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Old 02-03-13, 23:33   #1
 
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Soccer FIFA: Qatar 2022 World Cup at Risk of Being Staged Elsewhere



FIFA Open to 2022 Qatar World Cup Moving to Winter


By ROB HARRIS (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – 5 hours ago, 2 March 2013

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) -- FIFA believes the 2022 World Cup in Qatar could be moved to winter if medical evidence showed that playing in the intense summer heat would be dangerous.

FIFA has previously insisted that Qatar would have to make the request to move the tournament, while the tiny emirate has placed responsibility on world soccer governing body to make the call.

In a sign that the impasse could be ending, FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke said the executive committee could decide on the shift to winter if the June temperatures, which can exceed 104 degrees, are deemed dangerous.

''Maybe the FIFA Ex-Co will say based on medical report or whatever we really have to look at playing the World Cup not in summer but in winter,'' Valcke said Saturday after a meeting of soccer's rule-makers.

''As long as we have not fixed the international calendar, all alternatives are open,'' he added. ''It's in 2022, nine years and we have two World Cups to organize in Brazil and Russia. So there is some time.''

Valcke said moving the tournament would not open up FIFA to legal challenges from the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia, who lost out to Qatar in the 2010 vote.

''Would you think we would open a discussion if we are not sure there would be no legal challenge to do so?'' Valcke said.

While Qatar unexpectedly landed the 2022 showpiece tournament with plans for air-conditioned stadiums, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has acknowledged that fans could struggle to cope with the heat away outside the venues in June.

UEFA President Michel Platini favors a move to the cooler winter months, telling German newspaper Bild on Saturday that the summer heat would be ''unbearable'' for fans and players.

But the European soccer chief's view is opposed by Jeffrey Webb, president of CONCACAF, which governs the sport in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

''Historically, the World Cup is always played in June and I would definitely like the World Cup to be played in June, we accepted it,'' Webb said. ''We went through a long process regarding that.''

Moving the World Cup to winter would interrupt the European club season, and the Premier League is opposed to it.

''As long as we have not fixed the international calendar (for 2019 to '22) all alternatives are open,'' Valcke said.

''The most important thing is to make sure (we) work with all stakeholders and make sure there is full agreement with all parties, leagues, clubs, and we would have to find eight weeks in the mid-season to play the World Cup.''

2022 Qatar World Cup Stadiums - Estadios De La Copa Del Mundo Qatar 2022




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Old 10-07-13, 21:47   #2
 
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FIFA To Move World Cup 2022 to Winter +Qatar Spends $200 Billion

Report: Qatar Spending $200 Billion on World Cup

By Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
July 9, 2013

Building air-conditioned, open-air stadiums in the desert is expensive.

Deloitte says Qatar will spend $200 billion over the next decade as it prepares to host the 2022 World Cup, the Associated Press reports.

The money will go toward transportation and tourism infrastructure and new stadiums. About 400,000 fans are expected to attend the month-long tournament.

With summer temperatures routinely in triple digits, Qatar plans to build fully air-conditioned, open-air stadiums that operate on solar power.

The Persian Gulf nation beat out the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea in bidding to host the event.
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Old 20-07-13, 19:14   #3
 
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Update FIFA To Move World Cup 2022 to Winter +Qatar Spends $200 Billion



Sepp Blatter: Still time for 2022 Qatar World Cup Winter Switch

BBC Sport 19 July 2013

Fifa president Sepp Blatter is determined to switch the 2022 World Cup to the winter because of the intense Qatar summer heat.
The head of world football's governing body is planning discussions over the change with his executive committee.
The Premier League are opposed to the move as it would cause major disruption to league fixtures.
Blatter said: "The executive committee will certainly follow my proposal. Then we will have dealt with it for good."

Blatter will hold talks with Fifa's executive committee in October after medical evidence highlighted the dangers of playing games in temperatures that average 40C in June and can reach 50C.

The heat dips to an average of 20C during the winter months.

The host nation is planning to play games in air-conditioned stadiums, but Blatter said: "The Fifa World Cup must be a festival of the people, but, for it to be such a festival, you can't play football in the summer.

"You can cool down the stadiums, but you can't cool down the whole country and you can't simply cool down the ambience of a World Cup.

"The players must be able to play in the best conditions to play a good World Cup."

Moving the World Cup to the winter would significantly impact on the European leagues.

Blatter insists it would only affect one season, but the Premier League fear fixtures could be disrupted across Europe for three seasons.

"The Premier League's view remains unchanged," a spokesman said. "We are opposed to the concept of a winter World Cup for very obvious practical reasons that would impact on all of European domestic football."

The Football Association are also believed to be concerned about the impact a winter World Cup would have on domestic leagues.

But Mark Perryman, of the London England Supporters group, told the BBC his personal view was that a change to the timing of the World Cup should be welcomed.

He said: "It is high time we recognise that football is a world game.

"Half the world in the southern hemisphere are effectively forced to play the World Cup in the middle of their season, so why is there so much upset in European nations when they are expected to do the same?

"A lot of the Nordic and East European countries do not play in the winter because of the weather so this would not affect their own leagues.

"So this is a rather Anglo-centric view that is being taken. There is a long time to go until the tournament, so why can't we reorganise our season to allow a winter World Cup?"

Uefa president Michel Platini has previously stated he is willing to move European club competitions to enable the tournament to be held in winter, insisting it would "not be a problem".

The head of Qatar's organising committee, Hassan Al-Thawadi, says his country is also willing to change their plans.

"If it's a wish of the football community to have the World Cup in winter, then we are open to that," he said.

Qatar defeated bids from South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States to win a ballot of Fifa's 22 executive members for the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

In February 2011, Blatter was asked about the potential for switching the tournament to the winter and responded that "everything is settled for summer".

But his change of heart follows the release of fresh medical information about the effects of heat on players.

"We have to take into account the health, not of the spectators, but of the players," he told Sky Germany.

Meanwhile, Blatter said Brazil might be the wrong choice to host the 2014 World Cup if the tournament is affected by the wave of protests seen at the Confederations Cup last month.

Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets to express their anger over the costs of staging the World Cup and demanding better public services.
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Old 10-09-13, 15:27   #4
 
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Soccer Re: FIFA To Move World Cup 2022 to Winter +Qatar Spends $200 Billion

Sepp Blatter Admits Qatar World Cup 'Mistake,' but He's Right About Europe

By Bleachersreport (WORLD FOOTBALL STAFF WRITER) on September 9, 2013





In an interview with insideworldfootball.com, FIFA president Sepp Blatter revealed his belief that awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar may have been “a mistake.”

Conceding that world football’s governing body should have foreseen the Gulf nation’s inability to host a World Cup in its scorching summer, Blatter divulged that his motion to move the tournament back several months would be submitted to his organization’s Executive Committee.

Quote:
Edward Davies @E_Davies1

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has admitted that FIFA made 'a mistake' when appointing Qatar as the host nation for 2022 World Cup.

“After many discussions, deliberations and critical review of the entire matter, I came to the conclusion that playing the World Cup in the heat of Qatar’s summer was simply not a responsible thing to do, despite the fact that I know full well that Qatar has the means to develop the best cooling technology,” he said.

Blatter also remarked that FIFA’s bidding documents, which were circulated to each nation interested in hosting the event, did not expressly stipulate a requirement to stage the World Cup at a particular time.

“[The Bid Registration Agreement] does not say that it 'must' take place in those months,” he said, adding that it only lays out “FIFA’s wish” to schedule the World Cup during June and July.

An argument over semantics, to be sure.

In truth, Blatter’s handling of the 2022 World Cup has been muddled from the very beginning. However, the true embarrassment has proven to be the lack of forethought employed by him and his organization during the bidding process that eventually awarded the competition to Qatar in December 2010.

They might have considered the summer climate in the country, which can see temperatures rise to as high as 50 degrees Celsius, and realized that a World Cup held in June and July simply wasn’t feasible.

But instead of providing intellectual leadership on the issue, they allowed the fallout—much of it rightfully furious—to shape the process over several years.

Not surprisingly, some of the most vociferous complaints have emanated from Europe, where Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has been at the forefront of the backlash.

In an August interview with Sky, Scudamore claimed it would be “extremely difficult, nigh on impossible,” for English football to conform to a winter World Cup.

"The international football calendar is one that has to be consulted through,” he said. “It is not something FIFA can just decide because the whole of world football has an interest in that.”

It certainly does, but what he didn’t point out was that major leagues in other parts of the world, notably the global South, already have their own clashes with the international calendar—a schedule that typically accommodates Europe’s biggest divisions at the expense of all others.

It’s here that Blatter’s thinking has evolved in a progressive direction, and in his interview he opined that the “European summer” can no longer set the World Cup template.

“The world has become a much smaller place,” he said. “If we maintain, rigidly, the status quo, then a FIFA World Cup can never be played in countries that are south of the equator or, indeed, near the equator. We automatically discriminate against countries that have different seasons than we do in Europe.”

Quote:
Matt Slater @mattslaterbbc

In an interview with Insideworldfootball, Blatter asks why 800m Europeans get to decide when in 2022 Qatar should host its World Cup

As a remark, Blatter was only expressing what every school-age child knows: Seasons differ according to hemisphere, and “summer” in one part of the world is “winter” in another part.
A basic concept, but one Europe continues to resist.

“Who are we, the Europeans, to demand that this event has to cater to the needs of 800 million Europeans above all when there are over 7 billion people who populate this planet and of whom 6.2 billion are not European, but who must at all times succumb to our diktat?” he asked rhetorically.




Harold Cunningham/Getty Images


Blatter may have taken his new position by convenience, but it is nevertheless the correct one.

“I think it is high time that Europe starts to understand that we do not rule the world anymore, and that some former European imperial powers can no longer impress their will onto others in far-away places.”

As an idea, the one Blatter put forward in his interview is something most high-minded people bought into long ago, yet because it came from the lips of the FIFA president, it can carry some weight going forward.

In his assertion that European seasons and the European calendar no longer hold sway over other continents, Blatter is essentially acknowledging that football fans in places like Brazil and Japan should be no more inclined to have their domestic leagues interrupted than their counterparts in England and Germany.

While his outspokenness on the matter is convenient for him given the Qatar bungle, it is nevertheless the politically, rationally and morally correct position.
The 2022 World Cup may well be moved to January or February, and the process of that move may well have been the result of carelessness and oversight.

But Blatter is in every way correct in fighting for the principle behind the move. While his arrival at the principle was reckless, he now finds himself in perhaps unfamiliar territory—profoundly and decisively in the right.
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Old 23-03-14, 17:21   #5
 
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FIFA Investigating BIG Bribe Case-World Cup

Qatar World Cup Investigation: "If Fifa isn't Corrupt, then it's Incredibly Stupid"

By Tom Chivers, The Telegraph UK, 23 March 2014


A billion people going "well, obviously", at the news that a senior Fifa figure and his family were apparently paid millions of dollars by a Qatari firm shortly after Fifa made the decision to give Qatar the 2022 World Cup. The figure was Jack Warner, formerly the vice president of the football's ludicrous global governing body; he and his sons appear to have received $2 million (£1.2 million) from a company owned by Mohamed Bin Hammam, Qatar's Fifa representative.
Warner had already had to leave his role at Fifa in 2011, after a series of bribery allegations.

The thing is, it doesn't – really – matter whether the decision to grant Qatar the World Cup was the result of bribery and corruption. If it was, then oh no, Fifa is corrupt (as though this would hardly come as a surprise, given that at Fifa's last "election" for its president, Sepp Blatter was literally the only name on the ballot. Crimean referendums have nothing on this).
But if it wasn't – if Fifa actually made the Qatar decision in an entirely fair, even-handed and high-minded way, to the very best of its abilities – that's even worse. It means that it consists of idiots who think that a country with roughly the population of West Yorkshire, a country which averages 41C in the summer months, is a sensible place to hold the world's biggest summer sporting competition.

I could go on, and you know what, I will. It's a country which has a large population of "forced migrant workers", or trafficked slaves, to you and me; a country in which male homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment; a country in which criticism of the government is illegal (the poet Mohammed al-Ajami was imprisoned for testing this one out).

If Fifa is a bastion of sea-green incorruptibles, and it still thinks that is the right place to hold a global sporting tournament, then they're just stupid. Fantastically, don't-understand-the-sport-they-govern, not-fit-to-manage-a-fruit-stand dumb.

They're not alone, of course. The list of daft, utterly avoidable crimes against football by all the governing bodies goes on and on. My current favourite is the Uefa decision to expand the neat 16-team European Championships into a 24-team nonsense with "best losers" going through the groups. But you could also have the sprawling mess of the Europa League, the bizarre attitudes to goal celebrations, the fear of any technological help for referees or even just going back and sorting out obvious miscarriages of justice.

The sordid squeezing of every last penny out of TV rights, by spreading Champions League fixtures around all over the place and diluting the competition's impact. It's like they don't actually enjoy football at all.

But those are all arguable, I suppose. Some people might like having a second-rate European club competition which seems to involve 300 matches, or they might like the refs having authority, or whatever. But the Qatar decision exposed Fifa utterly. There is no way a not idiotic person could make that decision without being corrupt; ergo, Fifa are either corrupt, or they're idiots. I don't think it makes a great deal of difference for football's future governance which is the case.


ENGLAND LOSE WORLD CUP. But look on the bright side…
Well done Panorama, even if we lose the World Cup
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Old 26-03-14, 19:51   #6
 
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Update re: Qatar's World Cup MayTake More Lives Than 9/11

WF: Shocking Qatar Update

Bleachersreport 26 March 2014


Report: Qatar's World Cup Expected To Take More Lives Than 9/11





"Qatar is a country without a conscience," begins the International Trade Union Confederation's recent report on the working and living conditions of the 1.4 million migrant workers living in Qatar, many of whom are there to build stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup. After reading through the report, it's hard to disagree.

The ITUC estimates that 4,000 migrant workers will die before the 2022 World Cup, an estimate based on mortality trends previously reported by embassies within the country. For example:
191 Nepalese workers died in 2013 working in Qatar compared with 169 in 2012 based on Nepal Government figures. 400 Nepalese workers have died since 2010 when Qatar won the right to host the World Cup.
218 Indian nationals died in 2013 working in Qatar according to figures form the Indian Embassy in Qatar. 237 workers died in 2012 and 239 in 2011. On average, about 20 Indian migrants died per month in 2013, peaking at 27 in the hottest month, August.
The ITUC concludes that the principal cause of all of these deaths is the horrible working conditions that migrant workers suffer through every day, and the report doesn't skimp on detail. It's full of first-person accounts from migrant workers that add a human face to impersonal figures.

There are accounts from construction managers:
I went on site this morning at 5:00 a.m. and there was blood everywhere. I don't know what happened, but it was covered up with no report. When I reported this, I was told that if I didn't stop complaining, I would be dismissed.
... and cleaners:
When I first arrived in Qatar, my living conditions were horrible. For three months, I and 15 others who arrived together were forced to sleep on the floor on thin mattresses. We complained to the Qatar National Human Rights Committee about this and were moved into another accommodation. But even now eight people share one bedroom, 16 people share a bathroom and 35 people share a kitchen.
... and construction workers:
Our contract expired, yet the employer has not paid our salaries between one to three months, nor has he provided end of contract benefits or tickets home. Each time we come to the office, it is always, "Come back in a couple of days and you will have your pay and tickets."

We have worked hard and just want what is due to us and to go home. We are stuck now in cramped accommodations, with poor food and no clean drinking water. We are treated like animals.

Worse yet, the ITUC concludes that Qatar's recent efforts to improve the working and living conditions of its migrant work force are a sham. In the last year, Qatar set forth two charters—the Qatar Foundation Mandatory Standards (QFMS) and the Supreme Committee Workers' Welfare Standards (SCWWS)—that were supposed to ensure that migrant workers were treated properly and afforded basic human rights. It seems, though, that both charters are completely toothless and unenforceable.
The QFMS, for example, requires that contractors submit a "welfare adherence plan" with their bids in order to prove that workers will be properly compensated and treated. The adherence plan, however, is the result of a self-audit by the contractors. The Qatari Foundation will occasionally perform its own audits on construction companies, but companies aren't scrutinized by a truly independent organization that has the power to enforce laws.
The SCWWS is even more hollow. The charter requires contractor-employed "welfare officers" to hold monthly forums with workers at their accommodation sites. Workers are only allowed to discuss the conditions of their accommodation site at these meetings, though, and are not allowed to talk about wages, working hours and conditions, or any other concerns they might have.
And the QFMS and SCWWS are essentially useless as long as Qatar's kafala system remains in place. Under kafala law, migrant workers are essentially indentured servants, completely at the mercy of their employers. Many migrant workers have their passports confiscated by their employers when they arrive in Qatar, and they're not allowed to change jobs unless they receive permission from their current employer.


Related:

Hundreds Of Migrant Workers Have Died Since Qatar Won The World Cup



Figures obtained by the Guardian and confirmed by the Indian embassy state that there have been 717 deaths among Indians working in Qatar since the Qatar won the World Cup…

Click Here: Read…


Related:

Below is an email that just popped into our inbox, from Paul Hughes, head of international media relations for Qatar's Supreme Committee

Click Here:

The Organizers Of The Qatar World Cup Are Very Mad At Us
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Old 02-06-14, 15:15   #7
 
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Update Qatar 2022 Corruption Explodes-FIFA May Change Venue

FIFA Vice-President Jim Boyce says he Would be in Favour of a Re-Vote for World Cup
-if Corruption Allegations are Proven

  • Allegations that Mohamed Bin Hamman was lobbying for of his country
  • Boyce said Michael Garcia would have to widen his investigation
  • FIFA vice-president also gave his support to current president Sepp Blatter
  • Boyce has been FIFA vice-president since 2011
  • Remains to be seen whether FIFA will sanction a re-vote
Daily Mail UK, 2 June 2014

FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce would be in favour of re-running the vote for the 2022 World Cup if allegations that widespread corruption was involved in the Qatar bid were proven.

The Sunday Times has claimed that it had received 'hundreds of millions' of documents which allegedly revealed that disgraced former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam had made payments to football officials in return for votes for Qatar.
Boyce, who was not on the executive committee on the world governing body at the time of the vote, said FIFA's chief investigator Michael Garcia, who is already looking into allegations of corruption, would have to widen his investigation.




Support: FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce (left) says he would be in favour of a re-vote should the corruption allegations be proven


Boyce told Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme: 'As a member currently of the FIFA executive committee, we feel that any evidence whatsoever that people involved were bribed to do a certain vote, all that evidence should go to Michael Garcia, whom FIFA have given full authority to, and let's await the report that comes back from Garcia.
'If Garcia's report comes up and his recommendations are that wrongdoing happened for that vote for the 2022 World Cup, I certainly as a member of the executive co would have absolutely no problem whatsoever if the recommendation was for a re-vote.

'If Garcia comes up with concrete evidence and concrete evidence is given to the executive committee and to FIFA then it has to be looked at very seriously at that time, there's no doubt about that.'




Vice-president: Boyce took up his current role with FIFA in 2011


Boyce, who said he had not had the chance to read the Sunday Times report, feels Garcia's investigation should not be hurried.
He said: 'The man has got to be given full control to do that investigation thoroughly and if it takes more time to do that investigation thoroughly so be it.
'I have not met Garcia, but I'm told he's a man of the very, very highest calibre and I'm told he's someone who will not shirk the responsibilities that he has been given. I certainly hope that's going to be the situation.'
Boyce pointed out that 50 percent of the executive committee members at the time of the 2022 vote had since left the governing body.

The Northern Irishman also insisted FIFA president Sepp Blatter's position should not be called into question by the allegations.




Trust: Boyce gave his support to FIFA president Sepp Blatter (left) and said his position shouldn't be questioned



He said: 'From the day that I became a member of the executive committee and from the day that Sepp Blatter announced that he wanted to see complete and utter reforms carried out by FIFA, he has led these investigations and he has led a lot of the reforms that were badly needed at FIFA that are now being carried out.

'There is no suggestion whatsoever that he was involved in any wrongdoing.
"When Garcia's report comes back to him, as president of FIFA he has to give leadership.
'There are people in authority who are not aware of things that go on regarding other individuals and if he personally wasn't involved in this I don't think there's any reason whatsoever for him to resign.
'He is still the president of FIFA and I'm sure he, like the rest of the decent people and the people who are involved in FIFA, are awaiting with great interest Mr Garcia's report.'

Former England footballer Gary Lineker tweeted this morning that he believed that FIFA should hold another vote.




Support: Gary Lineker shows his support a re-vote and for Australia's World Cup bid




Claims: The Sunday Times claims to have documents that prove
Mohamed bin Hammam made payments to officials to get support for Qatar's successful World Cup bid





Hosts: Qatar held off competition from Australia to win the rights to host the 2022 World Cup




Rivals: Bin Hammam (right) tried to run against Sepp Blatter (left) for FIFA president but withdrew following allegations of bribery


Under a front-page headline of 'Plot to buy the World Cup,' The Sunday Times alleges that Mohamed Bin Hammam, a Qatari who used to be a FIFA vice president, was lobbying on his country's behalf ahead of the vote in December 2010.
The newspaper alleges that Bin Hammam made dozens of payments to top football officials in Africa as well as Jack Warner and Reynald Temarii, former FIFA executive committee members for CONCACAF and Oceania.

The allegations come less than two weeks before the start of the World Cup in Brazil and bring fresh scrutiny on the 2010 vote, which awarded football's biggest tournament to the tiny desert state and currently is under investigation by FIFA's independent ethics prosecutor.

The Sunday Times said that Bin Hamman declined to respond to the allegations and that members of Qatar's bid committee denied any link to the former FIFA official, saying he played no secret role in their campaign.




Bribes:
Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner (left) and Bin Hamman (right) faced allegations of bribery surrounding the 2011 FIFA presidential elections





FIFA: Bin Hammam (left) and Blatter (right) at Doha airport in 2010




Pressure: FIFA has come under scrutiny since awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar


Qatari organizers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Bin Hammam, one of the most controversial figures in FIFA's recent history, is no longer a committee member of world football's governing body after being caught up in a corruption scandal surrounding his failed campaign for its presidency in 2011.

The Sunday Times is alleging, however, that he exploited his position at the heart of FIFA when he was an executive committee member to help to secure votes from key members of its 24-man ruling committee that helped Qatar win the right to host the World Cup.
Qatar defeated bids from the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

According to the newspaper, Bin Hammam used 10 slush funds controlled by his private company and cash handouts to make dozens of payments of up to $200,000 into accounts controlled by the presidents of 30 African football associations who influenced how the continent's four executive members would vote.
He also allegedly hosted lavish junkets for these African officials at which he handed out almost $400,000 in cash.



Sepp Blatter at the Messe Conference Centre in Zurich where he announced Qatar would host the World Cup




World Cup? There have been suggestions that a re-vote will be required after these new allegations


The newspaper says the documents show that Bin Hammam paid out at least 305,000 euros ($415,000) in legal and private detective fees for Temarii after he was suspended for telling undercover reporters that he had been offered $12 million for his vote. Bin Hammam's help allowed him to appeal the suspension and prevent his planned replacement from voting for Australia in the vote, the Sunday Times claimed.

Bin Hammam is also accused of funneling more than $1.6 million directly into bank accounts controlled by Warner, including $450,000 before the vote. Warner resigned from football duties, including his 28-year membership of FIFA's committee, in June 2011 to avoid investigation in a bribery scandal linked to Bin Hammam's campaign for FIFA president.

The Sunday Times also said Bin Hammam paid $800,000 to the Ivory Coast FA, whose executive committee member Jacques Anouma agreed to "push very hard the bid of Qatar," and signed off on two payments of $400,000 each to the federations of two other voters.
END


Read More, click below...

A former FIFA vice president alleged to have made payments worth £3m to get support for Qatar World Cup bid, report claims
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Old 02-06-14, 17:34   #8
 
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Default re: FIFA Loses Sponsors >World Cup 2018/2022 CORRUPTION +More Arrests

2022 Qatar World Cup Stadiums - Estadios De La Copa Del Mundo Qatar 2022


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Old 14-11-14, 18:45   #9
 
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Update re: FIFA Loses Sponsors >World Cup 2018/2022 CORRUPTION +More Arrests

FIFA Clears Qatar and Russia Of World Cup Corruption, Ignites Furor

14 November 2014


i


FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Qatar Football Association President Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed al-Thani exchange documents in Doha, Qatar, on Dec. 16, 2010, after the Arab country won the bid to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup.



A report by FIFA has cleared Qatar and Russia of corruption in their successful bids to host the soccer World Cup, but the report has plunged the sport's governing body into more controversy.

The report, by German judge Hans-Jochaim Eckert, examined the actions of nine countries that in 2010 bid to stage the 2018 and 2022 Word Cups. Russia won the bid for 2018; Qatar, 2022.

England, which expected to win the 2018 bidding process, received two votes. Qatar edged out rivals including Japan and the U.S.

Almost immediately there were accusations of corruption surrounding the winning bids.


Eckert's report, which was based on the work of U.S. lawyer Michael Garcia, said there was no evidence of wrongdoing by either country. But Garcia himself said today's report contained "numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations." He said he would appeal to FIFA Eckert's decision to close the case. FIFA has sealed Garcia's 430-page report, instead releasing a 42-page statement from Eckert.

Eckert's report also criticized England's Football Association for aggressively seeking the support of a key FIFA voter for its bid to stage the 2018 World Cup.
FA Chairman Greg Dyke called the report and process "a bit of a joke."

The Associated Press has more on Garcia's view:


Quote:
"Garcia had called for key details of his investigation to be published. That provoked clashes with [FIFA chief Sepp] Blatter, who has helped protect the privacy of his boardroom colleagues implicated in seeking favors.

"Garcia's sealed report criticizes a culture of entitlement at FIFA and the quality of Blatter's leadership, an official familiar with Garcia's findings told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the dossier is supposed to be confidential.

"Garcia could be suspended by FIFA if he publicly reveals details of the case, and removed from office when the 209 member associations meet at their congress next May 29. On that same day, Blatter is expected to be elected to a fifth term."
FIFA, of course, is no stranger to controversy. It has long been accused of secrecy and corruption. Earlier this year, comedian John Oliver railed against soccer's governing body on his Last Week Tonight show in HBO.

Here is the Video:



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Old 21-12-14, 15:11   #10
 
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Update re: FIFA Loses Sponsors >World Cup 2018/2022 CORRUPTION +More Arrests




BBC, 21 December 2014


World Cup Corruption Report: What Next for Fifa and Sepp Blatter?


Fifa has agreed to publish Michael Garcia's 430-page report into allegations that the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup was blighted by corruption and collusion.


But what will Friday's decision mean for Garcia, Fifa president Sepp Blatter and the battered image of world football's governing body?

BBC Radio 5 live's Richard Conway was in Marrakech, Morocco for Fifa's key meeting.

Should we be surprised by the events?


Sepp Blatter's bravura performance in front of the cameras in Marrakech gave the sense that these developments had always been planned.

But agreeing to release the report is a significant U-turn given how Fifa long advocated that it was legally unable to do so and how they needed to protect the confidentiality of the 75 witnesses who provided evidence to Michael Garcia during his two-year, worldwide inquiry.

The stench of corruption - real or perceived - has trailed Fifa in the four years since the decision to award Russia the 2018 World Cup and Qatar the 2022 tournament was made.

Fifa World Cup report: Sepp Blatter says crisis is over

Since then allegations, rumours, claims and counterclaims have swirled around the organisation, blighting its efforts to change its image following a series of other financial and voting related scandals.

The Garcia report - with its summary from Fifa's ethics adjudicator, the German judge Hans Joachim Eckert - was supposed to draw a line under the whole affair.

Garcia, a heavyweight US lawyer with a track-record of success in high-profile cases, and Eckert, a German judge with many years' experience, were supposed to provide the necessary clout to allay all the doubts and fears over the integrity of the vote.

For three hours after Eckert published a 43-page summary, Fifa promoted what it believed was a job well done. It was time to move on, to start thinking and planning about Russia and about the first World Cup in an Islamic country four years after that.

Then Garcia dropped the bombshell that he felt the Eckert summary was "erroneous" and launched an appeal.

That appeal was dismissed on Tuesday and Garcia resigned 24 hours later, prompting Uefa president Michel Platini to call the overall situation another "Fifa failure".

At that moment the meeting in Marrakech became more important in terms of presenting a united front and denying there was any sense of crisis.

Blatter tried to achieve that by highlighting and emphasising the importance of his executive committee.

He was supported throughout by Domenico Scala, the independent head of Fifa's audit and compliance committee, who talked through a report in which he outlined how two legal experts had reconfirmed Eckert's judgement that there should be no revote for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

Meanwhile, the reform-minded members of the group have grown in number and confidence with Platini urging them in July not to be "sheep" within the committee room.

Blatter has sensed the way the political wind is blowing and, as in previous tricky periods of his career, is changing tack.


When will the full report be released?

It will be published once the investigations into five football officials - said to include three serving members of the Fifa executive committee - have concluded.
Given that all five may appeal against the decision if it goes against them, it could be some time yet.
Nevertheless, Fifa is keen that the process is carried out as swiftly as possible as it seeks to move on.


Do we know what will be in it?

No, although Fifa appears confident there is no smoking gun - hence Blatter's insistence this was an end to the crisis.


What about what won't be in it?

For legal and confidentiality reasons parts of the original report will be redacted - blacked out. Fifa was careful to say that it would publish "where legally possible" so how much is withheld will be in the hands of the lawyers.


What about Fifa's image now?

Blatter says he will "fight for football". But Fifa's image is truly at an all-time low.
Many critics believe true reform can't occur until there's a change of leadership.
But Blatter made clear that he intends to stand for election in May and seek a fifth term of office, even at the age of 78.


He may want to concentrate on other matters but with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in Britain interested in pursuing an investigation, that may not be an option available to him.



Added to that is the recent admission by the UK solicitor general that the SFO has spoken to overseas law enforcement agencies in a bid to be cooperative and share information.
That could be a reference to the FBI, with two recent reports in the United States claiming that officials from the crime agency are actively pursuing a case linked to Fifa.


According to the New York Daily News, former Fifa executive Chuck Blazer even helped agents gather evidence against football officials during a visit to the London 2012 Olympics.
All the signs are that Fifa's troubles on this matter are far from over yet.


And Sepp Blatter's reputation?

A Fifa source close to the Swiss told me this week that in 2011, after winning what he said would be his last four years in charge, Sepp Blatter was determined to seal his legacy, to reform the organisation and to bow out with grace.
Something, somewhere changed. Blatter decided he wanted to run again, to go on into his 80s.
At that point, the source revealed, every decision he took had a political element. Every meeting, alliance and incident was viewed through the prism of getting re-elected.
Now with Fifa staring into the abyss when it comes to its credibility, Blatter seems reinvigorated to "fight" on and to leave on his terms.


Finally, what happens to Garcia?

After a stellar legal career Michael Garcia accepted a role with Fifa.
Despite not even being a football fan, he was plunged into the maelstrom of Fifa politics.
Now free of his Fifa responsibilities there are rumours that he may seek political office. At the very least he will continue with his private legal practice work with law firm Kirkland & Ellis.
The one thing it's safe to say is that it's unlikely his time dealing with Fifa has converted him into a football fanatic.


FIFA Corruption Scandal:

FIFA Agrees to Release Full Report



FIFA Whistleblower : "I'll Look Over My Shoulder for the Rest of My Life"


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Old 26-02-15, 19:25   #11
 
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Soccer re: FIFA Loses Sponsors >World Cup 2018/2022 CORRUPTION +More Arrests

No World Cup Compensation for European Clubs, Says FIFA

By AFP, 26 February 2015

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke on Wednesday ruled out any prospect of Europe's football clubs receiving financial compensation for the 2022 World Cup being moved to November-December.


"There will be no compensation. There are seven years to reorganise," a bullish Valcke told a Doha press conference. "We are in agreement with the clubs."

European associations representing major clubs from England, Germany and France have already expressed their unhappiness with the switch recommended by a FIFA task force meeting in Qatar on Tuesday, amid speculation that some would seek financial redress for the decision.





FIFA President Sepp Blatter holds up the name of Qatar during the official announcement of the 2022 World Cup host country at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich on December 2, 2010 ©Philippe Desmazes (AFP/File)


The task force made a provisional recommendation for the tournament to start on November 26 and end on December 23, 2022, ensuring an enforced break for the domestic European leagues.
Valcke said European clubs should accept the potential switch.

"It's not perfect we know that but why are you talking about compensation? Again, it's happening once and we are doing nothing which destroys football. We are just changing the format and the structure of a season," he told journalists packed into a ballroom at Doha's Ritz/Carlton hotel.

An unrepentant Valcke added that FIFA had no reason to say sorry to Europe's biggest clubs.

"Why should we apologise to the clubs? We have had an agreement with the clubs that they are part of the beneficiaries. It was $40 million in 2010 and $70 million in 2014."

A final decision will be made by the FIFA executive committee at a meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, on March 19-20.

English Premier League boss Richard Scudamore admitted after Tuesday's decision that he was "very disappointed" by the switch.

Frederic Thiriez, the president of the French league and of the European Professional Football Leagues, also expressed his concern, calling the November-December date "the worst solution".

A few more details emerged about the unique World Cup on Wednesday with Valcke revealing that the tournament would stretch over 28 days, instead of the normal 32 days. Four games would be played every day in the early stages of the competition, said Valcke.

He insisted that no final decision had been taken on the date the final would be played though FIFA is keen on the 23rd but others, including the English, have expressed a preference for the 18th.

The Confederations Cup will also be moved from Qatar in 2021 and played in a different "Asian country".

- 'Problems' -

Valcke also addressed the controversial issue of workers rights and said he had been to see for himself the working and living conditions for those building World Cup facilities. He conceded there was still improvements for Qatar to put in place.

"It's clear that there are problems and there are things to be solved and there is an ongoing discussion with ILO (International Labour Organisation) and different organisations," said Valcke.

Workers' rights in Qatar have long been a controversial issue since the tiny Gulf state was awarded the tournament in December 2010.
Rights' groups have accused Qatar of appalling conditions for workers and say any reforms brought in by the country have been too slow.

Earlier this month, Qatar announced it was introducing a system to ensure migrant workers would be paid at least once a month, a move long called for by groups such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch.

But groups are calling for more changes including reform of the controversial "kafala" sponsorship system, which enables employers to prevent foreign workers from leaving the country or change jobs and has been likened to modern-day slavery.

Valcke however added that there had been improvements put in place.
"I have to say that if the standard for all construction sites in Qatar reaches the level of standard we have for all the specific World Cup construction sites, then a big step will be contributed to these working conditions and that will be part, again, of the power of the World Cup.
"In a nutshell I am very happy with what we have seen."

Hassan Al Thawadi, the head of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, said the tournament would "leave a lasting legacy for future generations in the Middle East".





Workers' rights in Qatar have long been a controversial issue since the tiny Gulf state was awarded the tournament in December 2010 ©- (AFP/File)





A handout computer generated image made available on November 24, 2014 by Qatar World Cup's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, shows the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha after its renovation ahead of the 2022 World Cup ©- (Supreme Committee For Delivery/AFP/File)
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Old 27-05-15, 18:49   #12
 
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Update re: FIFA Loses Sponsors >World Cup 2018/2022 CORRUPTION +More Arrests

Former UEFA President Lennart Johansson Wants to see England Host 2018 World Cup
-After Seven FIFA Arrests Made in Zurich


  • Lennart Johnasson said he is not surprised to learn of the seven arrests
  • Johansson wants to see a review into Qatar and Russia World Cup bids
  • Johnasson believes that England should now host the 2018 World Cup
Daily Mail UK, 27 May 2015


Lennart Johansson, former president of European football's governing body UEFA, says the decision to award the World Cup to Russia and Qatar must now be reviewed in the light of the latest corruption allegations.


Johansson, who lost the 1998 FIFA presidential election to Sepp Blatter, would like to see the 2018 finals played in England instead of Russia, with a new process also to choose the host of the 2022 tournament, currently set for Qatar.
The Swede spoke to newspaper Sportbladet after an early-morning swoop by police saw seven high-ranking FIFA members arrested on suspicion of corruption.





Former UEFA president Lennart Johansson (left) wants to see England host the 2018 World Cup





Johansson (right) wants Russia and Qatar's right to host the next two World Cups to be reviewed





Seven FIFA officials were arrested by police on Wednesday in Zurich on suspicion of corruption



'I'm not surprised at what is happening,' the 85-year-old told Sportbladet as he packed his bags to attend the FIFA congress in Zurich.
'Blatter will obviously ensure that he wins the election in his own way. I think it's unfortunate that the world's biggest sporting movement has such a leader at the top. I really do.'

Johansson, who led UEFA for 17 years before retiring in 2007, says that the decision to award the World Cup to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022 should and will be changed.


'I expect they will reconsider the decisions. Blatter himself has said that the decision to go east wasn't proper. I am sure the initiative will now be taken to make a new decision.'

Given the choice, Johansson would like to see the 2018 finals played in England.

'They (England) haven't had it since 1966, and it's considered 'the motherland of football', whatever we might think. They are worthy of the attention,' Johansson said.

England, backed by the British government, made a bid to host the 2018 finals.
The bidding process proved controversial, with two members of the FIFA executive committee having their voting rights suspended following allegations they would accept money in exchange for votes.





Johansson stood against Blatter to become president of FIFA in 1998 but failed to emerge victorious





Johnasson (right) wants to see England awarded the rights to host the 2018 World Cup tournament





Blatter (right) stands against Prince Ali bin Hussein in Friday's FIFA presidential election



England and Russia's 2018 bids were also mired in controversy and hostility after the English bid team officially complained about provocative comments from the Russian bid chief. They only withdrew the complaint after an apology.

More allegations of vote buying arose after Qatar's controversial 2022 win was announced.

Johansson, the Honorary UEFA President, will fly to Zurich to attend the FIFA congress on Thursday, but he is not entitled to vote in Friday's presidential election which sees incumbent Blatter seeking to repel the challenge of Prince Ali bin Hussein of Jordan.
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Old 29-05-15, 18:41   #13
 
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Update re: FIFA Loses Sponsors >World Cup 2018/2022 CORRUPTION +More Arrests

Football in Crisis: Sepp Blatter WINS FIFA Presidential Election After His Loyal Cronies Ignore Corruption Scandal
– So Will UEFA Nations Boycott the World Cup as Michel Platini Threatened?

  • Sepp Blatter re-elected as president of FIFA in Zurich election
  • Incumbent Blatter received 133 votes in first round; Prince Ali 73
  • With Blatter just seven short of majority, Prince Ali conceded despite being eligible for a second round of voting
  • The 79-year-old enters a fifth term at the helm of football's governing body
  • His first challenge is to deal with £100m corruption scandal
  • UEFA must now decide whether to go through with Michel Platini's threat to boycott the World Cup
  • Blatter earlier said £100m corruption scandal was a western conspiracy
  • He said there would be no problem if 'two other countries' - meaning England and the USA - were awarded World Cups in 2018 and 2022
  • VISA Threatened to withdraw support to FIFA
Daily Mail UK, 29 May 2015


The corruption crisis engulfing FIFA failed to topple Sepp Blatter on Friday as he was elected president for a fifth term.



The Swiss will continue to lead world football's governing body into his eighties after winning by a majority of 133 to 73 in the first round of the vote at the FIFA Congress in Zurich.

Blatter was just seven short of a majority and his opponent, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein decided to withdraw before the second round.

Despite 73 member associations throwing their support behind Blatter's sole opponent, there will be no change at the top of the embattled organisation.
It means Blatter, 79, will remain at the helm as authorities in the United States lead an investigation into endemic racketeering, bribery and money laundering involving leading FIFA officials going back decades.

The result also significantly increases the prospect of European nations boycotting future World Cups, as mooted by president Michel Platini on Thursday.

FA Chairman Greg Dyke told Sky News the England team will not withdraw from any tournaments on its own but added: 'I cannot see FIFA reforming itself under Blatter; he's had 16 years to do it.





Sepp Blatter celebrates after his re-election as president of FIFA in Zurich on Friday night





Blatter beat Prince Ali bin al-Hussein by a margin of 133-73 in the first round of voting, forcing his withdrawal






FA chairman Greg Dyke steps forward to cast his vote in Friday's presidential election in Zurich


In his acceptance speech, Blatter, who has been in charge since 1998 and will serve another four years said:

'First of all I would like to give compliments and express my gratitude to his Royal Highness Prince Ali.
'He was a competitor, a challenger and he has obtained a very good result. He could have easily said 'let's go further - perhaps I will receive more votes'.

'I thank you that you accepted me and for the next four years I will be in command of this boat called FIFA and we will bring it back off shore and back to the beach. We will finally bring ot back to where football can be played.

'I take the responsibility to bring back FIFA and I am convinced we can do it. I'm a faithful man and God will help us bring back FIFA to where it should be. I promise you that at the end of this term I will give FIFA to my successor in a strong position.'


Quote:
FIFA PRESIDENTIAL VOTE

FIRST ROUND (TARGET 140)

Sepp Blatter ..133 Votes
Prince Ali .........73 Votes

PRINCE ALI WITHDREW BEFORE SECOND ROUND COULD BE HELD
The victory is also set to see further protests from UEFA - the first action has come from David Gill, the Football Association vice-chairman who will reject the post of British vice-president as he does not want to serve under Blatter.

Gill will not attend the post-Congress executive committee meeting on Saturday where a decision is set to be taken on the allocation of World Cup places to each confederation.

Prince Ali's speech calling for reform ahead of the vote failed to win over delegates committed to returning Blatter to office.
The Jordanian prince said:

'We have heard in recent days, voices which described our FIFA as an avaricious body which feeds on the game that the world loves.
'We have heard questions raised about whether our family is morally bankrupt. And we have heard countless individuals ponder how on earth it could have gotten so bad.





Blatter walks to the podium to deliver his final hustings speech beneath the flags of the member nations






Each of the candidates had 15 minutes to outline their pledges before voting got underway in Zurich






Blatter walks past the UEFA president Michel Platini, who had urged his member nations to vote for Prince Ali



'There are no easy answers. And no blame that can be cast that will wash away the stain that marks us all.
'And yet, nothing in life can exist without hope. And even the darkest nights are broken by a new dawn.'
The 39-year-old head of the Jordanian FA added: 'Change is not an event. It is a process. It is not about empowering wrong doing and then demanding to root it out.

'Our path - and our way to the future - must be lit by the creation of a culture that empowers transparency, inclusivity and accountability.
'Our rehabilitation in public perception will only come through the actions and work of all of us, together, pulling in the same direction, for the good of the sport, and for FIFA.'





David Gill becomes a FIFA vice-president, but he has said he will resign if Blatter is re-elected today





UEFA president Michel Platini greets FIFA head Sepp Blatter as the FIFA Congress begins on Friday




Blatter tried to strike a defiant tone after a turbulent week that saw FIFA mired in corruption charges


Earlier, in a rambling speech to open Friday's FIFA Congress, beleaguered Blatter claimed things would be different if two other countries had emerged from the envelopes.

He meant England for 2018 and USA for 2022 – a dig at the British media who have led the anti-Blatter agenda and the FBI, whose investigations led to seven arrests and 14 officials indicted on bribery and kickback charges by the US Attorney.


Blatter said: 'They call into question the World Cups of 2018 and 2022. In December 2010 here in Zurich when we decided on the two World Cups in one session.
'If two other countries had emerged from the envelopes, we would not have these problems today. But we can't go back in time, we are not prophets. We can't say what would have happened.'





A pro-Palestinian protester gained access to the conference hall at the end of Blatter's speech on Friday





The protester, waving a Palestinian flag, was swiftly removed by security guards



Pro-Palestinian protesters briefly interrupted Blatter's speech with world football's governing body set to vote later on whether to expel Israel from the organisation.
The two female protesters stormed the opening address, waving red cards at FIFA representatives and chanting 'Israel out!' before being escorted out of the hall by security guards.

A group of around 150 pro-Palestinian protesters had gathered to chant outside Zurich's Hallenstadion before the congress started.


A bomb scare during lunch only added to the drama as the delegates from the 209 associations were told they were not permitted to remain in the Congress Hall.






Michel Platini (right) buries his head in his hands as Blatter (left) addresses the floor at the Congress today


Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron had earlier urged Blatter to step down, saying 'the sooner that happens the better.'


Speaking in Berlin, he said: 'In my view he should go. You cannot have accusations of corruption at this level and on this scale in this organisation and pretend that the person currently leading it is the right person to take it forward. That cannot be the case.

'Frankly what we have seen is the ugly side of the beautiful game and he should go.
'And the sooner that happens the better and the faster that organisation can start to rebuild its credibility which is so important because so many people around the world want to see this game properly managed, properly looked after so we can all enjoy the World Cups of the future.'





Prime Minister David Cameron called for Blatter to step aside, saying 'the sooner that happens the better'





Blatter speaks to girlfriend Linda Barras as the FIFA Congress started on Thursday



The head of Brazil's football federation fled Switzerland on the eve of the vote.
Marco Polo Del Nero left Zurich on Thursday night along with members of his personal delegation amid rumours he was spooked by the arrest of his predecessor Jose Maria Marin the day before.

Marin, who was in charge of the Brazilian FA between 2012 and 2015, was one of the 14 men indicted in the United States-led investigation into £100m of FIFA corruption.

A FIFA spokesman confirmed Del Nero had checked out of the five-star Baur au Lac hotel, where the dawn raids took place on Wednesday, and left the country - though he did not state why.

Del Nero, 74, was not one of those indicted by the United States. He is a member of FIFA's 24-member executive committee.





Marco Polo Del Nero, head of the Brazilian football federation, fled Switzerland on the eve of the vote





Jose Maria Marin, the former head of the Brazilian FA seen here with FIFA president Blatter, was one of seven football officials arrested in Zurich on Wednesday as two corruption investigations were launched


Even if he is re-elected, the Swiss could face a UEFA revolution that could see the European nations secede from the world governing body, withdrawing from events such as the World Cup.

English FA chairman Greg Dyke supported Platini's proposed boycott of the World Cup.
He told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4:

'There is no point in one or two countries saying 'we're not going to take part' because they will carry on with the tournament without them and that is pretty unfair on the fans.
'But if UEFA as a group said 'look, unless you get this sorted we are not going to be in the World Cup' then I think that we would join them.'








Protesters over the treatment of workers on the 2022 World Cup stadiums in Qatar outside the FIFA Congress




Quote:
ITALIAN NEWSPAPER CLAIMS FIFA WERE INVOLVED WITH MATCH-FIXING AT 2002 WORLD CUP



Friday's edition of Corriere dello Sport

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport claim the latest FIFA scandal confirms their long-held suspicions about Italy's match against South Korea at the 2002 World Cup.

This match and the Spain vs South Korea quarter-final were marred by some dubious refereeing decisions, which saw hosts Korea upset the odds and triumph.

These latest Corriere reports, however, don't feature any new information and merely serve to remind their readers of the injustice suffered by Italy 13 years ago.

The Ecuadorian referee Byron Moreno, who sent off Italy's Francesco Totti in a much-scrutinised decision, is currently serving a prison sentence for drug trafficking.

'They rigged the World Cups!' runs the front page headline of Friday's edition, adding 'Remember the referee Moreno? Suspicions confirmed on the favours to Korea in 2002.'

Korea beat Italy 2-1 thanks to a golden goal in extra time from Ahn Jung-hwan. Roma striker Totti was sent off by Moreno after 104 minutes after receiving a second yellow for diving.

Blatter said at the time: 'Italy's elimination is not only down to referees and linesmen who made human not premeditated errors ... Italy made mistakes both in defence and in attack.'
Meanwhile, former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner appeared at a political rally for his Independent Liberal Party in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago, on Thursday.
Having surrendered to authorities on Wednesday, he was granted bail but left jail in an ambulance complaining of exhaustion.

But the politician still had enough energy to rant against the corruption charges.
He said:

'If I have been thieving FIFA money for 30 years, who give me the money? How come he is not charged? Why only persons from Third World countries have been charged?'

Warner's remarks drew enthusiastic cheers and applause from his supporters.





Former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner addresses supporters at a political rally on Thursday - hours after he was bailed by authorities having turned himself in over the £100m corruption allegations





Warner salutes the crowd following a political rally just hours after he left prison in an ambulance



In other developments, two of Britain's biggest High Street banks have been dragged into the corruption scandal.


Barclays and HSBC are named in legal papers filed by the US Department of Justice after millions of dollars in suspect transactions linked to FIFA were allegedly moved through their accounts.

Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and City of London Police are assisting the FBI in their inquiries.


'The SFO continues actively to assess material in its possession and has made plain that it stands ready to assist ongoing international criminal investigations,' a spokesman said.
The SFO has not launched a formal criminal investigation.



Quote:

THE 14 MEN CHARGED IN UNITED STATES INVESTIGATION INTO FIFA CORRUPTION






Prince Ali Withdraws from FIFA Presidential Race after First Round Vote...


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Old 02-06-15, 14:40   #14
 
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Update re: FIFA Loses Sponsors >World Cup 2018/2022 CORRUPTION +More Arrests

Fifa Scandal: Around the World in Football Investigations

BBC 2 June 2015


Since the US announced charges against nine Fifa officials last week, the floodgates seem to have opened and countries across the globe have launched their own probes. What are some of the most significant and what are they focused on?


United States


Loretta Lynch was a key player in the US investigation

When it comes to allegations of corruption made against Fifa, there have been many tremors. But this was the earthquake.

Last week, officials from the US Department of Justice and the FBI announced charges against nine top Fifa officials and five businessmen following a multi-year investigation. Seven officials were rounded-up in Switzerland where they were meeting ahead of the 65th Fifa Congress.

This investigation centred on Concacaf and Conmebol - the football confederations governing North America and South America, respectively.

It was alleged that officials from the two football confederations conspired in a "systematic payment of bribes and kickbacks" that were paid by marketing executives who wanted preferential treatment in the awarding of rights to market and sell media access to football tournaments.

The investigation is on-going, and the NY Times that "authorities say more charges are all but certain".


Brazil


The US investigation snared individuals and organisations across the globe, including three Brazilian nationals and the Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) - the country's football confederation.

Among those taken into custody at a five-star hotel in Zurich last Wednesday was Jose Maria Marin, who led the CBF until April, and who served on several Fifa standing committees. Prosecutors allege that he and several of the other defendants were paid a bribe as they decided how to award the media rights to the Copa America.There were also allegations that an unnamed sportswear company paid bribes in the mid-1990s to sweeten a deal to that would see it supply Brazil's iconic yellow and green jerseys, among other equipment.

In the wake of these, Brazil's federal police began investigations into possible Fifa corruption in the country.
Justice Minister Eduardo said they were investigating possible tax evasion and money laundering within Brazil.

This week, Brazil's Federal Senate voted to begin its own investigation into the CBF and the 2014 World Cup.
Last year's tournament cost the host country Brazil an estimated $4bn (£2.6bn), and yet Fifa made more than $2bn in profit.
President Dilma Rousseff said Brazilian Football "will only benefit" from the US investigation.


Costa Rica


The Costa Rican national team celebrate after their victory over Greece in Recife during the World Cup Separately, authorities in Costa Rica have opened an enquiry into US allegations against Eduardo Li, who was charged last week and who used to lead Costa Rica's football association.

Mr Li's arrest on Wednesday was met with surprise in Costa Rica. He was widely lauded after the Costa Rican national team's unexpected run to the quarter-finals of last year's World Cup.

The investigation "aims to determine whether the hypothesis of the US Department of Justice probe related to a case of money laundering and corruption involving Eduardo Li can be corroborated," said a spokesman for Costa Rica's public prosecutor.

Costa Rica's tax office has also said that it was opening an investigation into Mr Li's various businesses in the country.


Argentina


Meanwhile, a judge in Argentina issued arrest warrants for three businessmen who are wanted by US authorities.

And the Argentine Football Association (AFA) was vocally supportive of the US-led investigation.
The AFA "support and joins the investigations on Fifa and Conmebol representatives and members," it said in a statement.


Switzerland


In the hours after the US-based charges were announced, Swiss authorities launched their own, separate probe.
Their investigation focuses on the bidding process and the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Swiss police raided Fifa's headquarters in Zurich and seized electronic evidence.

The case is still at the investigative stage, but could provide allegations about the allocation of future World Cups.
The investigation marks the first time that authorities with the ability to prosecute have looked into the bidding process.

One key point to keep in mind, however, is that the Swiss have made it clear that Fifa are the "injured party", and are investigating individuals who may have abused their status and authority during the bidding process.


United Kingdom


John Whittingdale After the allegations came to light, British officials started to ask questions about how the scandal may have touched their shores.
John Whittingdale, the culture, media and sport secretary, said the government will do "all in its power" to affect change at Fifa.

Labour's shadow culture minister, Chris Bryant, has accused British prosecutors of failing to investigate corruption in world football, and said British authorities were "lax" when it came to tackling financial crime.

Mr Bryant wrote to the prime minister asking him to call a meeting of the British football associations, sponsors and broadcasters so that they could agree a common approach towards Fifa, as many Europeans call for a boycott of the World Cup.

Meanwhile, the BBC has come to understand that Standard Chartered and Barclays - two UK banks that were named in FBI papers - have launched internal reviews into whether they were used for corrupt payments by Fifa officials.
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Old 14-06-15, 18:54   #15
 
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Update re: FIFA Loses Sponsors >World Cup 2018/2022 CORRUPTION +More Arrests

Sepp Blatter Could Stand for Re-Election as Fifa President
- After His Recent Resignation


By Dan Roan BBC sports editor, 14 June 2015


Sepp Blatter could be open to the possibility of standing for re-election as Fifa president, the BBC understands.


The 79-year-old said he was standing down as the head of world football's governing body less than two weeks ago, just four days into his fifth term.

A new president was expected to be elected, probably in mid-December.

But a source close to Blatter has told the BBC the Swiss could make an audacious bid to stay on if no suitable alternative candidate emerges.

"Everything is open", said the source.

Blatter will hold meetings over the coming days when he will gauge whether he still retains enough support to seek an astonishing sixth term as president.

FIifa has officially referred inquiries over Blatter's intentions to his resignation speech on 2 July, in which he promised to start work on new reforms and said "I shall not be a candidate" in the next election.

However, in 2011 Blatter also claimed his fourth term would be his last, only to renege on the pledge. It is now possible he could attempt a similar, but even more controversial U-turn.

Any attempt by Blatter to cling to power will be met with fierce opposition in the wake of the FBI-led corruption investigation that has plunged Fifa into turmoil and seen the arrest of several senior football officials.

Many critics have demanded that Blatter steps down immediately, rather than wait until an extraordinary meeting of the Fifa Congress in the winter.

Many feared he would use his remaining months in charge to try to ensure the election of a favoured successor. Now it appears he may choose to sensationally stand himself.

Tellingly, the man entrusted to lead Fifa out of its latest crisis has appeared to warn Blatter not to rethink his resignation.

Domenico Scala, chairman of Fifa's audit and compliance committee, said it was "indispensable to follow with the initiated process of the president's change as has been announced".

The statement was in response to a report in Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag that Blatter had not ruled out remaining in office after receiving support from football officials in Africa and Asia.

But Scala, who has been given the task of overseeing the election of Blatter's successor, said: "For me, the reforms are the central topic."

His statement is the first sign of potential tension between the pair.

One of the reforms Scala has recommended, as well as greater financial transparency and a new governance structure, is three terms of a maximum 12 years in total for both the president and Fifa executive committee members.

Blatter has already served 17 years as the sport's most powerful figure.

Campaign group New Fifa Now has insisted an independent reform commission is the only means of ensuring meaningful changes to the way football is run.

Ever since he announced his resignation, those vying to replace Blatter have been considering when to make their move.

If he does stand again, he may look to present himself as the best means of avoiding one confederation - such as Uefa - gaining excessive power.
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Old 16-07-15, 17:15   #16
 
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Update re: FIFA Loses Sponsors >World Cup 2018/2022 CORRUPTION +More Arrests

First of the Seven FIFA Officials Arrested in FBI Corruption Probe During Raid on Zurich Hotel
>>> is Extradited to the United States


  • Official – believed to be vice-president Jeffrey Webb – handed to US police
  • Placed on flight to New York after agreeing to extradition earlier this month
  • FIFA chiefs accused by U.S. of taking bribes worth more than $100million
Daily Mail UK, 16 July 2015


The first of the seven FIFA officials arrested in Zurich as part of the FBI corruption probe has been extradited to the United States.
The official – believed to be vice-president Jeffrey Webb – was detained in a dawn raid on May 27 at a luxury Zurich hotel, two days before FIFA's annual congress.



Switzerland's Federal Office of Justice said he was handed over to three U.S. police officers who accompanied him on the flight to New York.





FIFA vice-president Jeffrey Webb (pictured) is believed to be the first official to be extradited to the U.S after he was among seven football chiefs detained in Zurich for alleged racketeering, conspiracy and corruption



Webb agreed last week to be extradited, unlike six others who are contesting the move, after the United States sent Switzerland requests earlier this month.


It is alleged that in return for taking bribes to the tune of more than $100million, the officials awarded contracts for media, marketing and sponsorship rights to football tournaments in the United States and Latin America, routed through American banks.

If found guilty, the men – who are among 14 indicted by the FBI – will face around 20 years in prison.

Webb has been provisionally banned from his posts at FIFA and CONCACAF, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.



Neither his lawyer nor a U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman responded to requests for comment on Thursday.

The U.S. indictment describes Webb as using his influential positions to solicit bribes from sports marketing companies in exchange for the commercial rights to soccer matches.

Six other officials – Eduardo Li, Julio Rocha, Eugenio Figueredo, Rafael Esquivel, Jose Maria Marin and Costas Takkas – remain detained in Switzerland and are contesting their extradition.






An arrested FIFA official is shielded with a sheet as he is taken from the Baur du Lac hotel on May 27






Media gather outside the Hotel Baur-au-Lacon in Zurich on May 27 following the dawn raid against FIFA



U.S. authorities have said more indictments should follow and that FIFA President Sepp Blatter is a target of the widening case.


Under pressure from the investigation, and a separate Swiss federal probe of money laundering linked to FIFA's award of 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting rights, Blatter announced on June 2 that he would leave office within months.


Blatter, 79, has not been implicated in either enquiry and again strongly denied involvement in corruption in his column last week in the in-house publication FIFA Weekly.


Quote:
'I bear no responsibility for members of a government (the FIFA Executive Committee) I have not myself elected,' he wrote.
'The FIFA President must work with the people allotted him by the confederations.
'I therefore also bear no responsibility whatsoever for the behaviour of these ExCo members on their home turf,' he wrote.
Blatter
.
An Executive Committee meeting on July 20 will lay down the timetable to determine who will lead the body forward, but sources close to Blatter say he has not ruled out the prospect of going back on his decision to step down.


Quote:
PROFILES OF THE FIFA OFFICIALS INDICTED IN FBI CORRUPTION PROBE

Jeffrey Webb - FIFA vice president and president of CONCACAF (Confederation Of North, Central America and the Caribbean Football Association). The 50-year-old was born and lives in the Cayman Islands. He is also the Cayman Islands Football Association president.

Eugenio Figueredo - Former footballer and now a Uruguayan FA executive. He was once president of CONMEBOL, the South American football federation.

Jack Warner - Former FIFA vice president and former president of CONCACAF. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, he resigned from all his positions in international football in 2011.

Eduardo Li
- President of the Costa Rican Football Association.

Julio Rocha - President of the Nicaraguan Football Federation.

Costas Takkas - Former general secretary of the Cayman Islands Football Association.

Rafael Esquivel
- President of the Venezuelan Football Federation since 1988.

Jose Maria Marin
- Vice president of the Brazil football federation (CBF) and its former president. The CBF handed out controversial £16,000 Parmigiani watches at its congress in Sao Paulo a year ago, when Marin was overlord of the association.

Nicolas Leoz - Former CONMEBOL president between 1986 and 2013. He allegedly wanted the FA Cup named after him in exchange for a vote for England in its attempts to host the 2018 World Cup
.
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Old 24-07-15, 20:00   #17
 
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Update re: FIFA 2018/2022 World Cup Bids WERE 'FIXED'> says Blatter +CORRUPTION Charges

FIFA Says Corruption Crisis Hinders Search for New Sponsors

By AP, 24 July 2015

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP)

FIFA says the corruption crisis is hindering the search for new sponsors.

FIFA sponsors Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Visa have questioned the organization's handling of the allegations of wrongdoing that led to soccer officials being indicted in the United States.

Ahead of Saturday's qualifying draw for the 2018 World Cup, FIFA has not replaced Emirates airline and Sony since they opted not to renew deals after the 2014 tournament.



FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke says

"The current situation doesn't help to finalize any new agreements — that is a fact. And I'm sure until the (presidential) election on Feb. 26 there will not be any major announcements."

He also says the governing body will gather concerned sponsors at a summit next month.
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Old 08-10-15, 18:52   #18
 
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Breaking News re: FIFA 2018/2022 World Cup Bids WERE 'FIXED'> says Blatter +CORRUPTION Charges

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini Suspended by FIFA for 90 days...
- Over £1.35m Payment from President to UEFA Chief


  • FIFA's ethics committee has provisionally suspended Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini and Jerome Valcke for 90 days
  • Blatter is embroiled in scandal that has engulfed football's governing body
  • Platini says there is nothing untoward about a £1.35m payment he received
  • Chung Mong-joon banned for six years and fined 100,000 Swiss francs
  • Earlier on Thursday, UEFA president Platini hit back at the 'insidious' leak
  • David Gill has called for emergency meeting of FIFA executive Committee
  • FIFA vice president released statement declaring his backing for Platini
  • UEFA have also given their backing to Platini who will remain president
  • IOC president Thomas Bach declared 'enough is enough' over the scandal
  • Issa Hayatou, boss of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), will serve as acting president of FIFA



FIFA released a statement on Thursday confirming the provisional bans for Blatter, Platini and Valcke


After Blatter and Platini are Suspended From Football over Corruption Allegations...

- Meet the Men Who Will Take over,,,
(and They’re NOT Exactly Squeaky Clean Themselves)


  • Issa Hayatou, the boss of the CAF, will serve as acting president of FIFA
  • Hayatou was reprimanded by the IOC after Panorama bribery allegations
  • Angel Villar Llona is positioned to replace Michel Platini as UEFA president
  • Villar Llona also has an ethics committee investigation hanging over him
Daily Mail UK, 8 October 2015


Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have both been provisionally banned for 90 days from any football-related activity in a ruling that throws world football into total meltdown.

FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke has also been banned for 90 days meaning the three most powerful men in world football are now all provisionally suspended while investigations by FIFA's ethics committee continue.


The ban will effectively end outgoing FIFA president Blatter's ambitions to stay on until February, while UEFA president Platini's hopes of succeeding him lie in tatters.





Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have been provisionally suspended by FIFA's ethics committee for 90 days





Journalists gather outside FIFA's headquarters in Zurich as world football is thrown into total meltdown




This follows the inquiry into the £1.35m payment Platini received in 2011 for consultancy work for Blatter





Blatter (right) has been 'provisionally suspended for 90 days' amid a criminal investigation into him



Quote:

FIFA PRESIDENT BLATTER AND UEFA CHIEF PLATINI ISSUE STATEMENTS

Sepp Blatter Statement;

Blatter's lawyers issued a statement claiming the ethics committee should have allowed him to be heard.
The statement said: 'President Blatter was disappointed that the ethics committee did not follow the code of ethics and disciplinary code, both of which provide for an opportunity to be heard.

Further, the ethics committee based its decision on a misunderstanding of the actions of the Attorney General in Switzerland, which has opened an investigation but brought no charge against the president.

'In fact, the prosecutors will be obliged by law to dismiss the case if their investigation, barely two weeks old, does not establish sufficient evidence. President Blatter looks forward to the opportunity to present evidence that will demonstrate that he did not engage in any misconduct, criminal or otherwise.'

Michel Platini Statement;

UEFA president Platini claimed the fact that news of the impending ban was leaked on Wednesday was an attempt to damage his reputation.

'It was reported last night that the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee intends to recommend to its adjudicatory chamber that I be given a 90-day suspension,' read a statement before the decision was confirmed.

'This deliberate leak – which is insidious in nature and has come about in an unacceptable manner – is essentially an attempt to damage my reputation. Over the last few weeks, I have stressed my willingness to cooperate fully with the authorities carrying out the various enquiries in compliance with the strictest procedural rules. FIFA, on the other hand, has clearly flouted those rules.

'I have always acted and expressed myself with honesty, courage and candour, as I feel that this is my moral duty. If what is being reported regarding the intentions of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee is indeed true, I will stop at nothing to ensure that the truth is known. Nobody should be in any doubt as to my determination to achieve that objective.'
Platini had been the favourite to succeed 79-year-old Blatter but the ban prevents all three men from being involved in any football-related activity for the next three months while investigations continue. The 90-day suspension can also be extended by a further 45 days, taking it up until just six days before the FIFA presidential election is due on February 26.

The ethics committee also announced that another FIFA presidential candidate Chung Mong-joon from Korea has been banned for six years and fined 100,000 Swiss francs for breaking rules during the 2022 World Cup bid campaign.


This follows an inquiry into the £1.35million payment Platini received in 2011 for consultancy work for Blatter nine years earlier, a time lag which he has yet to explain.

Blatter is also being investigated for selling World Cup TV rights to his FIFA colleague Jack Warner at a knock-down price that later netted the Trinidadian an £11m profit.

A statement from FIFA's ethics committee said: 'The adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee chaired by Hans Joachim Eckert has provisionally banned FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, UEFA President and FIFA Vice-President Michel Platini, and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke (who has already been put on leave by his employer FIFA) for a duration of 90 days.





FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke has been banned for 90 days, FIFA's ethic committee has announced





Presidential candidate Chung Mong-joon has been banned for six years and fined 100,000 Swiss francs


'The duration of the bans may be extended for an additional period not exceeding 45 days. The former FIFA Vice-President Chung Mong-joon has been banned for six years and fined CHF 100,000.

During this time, the above individuals are banned from all football activities on a national and international level. The bans come into force immediately.


'The grounds for these decisions are the investigations that are being carried out by the investigatory chamber of the Ethics Committee. The chairman of the chamber is Dr Cornel Borbély. The investigation into Joseph S. Blatter is being carried out by Robert Torres, the investigation into Michel Platini by Vanessa Allard.

'The proceedings against the South Korean football official Chung Mong-joon were opened in January 2015 based on findings in the report on the investigation into the bidding process for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cups.


'He has been found guilty of infringing article 13 (General rules of conduct), article 16 (Confidentiality), article 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), article 41 (Obligation of the parties to collaborate) and article 42 (General obligation to collaborate) of the FIFA Code of Ethics. The Ethics Committee is unable to comment on the details of the decisions until they become final, due to the provisions of article 36 (Confidentiality) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.'


Blatter and Platini can appeal to FIFA's appeals committee but will still be suspended until they are heard. Valcke had already been suspended by FIFA after allegations he was implicated in a World Cup tickets scheme.

European football body UEFA have given their support to Platini and said on Thursday that he will not be replaced as president after he was provisionally suspended from the sport by FIFA's Ethics Committee.

'The UEFA Executive Committee saw no need, at this moment in time, to invoke Article 29(5) of the UEFA Statutes, pursuant to which the highest-ranking Vice-President of UEFA may step in to assume the powers and duties of the president in his absence," UEFA said in a statement.

'This is because the UEFA Executive Committee is aware that the UEFA president will immediately take all necessary steps to appeal the decision of the FIFA Ethics Committee to clear his name.'


FIFA vice president David Gill and fellow executive committee member Wolfgang Niersbach have called for an emergency meeting of FIFA's ruling body to be held.

According to a statement from the English Football Association, of which Gill is vice chairman, the FA says 'there will be a meeting of the 54 UEFA nations as soon as next week.'

The FA was one of the first federations to endorse Michel Platini's candidacy for FIFA president, and the English are not withdrawing that backing yet.

'At the FA board meeting last week, we decided that remained our position while inquiries into certain allegations were being investigated,' the FA said. 'We now await the results of both the ethics committee inquiry and the investigation of the Swiss attorney general.'

But International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has declared 'enough is enough' over the FIFA scandal and demanded that football's world governing body considers a 'credible external candidate' as president to help clean up the mess.





International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has declared 'enough is enough' over the scandal


The IOC president said in a statement: 'Enough is enough. We hope that now, finally, everyone at FIFA has at last understood that they cannot continue to remain passive. They must act swiftly to regain credibility because you cannot forever dissociate the credibility of FIFA from the credibility of football.'


Issa Hayatou, boss of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), will serve as acting president of FIFA.


In 2011, Hayatou was reprimanded by the International Olympics Committee's ethics commission after he confirmed to them that he was paid by FIFA's former marketing agency International Sport and Leisure in 1995.

The IOC said such an action constituted a conflict of interest. Hayatou denied any personal gain or wrongdoing.

After it was confirmed he would serve as acting president, Hayatou released a statement: 'Today, amid extraordinary circumstances, I have assumed the office of FIFA President pursuant to Article 32 (6) of the FIFA Statutes.





Hayatou, 69, was reprimanded by the International Olympics Committee's ethics commission in 2011





Spanish Football Federation president Angel Villar Llona (left) is positioned to take over from Platini



'I will serve only on an interim basis. A new President will be chosen by the Extraordinary Congress on 26 February 2016. I myself will not be a candidate for that position.'

And Spain's Angel Villar Llona will takeover from Platini at UEFA where there must be strong doubts the French former football great can return.
Spanish Football Federation president Villar is positioned to take over from Platini as he is the European governing body's highest-ranking vice-president.

Villar has been widely reported to be facing a FIFA ethics investigation himself related to Spain's joint bid with Portugal for the 2018 World Cup. FIFA's ethics committee is not allowed to confirm or deny the existence of any investigations.





FIFA is engulfed in a scandal, with the FBI having raided their offices and arrested several executives in Zurich



Quote:
TIMELINE OF CONTROVERSY THAT HAS ENGULFED THE GOVERNING BODY

MAY 2002

After becoming FIFA president in 1998, Blatter seeks re-election four years later but his campaign is blighted by rumours of financial irregularities.

DEC 2010

Blatter reveals Qatar will stage the 2022 World Cup.

MAY 2011

After rival Mohammed bin Hammam withdraws from the presidential election amid allegations of bribery, Blatter runs unopposed and elected for a fourth term.

APRIL 2013

FIFA's ethics committee concludes an investigation into bribery allegations surrounding the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. Blatter is cleared of any wrongdoing.





Blatter resigned as FIFA president in June this year, four days after being re-elected to a fifth term



MAY 2015

Fourteen FIFA officials are arrested over 'rampant and systemic' corruption allegations. Blatter is urged to resign, despite not being implicated. He is again re-elected as FIFA president.

JUNE 2015

Blatter announces his resignation as president, before Swiss newspaper Blick claims he did not actually resign.

SEPTEMBER 2015

Swiss prosecutors open a criminal investigation into him.

OCTOBER 2015

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini are provisionally banned for 90 days.
Earlier on Thursday, UEFA president Platini claimed the fact that news of the impending ban was leaked on Wednesday was an attempt to damage his reputation.

'It was reported last night that the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee intends to recommend to its adjudicatory chamber that I be given a 90-day suspension,' read a statement.

'This is clearly an extremely serious matter – all the more so given that this information appears to have come from an official FIFA source, despite the fact that the Ethics Committee, which is supposed to act with full independence, has not yet issued its decision.





Blatter and UEFA president Platini (left) are both facing suspensions which could spell their demise


Several of FIFA's leading sponsors, including Coca-Cola, have called for Blatter's immediate resignation



Quote:

WHAT FIFA'S ETHICS COMMITTEE RULES STATE


FIFA's ethics committee rules state the maximum 90-day provisional suspension can be extended for a further 45 days.
That would see the provisional suspension end on February 20 - only six days before the election of Blatter's successor is due to take place - meaning a disciplinary hearing would have to take place before that time.

The pair can appeal against the suspension to FIFA's appeals committee within two days of being notified of the decision but they will remain suspended at least until the appeal is held.

Blatter's lawyers had claimed they would expect the 'ethics committee would want to hear from the president and his counsel, and conduct a thorough review of the evidence, before making any recommendation to take disciplinary action'.

That does not need to be the case for a provisional suspension however.

FIFA ethics rules state: 'The chairman of the adjudicatory chamber may make his decision on the basis of the case files available to him, without hearing the parties, in which case the parties shall be summoned to a hearing or invited to submit written statements after the decision has been issued.
'After hearing the parties, the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber shall confirm, revoke or amend his decision.'
'This deliberate leak – which is insidious in nature and has come about in an unacceptable manner – is essentially an attempt to damage my reputation. Over the last few weeks, I have stressed my willingness to cooperate fully with the authorities carrying out the various enquiries in compliance with the strictest procedural rules. FIFA, on the other hand, has clearly flouted those rules.

'I have always acted and expressed myself with honesty, courage and candour, as I feel that this is my moral duty. If what is being reported regarding the intentions of the investigatory chamber of the FIFA Ethics Committee is indeed true, I will stop at nothing to ensure that the truth is known. Nobody should be in any doubt as to my determination to achieve that objective.

'In the meantime, a dispassionate, independent and impartial judicial body needs to shine a light on the events that led the FIFA Ethics Committee to open these investigatory proceedings.

'This morning I submitted the letters of support that are required in order to stand as a candidate for the presidency of FIFA. As I have always done since 2007, I will fulfil my obligations after consulting UEFA's 54 member associations, which I will ask to convene shortly in Nyon. I will also meet with all the other confederations and FIFA's member associations in the spirit of openness that has always characterised my actions.

'I am certain that we will overcome this difficulty with full transparency and the unity that gives football its strength.'

On Thursday morning Platini submitted the letters of nomination from supporting associations to FIFA but his hopes of running for president appeared to have been dashed.


Blatter, 79, who has held FIFA's top job since 1998, has been embroiled in high-profile corruption allegations



Quote:

TROUBLED TIMES FOR FIFA FOLLOWING THE CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS



Jerome Valcke (general secretary): Released from duties after allegations that he was implicated in a ticketing scandal.

Chuck Blazer (executive committee member): Banned from all football-related activity for life after admitting he took and facilitated bribes for the awarding of the 1998 and 2010 World Cups.

Eugenio Figueredo (executive committee vice-president), Jeffrey Webb (executive committee vice-president), Nicolas Leoz (executive committee), Eduardo Li (executive committee), Jose Maria Marin (2014 World Cup committee), Julio Rocha Lopez (FIFA development officer):
All arrested by US authorities on corruption charges.


Joao Havelange (honorary president): Resigned after being accused of taking bribes.

Vernon Manilal Fernando (executive committee): Banned for life after investigation into bribery and corruption.

Ricardo Teixeira (executive committee): Resigned after being accused of taking bribes.

Mohamed Bin Hammam (executive committee): Banned from all football activity for life after being found guilty of bribery.

Jack Warner (executive committee): Resigned after being suspended on suspicion of bribery.
.
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Old 22-10-15, 08:33   #19
 
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Update re: FIFA 2018/2022 World Cup Bids WERE 'FIXED'> says Blatter +CORRUPTION Charges

Franz Beckenbauer and Angel Maria Villar Llona Under Investigation by FIFA

By Press Association, 22 October 2015


FIFA has confirmed German World Cup winner Franz Beckenbauer and vice president Angel Maria Villar Llona are both subject to investigations by the organisation's ethics committee.



Beckenbauer was a FIFA voter when Russia and Qatar were chosen to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively, while Villar Llona has sat on FIFA's executive committee since 1998.



The investigations into both men have been completed and are now awaiting verdict.






FIFA has confirmed ethics committee investigations relating to Franz Beckenbauer and Angel Maria Villar Llona





A FIFA statement read: "Proceedings relating to the two officials Angel Maria Villar Llona and Franz Beckenbauer have already been passed on to the adjudicatory chamber."



Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup with West Germany as a player in 1974 and manager in 1990, and Villar Llona are two of 11 names revealed to be under investigation by FIFA.

The list includes departing president Sepp Blatter, secretary general Jerome Valcke and UEFA president Michel Platini. All three were handed provisional 90-day suspensions two weeks ago.


The other six officials identified are Worawi Makudi, Jeffrey Webb, Ricardo Teixeira, Amos Adamu, Eugenio Figueredo and Nicolas Leoz.


Beckenbauer and Villar Llona had not been publicly named before but a change in the ruling on Tuesday means FIFA's ethics committee can now release details of ongoing investigations.



Beckenbauer headed the organising committee for the 2006 World Cup and was forced to reject allegations on Sunday that Germany had bought votes to host the tournament.
He was also suspended last year for initially refusing to assist the investigation led by FIFA prosecutor Michael Garcia into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 competitions.


Villar Llona is president of the Spanish football federation and acting head of UEFA in the absence of Platini. He also replaced the Frenchman as interim chairman of the 2018 World Cup organising committee.
FIFA's statement did not include details of the charges Beckenbauer and Villar Llona face.


The pair's involvement piles more pressure on FIFA, which had to confirm on Tuesday its presidential election will go ahead on February 26, despite provisional bans handed to Blatter and Platini.

Platini and Blatter are being investigated over a £1.35million payment Platini received from Blatter in 2011, which they say related to consultancy work Platini completed nine years earlier. They deny any wrongdoing.

Platini has submitted his candidacy to become FIFA president ahead of Monday's deadline but the former European player of the year will not be allowed to stand while his suspension remains in force.

If the ban is lifted before February's vote, however, the Frenchman's candidacy will be reconsidered and FIFA said it will aim to deliver a verdict within the 90-day period.


FIFA said: "The investigatory chamber of the independent Ethics Committee has confirmed that proceedings are ongoing against FIFA President Joseph Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini, both of whom are currently provisionally suspended. The investigation is focusing on a payment of CHF 2 million from FIFA to Michel Platini in February 2011.
"The investigatory chamber will do everything in its power to ensure that a decision can be taken by the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee, chaired by Hans-Joachim Eckert, within the 90-day suspension period (which began on 8 October 2015) of the two football officials."


FIFA secretary general Valcke is under investigation for separate charges, relating to "misuse of expenses and other infringements of FIFA's rules and regulations".


Makudi, Webb, Teixeira, Adamu, Figueredo and Leoz are all former members of FIFA's executive committee.

Makudi, Webb, Figueredo, Leoz and Teixeira were arrested on corruption charges earlier this year, while Adamu was banned for three years in 2010 for bribery during bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
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Old 28-10-15, 17:32   #20
 
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Breaking News re: FIFA 2018/2022 World Cup Bids WERE 'FIXED'> says Blatter +CORRUPTION Charges

FA to Probe FIFA President Sepp Blatter's Claim That 2018 World Cup was Awarded to Russia Before Vote Which Included Failed England Bid

Sepp Blatter Claims Russia was Given World Cup in 2018 BEFORE The Vote

  • He also said the US was set to be given the tournament in 2022
  • FA chairman Greg Dyke was speaking in front of a Commons Committee
  • He said the organisation would look into Blatter's stunning claim
Daily Mail UK, 28 October 2015


Sepp Blatter has revealed there was an agreement in place for the 2018 World Cup to go to Russia even before the vote took place.
The suspended FIFA president has told Russian news agency TASS that the tournament was always lined up to go to Russia with the 2022 World Cup to be held in the US - until Michel Platini decided to throw his weight behind Qatar.

Blatter's comments will spark further controversy over World Cup bidding - England, Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Holland spent tens of millions of pounds on bidding against Russia.






Suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter has attacked Michel Platini and the British media in an interview with a Russian news agency (pictured)







Blatter said personal attacks on him by Platini had triggered the meltdown in world football's governing body



Blatter did not expand on who exactly had 'agreed' for Russia to be hosts, but claimed the crisis in FIFA had been prompted by England and the USA being 'bad losers' as a result of their World Cup bid failures.

Blatter told TASS: 'In 2010 we had a discussion of the World Cup and then we went to a double decision. For the World Cups it was agreed that we go to Russia because it's never been in Russia, eastern Europe, and for 2022 we go back to America. And so we will have the World Cup in the two biggest political powers.

'And everything was good until the moment when (French president Nicolas) Sarkozy came in a meeting with the crown prince of Qatar, who is now the ruler of Qatar. And at a lunch afterwards with Mr Platini he said it would be good to go to Qatar. And this has changed all pattern.

'There was an election by secret ballot. Four votes from Europe went away from the USA and so the result was 14 to eight. If you put the four votes, it would have been 12 to 10. If the USA was given the World Cup, we would only speak about the wonderful World Cup 2018 in Russia and we would not speak about any problems at FIFA.'










Blatter revealed Russia were chosen as hosts before the vote but that the USA should have hosted in 2022




Blatter went on to blame his arch-rival Platini for causing the meltdown in world football's ruling body.

UEFA president Platini, who like Blatter is banned for 90 days, started the personal attacks because he wanted to lead FIFA and then it escalated into a world political battle.

Blatter also blamed England and its media - again - and America for stirring up the conflict because they lost out on the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The deposed FIFA leader has repeatedly breached ethics committee regulations by speaking to the media about his football business while serving his temporary ban along with with Platini.

Their suspensions followed revelations about the £1.35m consultancy cheque from Blatter that Platini received in 2011 nine years after his FIFA employment was completed.
Blatter again claims in the Tass interview that FIFA couldn't afford to pay Platini at the time.

He added that he first fell out with Platini when UEFA didn't invite him to the Euro 2008 championships in Switzerland and Austria. They have an 'anti-FIFA virus', said Blatter.

After claiming there was a plan by the European Union Parliament to oust him from the presidency, Blatter says he was the victim of a 'personal attack' by Platini.
'It was Platini against me,' he said. 'He started it, but then it became politics.





Platini, like Blatter, is currently suspended while a £1.35m payment from 2011 is investigated






The pair were close friends but their relationship soured when Blatter wasn't invited by UEFA to Euro 2008



'And when it is in politics, it is not any longer Platini against me. It is then those, who have lost the World Cup. England against Russia. They lost the World Cup. And the USA lost the World Cup against Qatar.

'But you cannot destroy FIFA. FIFA is not the Swiss bank. FIFA is not a commercial company. So, what they have done together with the Swiss, they have created this attack towards FIFA and the president of FIFA.

'And I am sure that at the beginning when UEFA said they don't want me, they didn't know that finally it came out with such a political importance.'
Asked why Platini has such a strong personal dislike for him, Blatter claims it is because the Frenchman wanted to be FIFA president and is motivated by 'jealousy'.

Totally unconcerned by the prospect of breaching the terms of his suspension, Blatter calls it a 'total nonsense'.

Revealing more details about the payment that led to both his and Platini's suspension, Blatter said the former France international approached him at the end of the 1998 World Cup.
They made an arrangement that Platini would work on Blatter's behalf but would be paid at a later date.

In 2010, eight years after his employment with FIFA ended, Platini came to Blatter and demanded the £1.35m owed be paid.



Launching into yet more criticism of the British media, Blatter labelled them 'bad losers' for agitating to have Russia stripped of the 2018 World Cup.

He said: 'In Great Britain they have made this beautiful game, they have introduced fair play. But there was only one vote going for England.
'They were eliminated in the first round. Nobody wanted to have England.'






Blatter shakes hands with Russian president Vladimir Putin following the award of the 2018 World Cup

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Old 11-11-15, 16:43   #21
 
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Update re: FIFA CORRUPTION>Prince William/Prime Minister Cameron Caught up in Corruption Scandal

Blatter Remains in Hospital after Stress-Related 'Breakdown'

Daily Mail UK, 11 November 2015


LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Sepp Blatter remains in a Swiss hospital after what his spokesman called a "small breakdown" related to stress.


The 79-year-old suspended FIFA president expects to leave the hospital next Monday, Zurich-based spokesman Klaus Stoehlker told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

"(Blatter) will be back officially in business on Tuesday next week," Stoehlker said in a telephone interview. "The checkup is finished and he is recovering."





FILE - In this July 20, 2015 file photo FIFA president Sepp Blatter speaks during a news conference at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP, file)



On Friday, Blatter's American lawyer told the AP that he was at a hospital. On Wednesday, long-time Blatter aide Walter Gagg told the AP "he was always at the hospital."

Blatter is appealing against his 90-day provisional ban by the FIFA ethics committee over suspected financial misconduct.

He still hopes to host the Ballon d'Or award ceremony in Zurich on Jan. 11, after the suspension expires, Gagg said on the sidelines of a meeting of Olympic sports.
Blatter's main goal is to host the FIFA election congress on Feb. 26, Gagg said.

On that day in Zurich, FIFA will elect a successor to Blatter, ending his more than 40 years working for soccer's governing body.


Even if Blatter gets his interim ban lifted, by the FIFA appeal committee or Court of Arbitration for Sport, he then faces a full hearing before the ethics committee.

Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini were banned in the wake of a Swiss criminal case investigating financial misconduct at FIFA. The criminal case centers on whether Blatter misused FIFA money by making a $2 million payment to Platini for backdated salary in 2011.





FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2014 file photo FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures as he attends a press conference in Marrakech, Morocco. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, file)
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Old 10-07-17, 16:46   #22
 
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Update Re: FIFA CORRUPTION>Prince William/Prime Minister Cameron Caught up in Corruption Sca

Prince William, The Queen, and David Cameron Caught up in Fifa Corruption Scandal

AP 8 July 2017




David Beckham, Prince William and David Cameron on the eve of 2018 and 2022 World Cup vote Credit: Getty Images...


The Duke of Cambridge and David Cameron have become embroiled in a row over corruption in football as the full extent of England’s failed attempt to stage the 2018 World Cup was made public.

The former prime minister and Prince William were at a meeting during which a vote-swapping deal between England and South Korea was discussed, according to an official report released Tuesday night.

The long-awaited Fifa report has disclosed the lengths to which England’s football bosses went to court Fifa executives, many of them now discredited, as they sought to secure votes for England's 2018 bid.

At one point officials discussed the possibility of arranging a meeting with the Queen for one Fifa representative whose vote could have helped England.


The Fifa report reveals how Mr Cameron asked the South Korean delegation to back England's bid, only to be told that England would have to agree to reciprocate by pledging support for South Korea's bid to host the 2022 tournament.


Such a vote-swapping deal, the report concluded, would have been in “violation of the anti-collusion rules”.

The report, written in 2014 by Fifa’s then chief ethics investigator Michael Garcia and which was leaked to a German newspaper this week, details how England bid officials interacted with Fifa officials in the run up to the vote.

It discloses how they were asked to bestow an honorary knighthood and arrange an audience with the Queen for one South American official.


England 2018 officials arranged work at Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur football clubs for the "adopted son" of one official.

They even considered a request by the same official, the Trinidad and Tobago Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, to have his hometown twinned with an "English village" according to the report. The FA offered Burton upon Trent, the Staffordshire home of its national football centre, as a potential twin town.

The report discloses how Mr Cameron met Fifa vice president Mong-Joon Chung of South Korea in Prince William’s suite at the Baur au lac Hotel in Zurich on the eve of the vote in December 2010.

South Korea was bidding to stage the 2022 World Cup which was also being decided at the same time.

“The Prime Minister asked Mr Chung to vote for England’s bid, and Mr Chung responded that he would if Mr [Geoff] Thompson [chairman of England’s bid] voted for Korea,” states the report based on evidence provided by the English delegation.


The Queen is also named in the report after it emerged that FA chiefs met with a senior Fifa official in 2009 who asked for an audience with the monarch.



It is alleged that Nicolas Leoz, president of the South American Football Confederation, suggested the possibility of an honorary knighthood.

In the meeting with Lord Triesman, the then FA chairman, it is alleged that Dr Leoz said, “that he believed that a knighthood from the United Kingdom would be appropriate”.

Andy Anson, chief executive of England 2018, the company behind the English FA bid, told investigators he recalled officials “said to me that it would be nice if at some point Dr Leoz would get to meet the Queen.”

England 2018 officials, recognising the difficulty of arranging an honorary knighthood, instead discussed “creating a FA Disability Cup” that “could be named after him”. Subsequently officials questioned whether naming a trophy in his honour was “big enough” inducement to gain Dr Leoz’s support.

The attempts to court Jack Warner, then a Fifa vice president and president of North, Central American and Caribbean football confederation, and his astonishing demands are also revealed in full for the first time.

“England 2018’s response shows an unfortunate willingness, time and again, to meet that expectation [of Mr Warner],” concludes the report.

That included finding jobs for Mr Warner’s ‘adopted son’ Richard Sebro, who was actually the son of his banker, at Tottenham Hostpur Football Club and then a second placement at Aston Villa in 2009.

The same year, the FA also paid for all costs covering a stay in Sheffield of the Trinidad & Tobago Under 20 team. A year later, according to the report, Mr Warner then requested his home village of Longdenville, in Trinidad, be twinned with an English village in order to secure publicity and funding for it.

The English team's offer of Burton-upon-Trent as a possible twinned town came in an email sent to Mr Warner on June 29, 2009.

The report also discloses England’s agreement to play an international football friendly in Thailand, a team ranked 120th in the world. Thailand would received money from all broadcasting rights to the game, bar in the UK, due to be staged in 2011. The ex-FA boss Geoff Thompson admitted in interview to the Garcia inquiry that he "didn't think it was appropriate" for England to play the Thailand friendly "because I think it's a form of bribery".

When England lost out on the World Cup bid in 2010 to Russia, the game with Thailand, arranged in November, was cancelled in December. The report states: “The game’s cancellation only underscores the improper relationship.”

The FA’s attempts at lobbying were unsuccessful with England knocked out in the first round when receiving only two votes. The tournament went to Russia while Qatar secured the 2022 finals, with both decisions reached on December 2, 2010.

According to the Garcia report England 2018 “provided full and valuable co-operation in establishing the facts and circumstances of this case” with witnesses made available for interview and documents produced on request.


However, the report also identified “conduct by England 2018 that may not have met the standards set out in the FCE (FIFA code of ethics) or the bid rules”.

The report adds: “In many cases England 2018 accommodated or at least attempted to satisfy, the improper requests made by these Executive Committee members.


"While the bidding process itself, and the attitude of entitlement and expectation demonstrated by certain Executive Committee members in the exchanges discussed in detail above, place the bid team in a difficult position that fact does not excuse all of the conduct.”
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Old 04-08-17, 06:37   #23
 
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Soccer Re:FIFA CORRUPTION>Ex-President Faces Criminal Probe to Help Qatar Get 2022 World Cup

Ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy Faces Criminal Probe Over Claims He Took Bribes to Help Qatar Land 2022 World Cup

  • The 62-year-old's politician's dealings will be probed by prosecutors in France
  • A Paris judge already ordered him to stand trial over illegal campaign funding
  • A deal that saw Qatari Diar buy 5% stake in French company Veolia is being examined
Daily Mail UK, 8 August 2017






Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy faces criminal investigation following allegations that he took back-handers to held Qatar win the 2022 World Cup.


The 62-year-old politician's dealings will be probed by prosecutors in his own country after the massively wealthy Gulf state was effectively accused of paying to host the contest.

Mr Sarkozy is already an indicted criminal suspect in France after a Paris judge in February ordered him to stand trial over illegal campaign funding.
He is said to have falsified accounts during his unsuccessful presidential campaign for re-election in 2012 after serving just one term in office.

Other Sarkozy sleaze enquiries include accusations that he accepted millions in laundered money from the late Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Now it is Mr Sarkozy's role in wooing Qatari investors to France, and potentially accepting cash in the process, that is under scrutiny.

A spokesman for financial prosecutors in the French capital said they were 'involved in preliminary enquiries' into the Qatar World Cup bid, that received huge backing from Mr Sarkozy.
They are also looking at a related deal that saw Qatari company Qatari Diar buy a five per cent stake on French multinational waste and energy company Veoliain April 2010.





Then-FIFA President Sepp Blatter announcing in 2010 that Qatar will be hosting the 2022 World Cup


It is thought that the equivalent of just under £164m was 'siphoned off on the sidelines' in relation to the Veolia deal, according to the Daily Telegraph.

France was a firm supporter of the unusual bid to hold the World Cup in Qatar, despite scorching summer temperatures and only a nominal footballing history.

According to the Telegraph, Sarkozy 'may have received funds from transactions negotiated around the time of the 2022 bid [in 2010], including from the sale of Paris Saint-Germain football club to Qatar.'

Sarkozy is a season ticket holder at PSG, one of the richest clubs in the world, and is known to have advised its Qatar owners to buy it in the first place.
Just before his election in May, the current French president Emmanuel Macron said he wanted to cut down on Qatar buying up French assets.

In April, Mr Macron said:
'I will put an end to the agreements that favour Qatar in France. I think there was a lot of complacency during Nicolas Sarkozy's five-year term in particular.'





Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani is handed the World Cup by the now-disgraced former head of football's governing body.
PSG have just signed Brazilian forward Neymar from Barcelona for a world-record deal worth more than £200m.


The Sarkozy revelations also come as Qatar faces fierce criticism from neighbours over its alleged support for radical militant groups and Iran, which Qatar denies.
Mr Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, has also denied any wrongdoing following all of the sleaze allegations, including the latest.

The conservative Mr Sarkozy failed at a comeback last year, when his Republicans party rejected his bid to be their candidate in this year's presidential election.
He now lives in Paris with his third wife, the former supermodel and pop singer Carla Bruni. Their home in the city's 16th arrondissement was raided by fraud squad officers within a week of Mr Sarkozy losing his presidential immunity from prosecution in 2012.
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Old 07-09-17, 04:13   #24
 
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2022 FIFA World Cup re: FIFA: Qatar 2022 World Cup at Risk of Being Staged Elsewhere

FIFA Orders South Africa-Senegal Qualifier To Be Replayed After Ref Banned For Corruption

Reuters 7 Sept 2017





FILE PHOTO - Cars drive past a logo in front of FIFA's headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland 8 June, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann



(Reuters) - FIFA has ordered the World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Senegal, played in November 2016, to be replayed after the referee was banned for life.


FIFA said in March that Ghanaian referee Joseph Lamptey had been banned for life after they found him guilty of unlawfully influencing a match result following South Africa’s 2-1 win over Senegal in African Group D.


FIFA did not give further details but African soccer’s governing body (CAF) said at the time that Lamptey had wrongly awarded a penalty to the South Africans and suspended him for three months.

The life ban for Lamptey was recently upheld by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“The Bureau for the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers ordered a replay of the qualification match between South Africa and Senegal held on 12 November 2016,” FIFA said in a statement on Wednesday.

”The match will be replayed within the November 2017 international window, with the exact date to be confirmed in due course.

“As stated in the FIFA World Cup regulations, this decision shall come into effect immediately but shall be subject to confirmation by the Organising Committee for FIFA Competitions at its next meeting, scheduled for 14 September,” added the FIFA statement.

CAF had said that Lamptey was guilty of “poor performance” in the match and “awarded a wrong penalty for handball despite the fact that the ball never touched the hand of the player”.

Thulani Hlatshwayo converted the penalty in the 42nd minute and Thulani Serero added another goal three minutes later.

Lamptey previously served a six-month ban, imposed by CAF, for wrongly awarding a goal during a CAF Champions League semi-final in 2010.
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Old 07-10-17, 11:32   #25
 
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Update Re: FIFA: Qatar 2022 World Cup at Risk of Being Staged Elsewhere

Qatar 2022 World Cup is at 'Increasing Risk' of Being Staged Elsewhere Due to Middle East Diplomatic Crisis, Reveals Damning New Report

  • Qatar was controversially chosen to stage the 2022 World Cup by FIFA in 2010
  • The World Cup infrastructure is due to total £153billion once completed
  • Qatar is involved in a diplomatic crisis with five nations - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Yemen
Daily Mail UK, 7 Oct 2017.


Qatar's place as hosts for the 2022 World Cup is in jeopardy following a new report that has delved into their suitability amid the ongoing political attention in the Middle East.


Quote:

TIMELINE OF EVENTS IN QATAR


December 2010 - Qatar awarded 2022 World Cup.

March 2011
- Qatar joins international military operations in Libya.

April 2011 - Qatar hosts meeting of international 'contact group' on Libya, which calls on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to quit. Qatar reportedly arms Libyan opposition.

November 2011 - Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani says elections to the advisory council will be held in 2013, in what would be Qatar's first legislative elections.

January 2012 - The Afghan Taliban say they are setting up a political office in Qatar to facilitate talks.

October 2012 - Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani visits Gaza, the first head of state to do so since Hamas took power there five years previously.

June 2013 - Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani takes over as emir after his father abdicates.

October 2013 - Court upholds 15-year jail sentence for poet Mohammed al-Ajami who was convicted of inciting people to overthrow government.

March 2014
- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE temporarily withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar after alleging that it has been meddling in their internal affairs.

September 2014 - Qatar and four other Arab states take part in US-led air strikes on Islamic State militants in Syria.

March 2015
- Qatar and four other GCC states take part in Saudi-led air strikes on Houthi rebels in Yemen.

March 2016 - Human rights group Amnesty International, says in a new report that migrant workers employed on construction sites for the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar, face systematic abuse which sometimes amounts to forced labour.

December 2016 - Government says it is abolishing the controversial labour sponsorship system or 'kafala' that forces foreign workers to seek their employers' consent to change jobs or leave the country.

June 2017 - Diplomatic crisis as Saudi Arabia leads an air, land and sea blockade by Arab countries, in an attempt to get Qatar to cut its alleged connections with terrorism and distance itself from Iran.

October 2017 - The Cornerstone Global says that Qatar are at 'increasing risk' of losing the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

.
A study by management consultants Cornerstone Global evaluated the impact of the current diplomatic situation involving Qatar and its surrounding countries.

Obtained by the BBC, the report claims 'tournament insiders and regional experts have both stated to us that it is far from certain Doha will actually host the tournament'.




Qatar is at 'increasing risk' of losing the right to host the 2022 World Cup, claims a new report



The country is currently involved in an ongoing dispute with Saudi Arabia cutting all ties



Saudi Arabia's stance is due to their beliefs that Qatar is destabilising the Middle East and supporting terrorism..


This is a result of it warning construction companies that is it a 'high-risk project' to work on the infrastructure programme which is set to total £153billion ($200bn) in costs.

Cornestone Global's report, Qatar in focus: Is the Fifa World Cup 2022 in danger?; advises clients to 'to give them unique insights to the reality of doing business in complex and challenging environments'.

It also adds: 'Western diplomats have privately stated they do not know whether or not the tournament will take place as planned.

'The reasons for this are many and include open allegations of corruption - both in the bidding process and in the infrastructure development.

'Qatar is under greater pressure regarding its hosting of the tournament... the current political crisis has seen - or at least raised the possibility of - a Qatari opposition movement emerging.

'This means an increased risk for those working on, or seeking contracts for World Cup 2022 infrastructure... with a risk of non-payment and no realistic ability to enforce any legal contracts.

'Given the current political situation... it is certainly possible that the tournament will not be held in Qatar.

'Any cancellation of Qatar hosting the World Cup 2022 will likely be abrupt and will leave contractors involved in a precarious situation that may not be easily resolved.'

The report also states that costs have risen between '20 and 25 per cent due to logistical reasons'.

In response to the report, which Cornestone says it was 'professionally produced based on extensive research'; the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy have dismissed it 'as transparent as it is laughable.'

They also maintain that there is 'absolutely no risk' to Qatar not staging the 2022 World Cup.

In statement to the BBC, they wrote: 'In the context of the current political situation we question the motives of an organisation - which makes no secret of its affiliation to the countries blockading Qatar - of publishing a report based entirely on media reports and anonymous sources.

'The intention to create doubt regarding the tournament, while attempting to cause resentment amongst Qatari citizens and anxiety amongst foreign businesses and residents, is as transparent as it is laughable.

'Despite the ambitious title of this report, there is absolutely no risk to the future of the first World Cup in the Middle East.'




In August, Al Thumama was the latest stadium to have its design released for 2022 World Cup



The stadium will have a 40,000 capacity but will reduce to 20,000 after the tournament



It has been designed in the shape of a 'gahfiya' - a traditional headdress worn by Arab men



It will play host to the competition's group stage matches and up until the quarter-final


Ghanim Ali Al Kuwari, Qatar's competition venues executive director, says they are still on track to be ready for the tournament in five years.

'One stadium is ready and the other seven are on schedule,' he said.
'The blockade has actually been a benefit, I would say. We have different resources now, different support from different countries.

'Now we are using different technology, different prices and different quality, from countries like Turkey, Europe, England, France, Germany, China and the USA.'




Khalifa International Stadium in Doha has already been completed and was unveiled in May. It has a 48,000 capacity



Al Wakrah Stadium, with a 45,120 capacity, is planned to be built by the end of 2018



Al Rayyan Stadium, 44,740 seater, is set to be up-and-running by the first quarter of 2019



Al Bayt Stadium, on the coast north of Doha, is hoped to be built by the end of 2018 with a 45,330 capacity



The Qatar Foundation Stadium, in Doha, is set to be completed by end of 2019



The build-up to World Cup 2022 has been dogged with problems since it was controversially awarded to Qatar in 2010.

The tournament has subsequently had to be moved to winter because of the temperatures in the summer.

There have also been reports of migrant workers on construction sites being subjected to appalling conditions.

But Al Kuwari, speaking at the Aspire Academy event at London's Stamford Bridge, added:
'Our response to that is we will let anyone visit our construction sites and our accommodation, and they will find it perfectly good.'


Quote:

WHAT'S GOING ON WITH QATAR?


What's the report saying?

That among local diplomats in the Middle East, there is not full confidence that Qatar will be able to deliver the World Cup. The report is prepared for infrastructure firms assessing the risks involved in working on preparations for the World Cup.

Why is there a risk the World Cup will be moved?

Diplomats believe the current crisis which has resulted in a blockade of the sovereign state could lead to the development of an opposition movement in the country, with no guarantees of continuity if the governance of the country changes.

How did the crisis develop?

Qatar is a gas-rich nation, sharing a huge oil field with Iran. However, its economic might has long caused fractious relations with some of its Gulf neighbours and things reached crisis point this summer. Five nations – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Yemen accused Qatar of supporting terrorism in June and broke off diplomatic ties.

Turkey remains supportive of Qatar, flying out food to beat the blockade, however Qatar's cash supplies are falling and it has also been hit by falling oil prices.

What problems has this caused?

Saudi Arabia, Qatar's only immediate neighbour, has closed its land border to the nation, leading to major logistical problems, involving food and movement of citizens.

The Saudis, Egypt and UAE have also closed their airspace to Qatari transportation.

Infrastructure firms have been forced to source materials needed to build stadiums and other World Cup-related projects from countries outside of the blockade areas. Previously such materials came through the main port in Dubai, now closed to Qatar and its own shipping facilities are limited until a new port opens soon.

Will the World Cup really be transferred?

A number of controversial issues surround the World Cup, from the corruption alleged to have been involved in Qatar securing it, to the treatment of workers and its movement from summer to winter.

However, it seems the biggest threat yet is the diplomatic crisis, both in terms of regional instability or a change in leadership of the tiny nation which could put hosting it under threat. The competition's future in the country depends on how the crisis plays out.


.
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