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October 2016
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It’s not that we don’t need THIS Fifa, we don’t need ANY Fifa.

The wheel’s still in spin…

By Tony Attwood

Very, very slowly there is a movement away from the reform of Fifa to a total revolutionary overthrow of the old regime.

It is of course something that is not at all welcomed by the entrenched powers – Fifa and Uefa, the FA and all the other useless and hopeless bodies.  But slowly others are starting to realise that the corruption is so deep within football, that it really ought to be possible to run matters without bodies like this.

After all we have all known that these organisations are corrupt for years and years.  The big question is, why did it take so long for the media to jump on the bandwagon, and drag the official bodies kicking and screaming behind them.

But because they were so slow on the uptake you won’t read too much in the media about this new move towards football without international and national bodies.  They too have too much invested in the old regime.

However the sheer reality of what has been happening might yet just force a rethink.  Consider David Conn in the Observer who reported that Michel Platini (the FA’s nominated man about Europe), had no written contract for the 2m Swiss francs Fifa paid him in 2011.  Oh wouldn’t it be lovely to live in a world in which you did a job for £1.3m without anything in writing, knowing you could call in the debt when you were a little short of the old loose change?

And indeed it now emerges that Fifa did not pay Platini when the work was done because of the organisation’s “financial situation at the time”.   Oh yes?  I think not.

Fifa’s accounts for the 1999-2002 period – the financial statements are collated for the four years between World Cups – show an overall profit of 115m Swiss francs (£78m).

Oh but hang on.  Apparently, according to Mr Conn, “Swiss law limits to five years employees’ claims for money owed. This view is understood to form part of both Lauber’s criminal proceedings and the investigation by Fifa’s ethics committee…”

In response to the developments the Mail on Sunday ran the headline

Michel Platini ‘facing ban for years’… FIFA source says new secret evidence ‘verging on the criminal’ can take down Sepp Blatter and leave UEFA chief in wilderness

Which I guess means that the FA will quickly back away into a corner and then come out claiming that it of course was never involved in any wrong-doing by association, and demand the moral right to lead English football into the quagmire.

And all this while the Mail proclaims

  • High-up FIFA source says new secret evidence ‘verging on the criminal’ can take down Blatter and leave Platini in wilderness for years
  • ‘Emotions are high at present but this is far more serious than anyone can imagine,’ said a high-ranking source

The Mail is also saying that “Secret internal FIFA documents obtained by the MoS show Blatter knew of alleged corruption involving Warner and kept it to himself.”  Are we surprised?  No, probably not.

Oliver Holt for the Mail on Sunday in a separate piece really did get closer to the heart of the matter when he said,

They still don’t get it, do they? Sepp Blatter, Michel Platini and Greg Dyke still don’t understand… They can’t see that it’s over. They have not learned that when the revolution comes and the gates to the palace are torn down, the usual platitudes of denial and outrage are not going to wash.

The gravy train has hit the buffers, boys, and everybody is rejoicing except you. Admit that the waters around you have grown. Nobody knows what the solution is yet, except that it is not Issa Hayatou.

Now I must say I do like the quick Bob Dylan quote tucked in the middle of all that, not least because I run an occasional Bob Dylan site which is in the business of doing reviews of many of the old fella’s songs.  It’s called Untold Dylan – in case you were wondering.  Anyway back to the plot…

Oliver Holt continues…

Maybe one day, Platini will manage to convince us that there was absolutely no connection between the fact that he received the payment of two million Swiss francs in February 2011 and that soon afterwards, UEFA, the organisation he still heads, declared their support for Blatter to be re-elected as FIFA president.

But the wheel’s still in spin [more Dylan, I like this guy] and even if he persuades us — and he and his advisers have done a risibly poor job so far on all counts — Platini seems to be unable to grasp that the mere existence of such a huge payment from Blatter, whatever its timing, is enough to damn him….

It is obvious to the vast majority of people who love football that the sport’s post-Blatter world cannot be led by Platini. Platini represents continuity. Football desperately needs change. Dyke, the FA chairman, cannot see that and is refusing to withdraw the FA’s support for the Frenchman to take over as FIFA president.

Back with David Conn here’s another attack of the type we would never have seen just a month or so ago…
Against that backdrop of mountainous corruption allegations, it looks like fantasy for Fifa to believe it can continue with the parallel universe of a process to reform itself from within, and the election of a new president…..

The fact Fifa itself and the world’s national football associations, including the British FAs, are still going along with that Blatter plan, coupled with a reform process wholly conducted from within and amounting to the rearrangement of some rules, demonstrates that – remarkably, given the unprecedented scale of scandal – Fifa and football are still in denial.

Wonderful though this new vision of the newspapers is (and one just wonders where these writers were five years ago when Untold was attacking international football pretty much in isolation) the problem is that the solution still seems to be – let’s have another Fifa.

It isn’t just the payment to Michel Platini, it is the €5 million to the Republic of Ireland for them not to protest too much.  It is the FA’s endless support of Fifa, at first Blatter and then Platini.  It is the fact that the Football Associations around the world who all knew Fifa was corrupt, kept on throwing money at them in order to try and get a tournament.

It is the fact that the English FA announced that it would not bid for a World Cup again while Blatter was in charge AS IF THAT WAS REMOTELY NEAR THE HEART OF THE MATTER.  It is the fact that no one is holding the FA as culpable for throwing money at such an openly corrupt organisation.

As Damian Collins MP, Conservative member of Culture, Media and Sport select committee and founder member of NewFifaNow said, “Why we are where we are is because there is no proper auditing of money at Fifa.”

It is as Damian Collins MP, Conservative etc etc etc didn’t say.  “We could all see it happening and none of us did a blind thing about it, because we all hoped that at one moment or another the Fifa junket would come by our back door, and we’d all hop aboard and make an awful lot of dosh, while having quite a good time.”

Any country that is serious about the issue of corruption in Fifa should investigate its own Football Association and how it has continued to support and push money into Fifa since the first major allegations against Fifa emerged in 2011.  If they find, as obviously the will, that their FA bent the knee to Fifa despite knowing what a disgusting organisation it is, that FA should be sacked in its entirety and disbanded leaving the leagues to run themselves, and for there to be a 20 year moratorium on international football

All countries should agree that never again will they become part of any sporting organisation that claims it is above national laws and national tax requirements, whether that is the successor to Fifa or indeed to the Olympic Committee which uses the same tactics.

Untold Arsenal

Footnote: I’m now off on hols for a week, and Walter is in charge.  All articles received for publication by 3pm UK time on monday have been logged.  For any others please to contact Walter direct.

19 comments to It’s not that we don’t need THIS Fifa, we don’t need ANY Fifa.

  • Mandy Dodd

    a 20 year moratorium on international football…one of the best suggestions I have heard.
    Blatini are finished.
    I read that Greg Dyke is going to have to explain the FAs action to athe Government in the very near furute, including backing Platini unreservedly before even knowing his manifesto. Have a strong feeling we will soon see Dykes resignation, hopefully some of the FA will soon be hearing from the Feds, and I mean the over-politicised, agenda driven…and possibly corrupt at the top, not the masses below who I am sure for the most part just do their best.
    FIFA is going down, hopefully our FA will be next in line for some pretty serious reform…one day, maybe even relatively soon, the PGMOL, or those that orchestrate them will also be on the agenda.

  • Jambug

    Mandy Dodd

    Re the FA and PGMOL I really hope you are right, but somehow I just cant see it.

    I even doubt we’ll see much improvement from FIFA in whichever guise it manifests itself in the future.

    Too much money. Too many vested interests.

  • Arty

    WOW…can’t believe it. Not only the best and most informed site on the web regarding Arsenal football club, but also a Dylan fan. (:>) Some other lines from one of his songs would also be appropriate. “There most be some way out of here, said the joker to the thief, there’s just so much confusion I can’t get no relief”. Well Blatter and his minions have certainly been jokers and thieves. It going to be interesting to see how this now plays out. Hope you have a good holiday Tony and keep up the good work. Regards

  • Mandy Dodd

    You certainly make sense there Jambug, but I think…..or I hope a lot of this is US driven, partly as a result of the bank crash, and anti laundering laws, they are demanding much more accountability with those they do business with, which unfortunately for FIFA includes the Swiss and their banks. Might also because Platini went back on his word for supporting the U.S. WC bid. What comes next may not be perfect, but think it will be an improvement.
    As for FIFA, as people scramble to save themselves, or payback those who may have wronged them, all kinds of things will undoubtedly come out of the woodwork……and I am sure the British game and football establishment is not as clean as the media and others would have us believe.
    But we shall see.

  • nicky

    If the steady demise of FIFA was written into a crime thriller, it would be criticised as being too far-fetched.
    The wheels of justice roll very slowly and we must have patience that in the end, the Blatters, Platinis et al will have to pay for the sustained corruption they have secreted for many years.
    And if the law in this case envelopes our own FA, so be it.
    It is somewhat ironic that at the end of the day, world football governance will probably owe a debt of gratitude to the US and its justice system for its dogged pursuance of the crooks of FIFA. A country not renowned for its interest in “soccer”. 😉

  • laos gooner

    Not so sure about Dylan unless you mean the one from Magic roundabout, but anyway
    It is nice to see that things must now change and some interesting quotes from the mainstream press. I for one do appreciate Untolds reporting on all this and must say it is one of the factors that draws me to the site. Glad to read in the comments that it is likely that Dyke will face the music.
    I coach a team part time and can see the need for investment at the park when we share space because some local dads are also trying to do some coaching, they have a good group of local kids, no funding coming to us. We are out there providing equipment, time and knowledge. We are giving people a chance to play. My team is made up of asylum seekers and refugees, some without access to public funds, who otherwise would not be able to play. Inclusion, accessibilty, equality are all the boxes our sport is said to be working towards, we tick all those boxes. I have played for 2552 Corinthians, named after the originals, and I am driven to provide this opportunity by the spirit of “football for the pleasure of the game”. Maybe that ideal should be considered in the process of moving the political management back into respectabilty.
    We desperately need a new era in football, let us hope that we get a transparent organisation.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Well written!!

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    All of them are corrupt…
    But, what about the Premier League?
    It keeps using PGMOL despite ALL the evidence that they are biased.
    So, let us add that the Premier League is also corrupt and biased.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Now that FIFA is in its final spin mode , and (hopefully ) soon it will be throughly rinsed and cleanly ejected , lint and all ! All those lost socks will now come to light too !
    A new body is needed you say . Well a new name is also needed . It should not sound like a recycled product of the old wine in new bottle variety . No more Premier or Super or Super-duper prefixes .
    It should not only sound clean , but also seem to smell fresh and new ,with a hint of Drive , of being Fab and like a Breeze of fresh air .
    What about , United & Allied Regional Soccer Enterprise Surety , with its catchy acronym, U ARSES .

  • Keep up the good work Tony!

    There needs to be a completely new system! But how to build that up when some many national FAs are corrupt? The Thailand guy just got nailed. But what about Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and so forth. The FAs for all these countries are tainted too!

    I would be interested in some suggestions about new system that is more robust and un-corruptible!

  • Clockendrider

    In order for a new football organisation to come into being there would need to be a return to common sense in terms of influence and voting power. The ridiculous situation whereby the football association of Vanuatu has the same voting power as that of Germany will have to be changed back to recognise where the football power actually resides. This will of course put the noses of the political correctness brigade right out as they require equality as opposed to fairness. It will be interesting to watch the usual spurious arguments from the vested pc interests come racing to the fore.

  • apo Armani

    Please don’t forget to add the Greek FA and their own refs association – completely corrupt – as exposed by Kyriakos Thomaidis (journalist). Marinakis of Olympiakos has been exposed by this journalist for years!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Mark – October 13, 2015 at 7:41 am – & apo – There will not enough paper ,time or space to list all the crooks . What would be easier is to list out those FAs that are efficient and squeaky clean . And preferably by a native of that land or one who has some inside knowledge of said association .
    I await their silence !

  • apo Armani

    A major catalyst for corruption in sport and specifically in football is BETTING!!! Remove betting from football – that will be a good start.

    Remove all types of associations (FA,FIFA.UEFA et al) from anything to do with the commercial and financial side of the game!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Clockendrider -October 13, 2015 at 7:47 am – Hopefully if ever your idea is taken up , there should be unlike the UN , any power of veto givento any of the ‘stronger’ or powerful nations . We all see what fun and games goes on during their sittings and what actions take place – that’s right folks – ZILCH !

  • Michael Ram

    I think the other group wanted to reform FIFA not because of injustice but rather out of jealousy. They now want to steal the throne to steal more money from everyone since there’s a cripple in the current leadership.

  • Vintage Gooner

    By now there can be absolutely no doubt that FIFA and many of it’s subordinate bodies are corrupt through and through and must be completely and effectively cleansed. It is difficult to discern beyond payments like that to Platini how corrupted UEFA is but certainly evidence against others like CAFCON is indisputable.

    Certainly the FA needs major investigation not least regarding our World Cup host bid and I believe the Serious Crimes squad should be charged with undertaking this because of the sums involved and the importance of football and fighting corruption for this country.

    However I am a little concerned at the possible effect of this at grass roots level. The FA is built up from people who undertake the arduous chore of administration of local clubs and who simply love the game and the football club they have often been associated with for years. Frequently they will be out of pocket and certainly all at this level unstintingly give their time at no cost. The same is true of amateur leagues and county FAs. These people need our praise and support and removing the FA unless very carefully and sensitively done could damage their standing and commitment. This could be hugely damaging to the grass roots game.

    Finally I feel that the root cause of corruption at FIFA is the incredible status and sums of money involved in the World Cup. To rephrase Lord Acton “money corrupts, loads of money corrupts massively”. Perhaps the way out of this bind might be to require all surplus money goes to country FAs with perhaps some weighting to give most to the poorest countries with the greatest potential football involvement at grass roots level. The FAs would be required to pass all the money down to the grass roots clubs for expenditure on facilities and coaching etc. The FA structure would be paid for by subscription and possibly fines.

  • Jambug

    Mandy Dodd

    It makes you wonder, without the US initiatives, how long would all of this corruption have gone on?

    I, like you I think, believe the FA and PGMOL are rotten to the core, but the only chance we have is if the US just keeps digging and digging.

    If they, for whatever reason, become sated, or just back off, there will be one hell of a collective sigh of relief from both of those bodies, because I don’t believe for one second Europe has the stomach, or worse, even the desire, to rid football of these parasites.

    There are just too many riding on the gravy train.

    Of course the vanquished will be demonized, but the survivors will reconvene, and simply continue in the self serving, corrupt, and immoral way they have been doing for years.

    In conclusion, I believe it is all totally in the hands of the US authorities, it just depends how deep they are prepared to dig.

    Lets hope it’s deep into the rotten core.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Just as I am sure that many sincere and deserving persons were shunted out of the way by the fat cats of FIFA and other associations – sporting or otherwise , time and history has a way of completing the circle by correcting , rectifying and releasing the truth.

    A friend sent me this very touching bot inspiring story of the Australian Peter Norman who won the silver medal in the 200 meters in the 1968 Mexico Olympics .He was the forgotten man in the events that unfolded at the medal presentation which shook the world then.