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October 2016
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Media in hiding as Fifa undoes all its reforms and returns to total corruption

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.

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16 comments to Media in hiding as Fifa undoes all its reforms and returns to total corruption

  • WalterBroeckx

    As I said before and can say now and for the future: Fick FUFA!

    Excellent article Tony.
    Once again Untold is one of the lonely voices in saying and doing what the “serious” media should be doing.

  • Lanz

    This is sad!

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Well, what can one say on this pathetic nonstop corruption at Fifa headquarters other than to say, God Has catched Uefa for their sectionalism and for their being biased against any other Presidential candidate that emerged from any of the Fifa’s confederations other than from Uefa to head Fifa.

    During the campaigns in the last Fifa Presidential election that gave victory to Infantino, Europe or Uefa had stood vehemently behind Infantino, an European and the then Uefa Secretary general to become the new Fifa President after Sepp Blatter the incumbent President who was disgraced out of office on serious corruption charges.

    The Europeans want to perpetrate their domination of Fifa’s President office perpetually. Which was only broken once by Joao Havalange, a Brazilian when he became Fifa President.

    To cut the matter short, what do we expect Infantino to have done, when he knew he rode to that office on the back foot of tribal affiliations. He was not elected on his own personal credibility. Unlike Prince Ali, the Jordanian who should have been elected as he looked to have all the credibility required to become the new Fifa President but was brushed aside on tribal ground. But wasn’t he the most honest candidate amongst those who contested that last Fifa Presidential election?

  • Menace

    There is no control in football.

    Corruption rules OK!!

  • Gord

    I stopped by the FIFA Contact Us page.

    Infantino/Siem out!

    No sense letting them get comfortable. Maybe they’ll get caught in the USA investigation?

  • para

    Domenico Scala i hope you are truly a solid person because of your resignation, but remember to keep yourself and family as protected as you can. They really do not like people refusing their aganda.

  • para

    Menace i would rather but sadly say that there is “Total Control” in football as in the rest of the world, at least they are heading that way.

  • colario

    As you so rightly point out the media in the UK for the most part worships and promotes trivia.

    I receive an email from the Guardian each day with links to ‘news’ items, most are of little value news wise.

    Everyday I look for info on the corruption in football investigations – not a word – not a word.

    In contrast everyday we get speculation and pontification as to what should or should not have happened on the pitch, by a player, by a club etc.

    I don’t want speculation or rumour I want news.

    I have instead as predicted by George Orwell ‘newspeak’.

  • John L

    good stuff tony, erm, well that is to say bad….you know what i mean.

    the idea that fifa is back on track because they appeared to ‘do’ something about blatter and platini was alwasy a bit of media fantasy. fifa has fought back against reform from day one. they didnt let garcia do his job so he quit (i beleive there was a woman before him, forgive me i cant think of her name) now scala. the only way fifa can truly reform is to DE-form and build again from the ground up; new people, new ideas and modern socially acceptable values. (aka more woman at highlevels, equal pay for women, garunteed pay for players, transparency etc, etc)

    i know that you blame the FA for being complicit, and i agree. however, to what extent are the clubs also at fault? weve all heard for years about break away leagues and whatnot but it seems to me that clubs and leagues could have done and should do more to stand up to FIFA, at the very least in regards to the fixture list. It seems to me that the FA’s would be complicit as they are part of the fifa family. whereas the clubs and leagues who are more independent of fifa and have alot more at stake. they find, train and pay the players week in week out. shouldnt also be held accountable for not doing there part in curbing fifas power in the game?

  • John L

    sorry meant to say media and fa……

  • Leon

    I subscribe to the same Guardian email. The emphasis on on humour, they say so often enough themselves. You will rarely find bad news on The Fiver. Suggest you check out their excellent “said & done” weekly feature which regularly (most of the time in fact) reports on corruption at all levels of football. They haven’t put one up for a few weeks which is worrying, but it’s worth reading.

  • Leon

    that should’ve have read: The emphasis IS on humour.

  • Menace

    para – you’re right ‘Total Control’ by the people in position & no accountability to the people that pay for football.

  • Ando


    There are TWO Grauniad emails each day which one can opt to receive; the one you have mentioned (The Fiver) which is solely football-based and as you say, humorous and arrives around tea-time and the other which arrives a.m. is, as Colario says, just click-bait to so called ‘news’ items. Sorry to be picky but I just wanted to make the distinction.
    Up the Gunners!

  • Leon

    Sorry., I didn’t know of the other email. My bad. Apologies to Colario.
    I thought afterwards that The Fiver often links to the acerbic Marina Hyde who gets right into all cheating & corruption in sport; tennis, cricket, cycling, football, athletics etc.