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Fifa: the con artists whose victims just love to be conned

By Tony Attwood

Another week, another set of revelations about how utterly corrupt the racist homophobic organisation known as Fifa is.

This time we have been shown how bent the bidding process for the Qatar world cup was – as if we hadn’t guessed.   Now there is a lot of hand wringing going on, which is desperately sad, for corruption, although appalling, is nothing compared to the misery of workers enslaved in Qatar.

The right thing to do at this point would be to wind up Fifa, have a moratorium on all international football, and consider carefully exactly what Fifa has done during its existence and what football can do to bring pressure to bear on governments to take action to force Qatar into the 16th century.  (I’d say the 21st century, but there is a limit as to how fast that wretched country can change and we must be practical).

That would be the right thing to do, but football doesn’t do the right thing.   What we will probably have is pressure from self-obsessed parties like the FA and attention seeking MPs for Fifa to re-open the bidding for the Qatar world cup, in the vague and utterly hopeless belief that although it was all corrupt this time, Fifa is perfectly capable of running a clean  election next time.

It isn’t, it can’t, it won’t.

$2 million has been revealed by the Daily Telegraph to have changed hands in bribes which enabled Qatar to get the world cup.  The only reaction I have is to be surprised that it wasn’t a lot more.  It probably was, and they just haven’t found it yet.

Now British MPs, tainted by failing to deal with the ineptitude of the FA in all things international (not to mention the financing of Wembley stadium) had demanded an enquiry.

Perhaps the most laughable statement came from Clive Efford, the Labour MP for Eltham and Plumstead (a man who really ought to know something of the heritage of football given his constituency).  He is shadow sports minister, and he said, “Fifa should carry out a full investigation. It looks like there may have been serious corruption in the bid and it has to raise serious concerns about sending the World Cup to Qatar.  If Fifa looks into all the information and finds that there is corruption, they should reopen the bidding process.”

So Fifa is to investigate itself and tell itself off and then run another bid, which more than likely will be even more corrupt than the first.  Really?

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John Whittingdale, chair of the parliamentary culture, media and sport committee, said that the fiasco provided “further evidence that casts doubt over the credibility of the entire process to select Qatar as the country to host the 2022 World Cup”.

Well yes, but it also provides further evidence that Fifa is not fit for sweeping the leaves up in my back garden in autumn.  Indeed I wouldn’t let that bunch of crooks through the gate.  In fact I might remove the gate in case they nick it.

It seems hard to believe, but the next quote is worse: Tessa Jowell, Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood and former secretary of state for culture, media and sport, said, “These are very surprising revelations. It’s a very large amount of money and in everyone’s interests, including [former Fifa official] Jack Warner’s, that this matter is investigated.”

Tessa Jowell was the minister for sport in the last Labour government, and she is “surprised” by revelations of corruption in a deal between a slave state and an organisation that does a deal with South Africa to allow it to run its own prisons in which women are locked up without trial for wearing the wrong t-shirt.

The Telegraph reported that Mr Warner, the former vice-president of Fifa, has, it seems been personally paid $1.2 million from a Qatari company run by football officials.  Other money of similar magnitude went to Mr Warner’s sons and one of his staff.

The one bit of hope we have is that the FBI is now investigating both the Clan  Warner – and its Grand Cayman bank accounts, and the bidding process.

Warner resigned from Fifa in 2011 after a previous round of bribery revelations.  Mr Bin Hammam’s, a rival to Sepp Blatter for the Fifa throne was then banned from football in retaliation – a ban that was overthrown by the CAS for lack of evidence.  Then Fifa banned him again in 2012.

If you recall, the process that led to the awarding of the event to Qatar involved the English FA in spending £21m.  That would be enough to rescue at least 50 semi-pro football clubs from collapse, or build 10 completely new Conference standard football grounds.  My local club is about to go bust for want for £200,000 a year – but we waste £21m on getting two votes.

If the MPs want to investigate Fifa maybe they could properly investigate the FA while they are at it and ask how you can spend £21m on two votes.  We had Beckham, minor royals, politicos and the like all kowtowing to Fifa for… two votes, one of which was ours.

A spokesman for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee said: “The 2022 bid committee strictly adhered to Fifa’s bidding regulations in compliance with their code of ethics. ”

And he is more than likely to be right.   They did abide by the code of ethics – just as Qatar abides by its code of slavery and Fifa abides by its code of homophobia.
Of course we all know sweet FA will happen, and everyone will get hyped up over each world cup, even though everyone who ever thinks about it knows it is bent, corrupt or morally unacceptable.
But that’s football.

16 comments to Fifa: the con artists whose victims just love to be conned

  • brian waldron

    (this post has been edited because it contained offensive remarks that have no place on this site)
    I think you need to take a pill. It sounds like you have a personal axe to grind. Is it because your politics differ from others. Fact is that no matter who wins the right to host,there will always be some allegations or instances where somebody has benefited, its the way of the world. South Africa spent billions on stadia,infrastructure and services ,and the benefit has never materialised,as I said ,its the way its done today!

  • Mick

    The ideal person to be in charge of investigating FIFA is Andrew Jennings of course who has tons of evidence of corruption built up over a long time. He has been on FIFA’s coat tails for years and is now being proven right despite the efforts of all involved in FIFA to deny, rubbish and discredit his allegations.
    The whole situation makes my blood boil.

  • nicky

    The answer surely is for a few major footballing nations to have the bottle to secede from FIFA. If (say) England, Germany and France took the lead, others in Europe would follow.
    Let Untold start a campaign to encourage the FA to act.
    FIFA simply couldn’t function without Europe.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I was thinking a bit further. Qatar has bribed Fifa officials.
    Qatar owns PSG. So what are the chances they could hand out a few ££££ at the right persons in the right place to let PSG pass the FFP tests? After all if you do it once and it works why not try it again.

    I could go even further. Who is the sponsor of Barcelona again? Mes que un club? A club that is messing around with advertising slave work…yeah sure mes que un club….

    I think the fact that it now seems clear that Qatar bribed officials should be reason enough to ban Qatar and all their companies in being involved in football at all.

    But then again who would have to ban them? Right… Blatter and his gang from Fifa… FICK FUFA!!

  • Jax

    On second reading it’s clear that the links are in fact to Qatar and only tentatively connected to FIFA.

  • arsenor

    Thats the bottom line as Walter just mentioned at the end there,WHO is there to challange the system,As Nicky mentioned it would have to involve several countries,problem is who is willing to rock the status quo.It`s a global multi billion pound business now.TV rights,Gambling,Clubs and countries would/could have to much to lose.Football leagues in all the “big”countries are aleady running on multi billion pound losses each year,and are now being held up by…Qatari money,Russian Oilgarch money mostly.So to challange FIFA you have to challange that as well.The way i see it,as totally wrong as it is
    corruption keeps the merry wheels turning.Craig

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I do hope that none of Arsenal’s players play in the WC. Like the African’s cup of nations , South America’s whacamayoucallit cup ,as well as The European Championships it interest for me .
    I never lost sleep watching these games ,nor do I know any of the players involved .My interest in only in Arsenal FC and its players .
    Do hope that all our players get a good summer break and adequate rest for next season.
    Oh ,and FUCK FUFA !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sorry ….Championship holds no interest for me.


    Just to defend Clive Efford MP not everyone is corrupt in every organisation so with the right people doing the investigation something might come to light and if proved it would have to be a criminal investigation

  • Menace

    @Brickfields I agree with you. I support Arsenal FC and don’t give a fig for FUFA FA UEFA PGMOL or MP.

    The Laws of the Game were written for football not for the financial benefit of these so called sporting associations or Parliamentarians (greed motivated corrupt bunch).

  • @tony did you say 21million pounds!! For 2fuckin votes??hmmmm really dat sucks

  • Brickfields Gunners

    What you send out – comes back.
    What you sow – you reap. What you give – you get.
    What you see in others – exists in you.
    Do not judge – so you will NOT be judged.
    Radiate and give LOVE – and Love comes back to you.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    One Little Dot…

    A class was given a homework assignment to find out something
    exciting and relate it to the class the next day.

    When the time came to present what they’d found, the first little
    boy the teacher called on walked up to the front of the class. He
    picked up a piece of chalk, made a small white dot on the blackboard
    and sat back down.

    Puzzled, the teacher asked him what it was.

    “It’s a ‘period’,” he replied.

    “I can see that,” said the teacher, “but what is so exciting about a ‘period’?”

    “Darned if I know,” said the boy,

    “but yesterday my sister was missing one,

    Mom fainted,

    Dad had a heart attack

    and the boy next door joined the Navy.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Family Feet Business

    I once heard a true story of a family firm who cornered the feet market. One brother sold shoes, each shoe had a hidden fatal flaw. As a direct result the victim’s feet needed treatment with the second brother, who was the only podiatrist in town.

    Legend had it that the podiatrist was so incompetent that the only way the victim could get home was in a taxi. You’re ahead of me now, the third brother had the only taxi firm for miles around.