in Zurich, Blatter says "my mandate is almost over but my mission is not finished."

UEFA President Michel Platini has said he will decide this year whether to be a candidate.


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  • 2 weeks later...
Q&A with Jerome Champagne, Candidate for FIFA President in 2015

FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, is no stranger to controversy. Allegations of bribery, corruption and vote-rigging have swirled around the organization for years, many of them recently centered on Qatar and its winning bid for the 2022 World Cup. Jerome Champagne, a French former diplomat and FIFA executive, wants the chance to right the ship.

Mr. Champagne is running for FIFA president next year likely against Sepp Blatter, who has held the position since 1998 and is expected to seek re-election. He spoke to The Wall Street Journal this week about his platform and positions, which include a focus on democratizing the sport and the inclusion of human rights criteria in the World Cup award process.

WSJ: You’ve talked before about wealth disparities between clubs in Europe and the rest of the world, and how that’s negatively affecting the game. What about the increasing power of global investors and billionaire owners like Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour of Manchester City? Should there be curbs on people like this?

Mr. Champagne: “Money is necessary in football. If you want to build an artificial field in Bolivia or eastern Europe to develop the game, the cost is $600,000 to $1 million. If you look at what FIFA makes, over a four-year period it’s $5 billion. You can only mark a third for development. We need more money in football.”

“We need more investors, but we need to make sure all these investments won’t all to go to Europe. Financial fair play is a good idea because nobody can spend more than one earns, but I do believe the financial surplus doesn’t address the real issue. One percent of these clubs make a lot of money and the others are suffering.”

WSJ: You’ve worked in the Middle East before, having advised the Palestine Football Federation and the Palestine Olympic Committee. You also worked for a time at the French embassy in Oman. Is the region ready for a World Cup?

Mr. Champagne: “I think football in the Arab world is very important and I see that possibly we need to do more to produce local players. I know it’s a challenge in countries where the population is not so huge.”

“Do you think the U.S. were ready to have the World Cup in 1994, when [Major League Soccer] was not born? I think we should be very humble, and I do think the world cup in the region would boost the sport in the region. The real issue is not whether the region is ready – of course they’re ready.”

WSJ: Let’s talk about the allegations of corruption surrounding the awarding of the World Cups of 2018 and 2022 to Russia and Qatar. Is it your belief that these votes were clean?

Mr. Champagne: “Innocent until proven guilty. The World Cup should remain untainted. We cannot go with some doubts. We cannot go with allegations. If something is discovered, we will have to take a decision.”

WSJ: Are you saying you’d strip Qatar of the 2022 World Cup if something were found?

Mr. Champagne: “It will depend on whether we find something, what will be found, and whether it influenced the vote. All options are on the table.”

“We need to have institutional reforms. I support change in FIFA statutes that transfers the decision to the Congress [a FIFA body composed of its 209 member associations that elects its powerful Executive Committee]. The decision of hosting the World Cup was made by the Congress until 1966 and after that it was transferred to the Executive Committee. FIFA is a federation of national football associations, created by them and for them and in order to serve them.”

WSJ: A lot of concern has been raised recently about alleged exploitation and poor living conditions for migrant workers in Qatar who will build its World Cup stadiums and the surrounding infrastructure. What’s your stance on this?

Mr. Champagne: “I welcomed [FIFA executive committee member Theo] Zwanziger when he said the World Cup should include human rights in the list of criteria for hosting. Football is about equality. When players are congregating in the locker room there’s no color, creed or sexual orientation. What matters is how you master the ball. It’s a value of equality, it’s a value of opportunity, it’s a value of no discrimination. As much as it is possible democracies are supposed to be based on these things.”

WSJ: So should there be minimum standards for workers in World Cup host countries, like the ability to unionize?

Mr. Champagne: “Yes, proper unions, the right to travel and all these things which are the minimum standards. I welcome what Zwanziger said, which is we need to incorporate these criteria.”

“Before the focus was on workers from the Indian subcontinent, a lot of companies have made deals there. Foreign governments are sending people and building there and suddenly we have FIFA to solve a problem when these countries haven’t done anything? Have you seen any government severing ties because of the workers?”

“I have no problem that FIFA is under the microscope. It’s a reality. But I think FIFA cannot be asked to solve a problem that foreign governments and foreign companies haven’t done anything to solve.”


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Innocent to proven guilty? What else do they need to prove Qatar and Russia are in with Fifa on corruption. Both haven't contributed anywhere near as much as England, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Japan and South Korea. Even America and Australia have contributed more. Qatar and Russia had nothing going for it's Bid, except Money. Nearly no Stadiums, no Footballing tradition, no Human Rights, no workers rights, homophobic and Qatar has heat problems.

Correction: Till proven guilty.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Anglo-Dutch alliance finally telling Blatter what they really think.... B)

FA's David Gill Walks Out Of FIFA Executive Meeting In Brazil, Calls For Sepp Blatter To Resign

David Gill, the vice-chairman of the Football Association (FA), has walked out of a FIFA executive meeting in São Paulo, Brazil and has immediately called on Sepp Blatter to resign, according to Sky News.

Gill reportedly asked Blatter not to seek re-election and leave office next year. According to The Guardian, Gill was highly critical of Blatter's outburst on Monday that accused the British press of trying to undermine the 2022 World Cup in Qatar because of racism, calling the comments "totally unacceptable".

In reaction to Blatter's "racism" comments, FA Chairman Greg Dyke said: "Many of us are deeply troubled by your reaction (to the bribery allegations). It is time to stop attacking the messenger and consider the message."

Several federations have been critical of Blatter's rule since allegations of corruption and bribery pertaining to the 2022 World Cup emerged. On Tuesday, the Dutch FA became the latest federation asking that the 78-year-old not stand for a fifth term. Blatter has been FIFA president since 1998.

In an interview in the newspaper Volkskrant, Dutch FA President Michael Van Praag said: "The image of FIFA has been tarnished by everything that has happened over the last years."

Van Praag reportedly went further in a recent meeting with Blatter in Brazil, telling the FIFA president: "This is nothing personal but if you look at FIFA’s reputation over the last seven or eight years, it is being linked to all kinds of corruption and all kinds of old boys’ networks things. FIFA has an executive president and you are not making things easy for yourself and I do not think you are the man for the job any longer. Do you ever look at Twitter? You'd see that millions of people are against you."


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FIFA votes down age and term limit proposals

SAO PAULO (AP) — FIFA member countries have thrown out proposals to introduce age and term limits for football officials.

The modernizing moves have long been regarded by FIFA's anti-corruption advisers as an essential step to change the scandal-hit governing body's culture.

FIFA's 209 countries voted down separate proposals in principle on Wednesday, at public ballots during their congress.

Term limits had seemed more likely to win approval.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who is 78, had widely campaigned against age limits as a form of discrimination. He is expected to seek a fifth straight term, although a vote in favor Wednesday would not have affected FIFA's presidential election next May.


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Sepp Blatter: Fifa president criticises Uefa 'disrespect'

Sepp Blatter has indicated he wants to seek a fifth term as Fifa president and called Uefa "disrespectful" after calls for his resignation.

He has been widely criticised over the damage corruption allegations have caused football's governing body.

But the 78-year-old Swiss said he was angered by calls by his European counterparts for him to quit.

"This was the most disrespectful thing I've ever experienced in my entire life," he said at Fifa's congress.



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