By Tony Attwood
It is central to the agenda of the media that Fifa should be seen to be reformed, so that they can support England in the next round of World Cup matches. For there to be continuing outright corruption, means that the FA is implicated ever more fully in supporting a totally corrupt regime by throwing public money at it.
Since FA regularly removes money from the game (particularly the grassroots game) in order to support Fifa, and it is having more and more money removed in terms of government grant, then FA is in trouble enough as it is. If the media ever asked the simple question, “why is the FA supporting Fifa financially?” then all hell would break loose.
But now the resignation of the head of the Fifa president’s audit and compliance committee over the new rules Fifa has sneaked in, which remove the independence of the committee and effectively stop investigations into corruption, has made life more difficult still for the FA – unless it can rely on full media silence.
And as we shall see in a moment, the situation is getting worse day by day.
Infantino the current head of the corrupt and morally bankrupt business that ITV the BBC, Adidas, Coca Cola, Hyundai, Visa, Mcdonalds, and Budweiser support and bankroll, didn’t bank on having a man who took regulation and independence seriously. In the past a handshake and a roll of $50 bills, has meant a blind eye and business as usual.
So when Fifa got rid of the discredited executive committee, which went round and round in circles once the World Cup of Fraud allegations came out and Sepp Blatter was sent on his way, there was a touch of nervousness. All the press played the game of suggestion they had been revealing corruption all along, but of course they’d only done it occasionally, and never once criticised the FA for helping to fund Fifa.
But now, lo and behold, the new rules make it even easier for the top dogs in Fifa to get their own way and as much money out of the till as they want.
So Domenico Scala’s resignation as Chairman of the Audit & Compliance Committee with immediate effect was to be expected. Scala was the new man, brought in to clean up the corruption mess. But he said in a statement: “On the occasion of its meeting on Friday, the Fifa congress has delegated the election, or the dismissal respectively, of the members of the independent supervisory bodies – such as the ethics committee, the appeal committee, the audit and compliance committee and the governance committee – to the exclusive competence of the Fifa council. With that decision, it will henceforth be possible for the council to impede investigations against single members at any time, by dismissing the responsible committee members or by keeping them acquiescent through the threat of a dismissal.”
In short total, absolute corruption.
So bad news, but Fifa in doing this, were testing the water. They wanted to see if the media and organisations like the FA would pick up on the story. And sure enough, with their vested interest in Fifa the media and the FA didn’t say a word.
The statement continued, “Thereby, those bodies are factually deprived of their independence and are in danger of becoming auxiliary agents of those whom they should actually supervise. I am consternated about this decision, because it undermines a central pillar of the good governance of Fifa and it destroys a substantial achievement of the reforms. For this reason, I herewith declare my immediate resignation as president of the audit and compliance committee of Fifa.”
And what did Infantino do? He made a congress speech on Friday saying Fifa’s corruption crisis was over. “Fifa is back on track,” he told delegates. “So I can officially inform you here, the crisis is over.”
Fifa then responded to Scala’s resignation saying he had misunderstood the new rules. “Fifa accepts Domenico Scala’s resignation as chairman of the audit and compliance committee with immediate effect. Fifa regrets that Mr Scala has misinterpreted the purpose of the decision taken by the congress. The decision was made to permit the Council to appoint members on an interim basis to the vacant positions of the new committees so they can start fulfilling their roles as part of the continuing reform process until the next Fifa Congress in 2017. Mr Scala has made unfounded claims which are baseless.”
You will excused if at this moment you are sniggering.
But wait there is more…
For Gianni Infantino hired the Norwegian FA official Kjetil Siem as his new director of strategy to oversee reform – two years after Siem called Sepp Blatter as “a role model”.
Speaking to Dagbladet in January 2014, Siem said: “I’m sure no Norwegian has more respect than I do for the Fifa president Sepp Blatter. He is actually a role model.”
After Blatter resigned Siem praised Blatter over and over and over again as the man who had “held the football family together.” He added that for“what he has done for the development of football in the third world. He has made Fifa into a cohesive organisation.”
Siem himself has expenses claim problems in Norway. His argument was hilarious. He said he refused demands for transparency to avoid revealing where he had travelled, because that was damage delicate commercial negotiations. The technical term for that argument is “bollocks”.
Then when asked about his salary at Fifa he said, “After what I’ve been through, I will not say anything about it. I put together all my expenses and said yes to everything, but for two months I was hung on the gallows.”
He then said, “I’ll work on reforms, then on streamlining Fifa … It’s a privilege. It could not be better timing.”
So there we are…
- Same old Fifa
- Same old corruption
- Same old refusal of the media to cover the story in a big way until ultimately it gets so big they have no choice. One star to the Guardian for covering the story in two separate parts, but they could have done more to link the parts together.
Fifa now has the mechanism in place to be as corrupt as it ever was before. Nice trick if you have the world’s media in your pocket. Otherwise, hard to pull off.
- The catering report (specially for Nicky) and the kindness of people in England.
- Arsenal have chosen, and the £50m player (or £51m players) is/are almost at the airport
- It’s Happened Again! (And now, let’s remember we are all Arsenal fans).
Untold Arsenal has published five books on Arsenal – all are available as paperback and three are now available on Kindle. The books are
- The Arsenal Yankee by Danny Karbassiyoon with a foreword by Arsene Wenger.
- Arsenal: the long sleep 1953 – 1970; a view from the terrace. By John Sowman with an introduction by Bob Wilson.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football. By Tony Attwood, Andy Kelly and Mark Andrews.
- Making the Arsenal: a novel by Tony Attwood.
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal by Mark Andrews.
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