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Football’s leadership is morally bankrupt but nothing changes

“A former top Qatari football official reportedly paid $5m to get support for the emirate’s campaign to host the 2022 World Cup.”

That’s the essence of the story run by the Sunday Times this morning and reported in other newspapers’ web sites.  It has also made the lead on the BBC sports radio station Five Live.

And quite honestly I could hardly be bothered to read or listen.  It is all a bit like a badly written TV series where you know exactly what will happen in episode 8 halfway through episode 1.

The allegation is that payments, made by Mohamed bin Hammam when he was a Fifa executive member for Qatar, to just about anyone he could find to convince them to take them, to encourage people to vote for Qatar for the world cup.

Now there is a bit of history here in that Bin Hammam attempted to overthrown Sepp Blatter – Blatter fought back, Bin Hammam resigned and was banned for life from football.

Oh yes and that old timer, Jack Warner, who always crops up in this (as he would give that he was a vice president of Fifa), was given $450,000.  He was on the panel that awarded Qatar the world cup.

The story has been around for so long, one wonders what on earth the Sunday Times is making such a fuss about, or why the radio stations are running it.  Even the dear old Daily Telegraph had the tale of a Bin Hammam company paying money to Warner back in March.

One little sideline which is not reported everywhere is that Bin Hammam is no longer banned from Fifa work after the Court of Arbitration for Sport said in an appeal judgement that there was insufficient evidence to support a ban.   Then Fifa banned him again for things he did while president of the Asian Football Confed.

There are also claims now circulating that Ben Hammam has funded other people’s appeals against punishment  to the Court of Arbitration in sport.

The BBC is saying that these allegations will “place Fifa under fresh pressure to re-run the vote for the 2022 World Cup,” which I find hard to believe.  Everything I read about Fifa makes me think that it has the power and independence of a state, without actually having to worry about sanctions and wars.  Every nation bows to it, and it does its own corrupt thing endlessly.

It is a position the Premier League is also heading towards – an independent organisation that no one can touch.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they relocate their HQ to Switzerland soon, just to get a bit more secrecy – just like Fifa.

Relation to the PL Untold didn’t publish anything about Richard Scudamore and his sexist comments through emails sent from his official email address, largely because everyone else did.

And unpleasant though that episode is, and disgraceful though the response of the Premier League was, I didn’t think it worth commenting on, because it was so typical of what we have and have always had in football.  Lies, holding on to power, lies, views of women more in keeping with the 1950s than today, lies…

What was so bad about the Premier League’s non-action over Scudamore’s emails was that the Premier League, in its defence of its chief exec, spent most of their time attacking the whistle blower Rani Abraham, who came across the emails, rather than dealing with Scudamore.

Scudamore wrote about “female irrationality” and “big titted broads,” and in reply he and the Premier League in essence accused Abraham of professional misconduct.   This suggested that Abraham was hacking Scudamore’s private emails, but all the evidence shows that the account used to expand on his sexist views was one that Abraham was required to have access to as part of her job.

Scudamore had three email accounts to which Abraham had access when she logged into her email account.  Scudamore might use the phrase “save some cash for gash” in his spare time on his own personal email account, and if he does, I personally find that offensive, but others might not.  It’s not a crime to speak thus, some find it unpleasant, others think it is fine.

But there is a world of difference between that and using it in an account that is run from the place of work.

The Premier League’s findings at the end of the case said, “There is no evidence of wider discriminatory attitudes or inappropriate language or a general attitude of disrespect to women.”

So that is all right then.

Do the two episodes – Scudamore and Fifa’s latest difficulties – link?   The Premier League clearance of Scudamore was a total whitewash, and the press moved on.  Now there is another fuss about the same old characters in Fifa, the press is excited, nothing much will happen, and everyone will move on.  That’s the link.  No one has the guts to deal with any of this.

BT Sport thinks it is fine to bring back old Sky commentators who have been recorded making derogatory comments about women, and Fifa will be sure that because no one in world sport will stand up to it, it can sail through this crisis.   Commentators will wrong in and say I shouldn’t be so sensitive about comments, and so it moves on.

Nothing is changing.

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22 comments to Football’s leadership is morally bankrupt but nothing changes

  • oldgroover

    Tony
    You say that “no one has the guts to deal with any of this”. I think that by recycling the FIFA & Premiership scandals the media is at least trying to deal with it. Some of these tales have been going on in Private Eye,the BBC & The Guardian (my main sources of news ) for years now, but who actually would deal with it. Is it a government or some other organisation.

  • oldgroover

    Tony
    I should also have noted that you’re doing your bit to keep it alive. Sorry about that. Keep up the campaigning.

  • WA

    This report on the “International New York Times” throws some light on the suspicious refree calls in PL matches and further supports the issue of massive corruption in football headed by FIFA.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/sports/soccer/fixed-matches-cast-shadow-over-world-cup.html?hp&_r=0

  • Rantetta

    I must say, I looked at the Scudapoo thing with some amusement. Let me explain.

    From the moment I heard about this story I knew it’d be whitewashed, but how? Simples. Set up a committee, or whatever it was. I looked at who’d sit on said committee.

    WTF!

    What did I expect?

    Coates? Owner of bet365, who is still a fit and proper person. A man whose team should’ve gone down long ago, and who’s team kick shit out of everybody, but especially Arsenal, and no one says anything about it.
    Wass he gonna do about Big Titty emails? Puleeeease!

    Gill. What a ****! Ain’t he been instrumental in “doin’ stuff for Manu/fergie” of a questionable nature. He certainly was on the committee that upheld Giroud’s ban – towards the end of the previous season, following a wrongly awarded red card at Fulham. For me, this was done to mess up arsenals chances of getting the top 4 spot. Arsenal were in such good form, the bastrds. We’ll put a stop to that.

    No, you fking didn’t. Yes, you had to resort to denigrating Arsenal’s amazing achievement in getting 4th place. How dare arsenal celebrate, given the overwhelming shenanigans employed to **** up this magnificent club.

    I can’t remember who the other two peeps were and I ain’t gonna look it up cos they’re all the same – in terms of justifying multifarious abominations, corruption wise.

    If I talk about FUFA I’ll just have a bad Sunday.

    People, do you realise the extent of the miracle that is Arsenal football club, particularly re their league positions at end of season – since moving to Ashburton G?

    And then there’s Arsène Wenger. One magnificent human being.

  • nicky

    Tony,
    As my old golf pro once told me “Keep chipping away and things will improve”.
    BT’s disgraceful employment of Thicko Gray speaks for itself. The creep should be unemployable.
    As for Qatar, it’s further evidence of a corrupt FIFA. Unfortunately, many more nails are needed in its coffin but they WILL be found, never fear.

  • Rantetta

    @WA

    Thanks for posting that article from NY Times.

  • jambug

    nicky/Tony

    If Talkshite can employ wife beating ‘doggers’ with impunity then surely all hope is lost.

  • bjtgooner

    To requote from the article; –

    “The Premier League clearance of Scudamore was a total whitewash, and the press moved on.”

    The press did not have to move on, they chose to and in doing so supported the retention of the Scud. (In my view he should have been fired.)

    In other words the press/media are complicit in his display of sexism.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ WA -June 1, 2014 at 9:10 am – Thanks for that link . Very extensive but probably not go very far .
    Soon the WC will be upon us and all that wrong doing will be shelved for another day …or year..or the next FIFA elections .
    The fans of the respective countries competing will go into the cocoon of their collective national delusions.
    Me ? I’m backing Costa Rica – Go Joel !

    http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/fifa-football-world_cup-england_flag-st_george-england_supporters-humor-cartoonview.asp?catref=rmun62

  • Brickfields Gunners

    From the mouth of lil’ babes…

    A couple in the middle of a messy divorce case find themselves in court battling over custody of little Johnny, their only child.
    In order to make a fair decision over the boys future, the Judge takes Johnny into his private chambers so that he can find out which of the parents the boy would prefer to live with.
    “Well, Johnny” says the Judge, “Would you like to live with your Mother?” “No” replied Johnny, “she hits me all the time.”
    “Well then,” the Judge continues, “Would you like to live your your Father?” “No” replied Johnny again, “He hits me all the time too!”
    The Judge looks exasperated and says to the boy “Well Johnny, who would you like to live with?”
    “I’d like to live with the England Football Team” the boy replied quickly.
    “Why on earth would you want to live with the England Football Team?” asked the now extremely puzzled Judge.
    “Well” replied Johnny, “They never beat anyone !”

  • colario

    Rantetta
    June 1, 2014 at 9:45 am

    ‘And then there’s Arsène Wenger. One magnificent human being.’
    I could not agree more with you Ranteta. Arsene Wenger, a magnificent man.

  • dan

    BBC, telegraph, the propaganda machine is in full motion. Talk bollox is just a joke!!!

  • andy1886

    The BBC used the term ‘millions’ of emails to suggest that there was more evidence to back up these claims, while I doubt that it’s literally millions it seems more evidence has come to light. Blatter, Scudemore, both odious individuals although Blatter takes the bisuit when it comes to bare faced cheek in not only staying in position but actively seeking another term of office. Who elected these guys??

  • oldgroover

    andy 1886
    Who elected these guys?
    The other guys who took the bungs.
    Was it ever any different at FIFA?
    Joao Havelange?

  • peter doswell

    Did England not spend 20 million plus bring out royals and dubious personalities in their bid for the world cup. Seems like bribery in a legalized form. Sport is a reflection of society and being that governments the world over are corrupt, business the world over is corrupt then surely it follows that those who run football are corrupt. They just rehash the same old bollocks all the time as if something is being done.

  • andy1886

    Oldie – no-one ever elects these people, they somehow assume control and before you know it we’re stuck with them like Malaria. As it’s a parasite it seemed a good analogy.

  • Shard

    I contrasted the PL’s response to Scudamore, with the NBA’s response to LA Clippers owners’ racist comments. I still do, even if the aren’t exactly the same, I think the NBA shows how a professional business should act in such situations. The PL act’s like an old boys’ network. So do the PGMOL, and the media are similar, relying on favours and favourites. It is all smething the public is expected to follow.

    The fact is, the public, in Sterling’s case, was disgusted by it, had banners and protests decrying it, and putting pressure on the media and the league, to not allow Sterling to continue. The players (and their association representatives) also spoke up and said that this sort of thing cannot continue. This upped the ante on the NBA to act swiftly, and fittingly.

    As long as the viewing public keeps accepting the bullshit fed to them by the league, the media, uefa, the referees etc, nothing will change. Sexism isn’t really the issue here for me. Lack of accountability and a professional, approachable, open organisation is.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Rantetta,
    Fully agree with you.
    Only Interpol could do something if allowed to do so; I am not holding my breath.

  • menace

    I was just thinking about that PGMOL gift to Villa in our first home game. It then suddenly lit up when the President of the FA (Prince William) just happens to be a Villa supporter. I think we need to lobby Prince Harry and get him to sort the FA out.

  • Mandy Dodd

    FIFA….you just despair, though if this evidence is as strong as is suggested, surely there has to be a re vote? If not, the Aussies and others should take legal action against FIFA.
    As for scudamore, sadly, they were never going to touch him, he got the EPL clubs a great deal, he Riley….sorry, really does use whatever methods he can to look after the most powerful clubs….and one club in particular, as he virtually admitted recently. The only force that will remove him is the sponsors taking action. Scudamore is a huge part of what is wrong with the game in this country, Blatter the same on a worldwide level. Two sides of the same corrupt coin.

  • Gord

    The BBC is reporting that UEFA is opposed to having Sepp Blatter be elected president of FIFA for another term.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/27671654

  • Mandy Dodd

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/jun/01/agent-fix-world-cup-matches-bribes
    Wonder how much it costs in the premier league…doesn’t even seem that much money for criminal activity.

    Interesting Gord, but hope they examine Platinis role in voting for qatar