Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Corruption Allegations Against FIFA

So Jack Warner is making good on his promise to let a few skeletons out of the FIFA closet:
Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner said Thursday he was awarded World Cup television rights for as little as $1 in return for helping Sepp Blatter win elections for the presidency of world soccer’s ruling body.

Warner, who resigned from FIFA in June amid bribery allegations, said in a statement that the organization awarded him the 1998 World Cup rights in his native Trinidad & Tobago for $1 after he helped Blatter win a “brutal” campaign to become FIFA president.

A former president of regional body CONCACAF and the Caribbean Football Union, Warner also said he was sold the rights for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups after helping Blatter get re-elected in 2002, and later bought the 2010 and 2014 rights.
British MP Damian Collins, a long-time critic of FIFA, has called for an independent investigation:
These are serious allegations that must surely go to the very top of FIFA and need to be fully and independently investigated.

If true, how could deals like this be done without the knowledge of the most senior people in the organisation? This is a question that has to be answered by Sepp Blatter and it also demonstrates why there has to be a committee of investigation and inquiry which can act independently of the President and FIFA's Executive Committee.

Whilst these charges from Jack Warner are new and shocking, they cannot be regarded as a total surprise.

In front of our Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in May 2011, former England Football Association Chairman, Lord Triesman alleged that Jack Warner had asked England to pay for the broadcast rights for the World Cup 2010 to be shown "on large screens throughout Haiti."

It turned out, according to the Dingemans report presented to FIFA by the FA, that the pay TV World Cup rights in the Caribbean at that time were owned by a company, SportsMax, whose holding company JD International "acts on behalf of the Caribbean Football Union [then President, one Jack Warner] in selling TV rights for the region".

This means, as the FA stated in an email to FIFA on 11 May 2011, that Lord Triesman was alleging that Jack Warner was asking for payment for TV rights that he "in fact owned."

FIFA was asked by the FA to consider investigating this further, along with a number of other allegations made by Lord Triesman, and refused to do so.
What will FIFA do? Probably what it has always done.

What will Mark Pieth do? Who knows, but this new revelation provides him a face-saving chance to extricate himself from the pickle he has gotten himself ino.

We know what Jack Warner is going to do ... he promises to let a few more skeletons out of the closet in due course.


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