There’s a bit in the latest Uefa fiasco that the media is missing, and it is a key issue.

By Tony Attwood

I’m sorry you’ve read it all before, but somehow I feel that if I give up now, all the stuff I’ve written before will be a bit wasted.  

The argument is still the same: that Uefa and Fifa are so utterly hopelessly corrupt that Football Associations around the world should withdraw, and have the decency to pause and think, rather than rush back in to another newly formed organisation.  

At the moment we have a reformed Fifa that turns out to include people as corrupt as the old Fifa – which is pretty much what we predicted.   At each turn they cry, “but I’ve done nothing illegal” and with each cry the FA in England and other such bodies should take a further step away.  

Because there is such a thing as guilty by association.  We all know how awful Fifa is and yet the FA throw money at it, and thus throw money away at corrupt enterprises and corrupt people in attempts to climb up its greasy pole and be ever more corrupt themselves.

Gianni Infantino was implicated through some of the Panama Papers (and remember we haven’t seen 1% of the papers yet).   Uefa was raided by Swiss police on Wednesday.  Details of a contract signed by Infantino related to a company owned by Hugo Jinkis, who was indicted in USA  in May as part of a £100 million fraud, have now emerged.  Infantino says he has done nothing wrong.

Uefa said it had no dealings with this company.  And we’d never have known they lied, but for these papers.  It just shows the value of what the journalists’ consortium has done.

Basically when Infantino was director of legal services at Uefa, Uefa sold the rights for broadcasting to South America to Cross Trading which immediately sold the rights on to  Teleamazonas for 350% more than it paid.  Uefa also signed a European Championship hospitality sales agreement with Traffic Sports Europe, a firm cited repeatedly by the US attorneys.

Uefa said, “Naturally, Uefa is providing the Federal Police with all relevant documents in our possession and will cooperate fully.”  Except that is what they didn’t do last time around.

Infantino said:  “If my determination to restore football’s reputation was already very strong, it is now even stronger. I welcome any investigation conducted into this matter.”

 Uefa said, “At the time when this contract was concluded by Uefa, there was absolutely no reason to believe that there was ANYTHING suspicious about it.”
In which case, and this is the bit the media seems to be missing at the moment, they didn’t carry out due diligence, and failed to insert a clause in the contract prohibiting selling-on the rights without overt permission which is unlikely to be given except in extreme circumstances.
For that “oversight” alone everyone within 100 miles of the deal should be banned from the planet for life.  That omission from the contract given what even then was known about contracts is so appalling one can think that the only reason Uefa is offering its lack of knowledge of the sell on as an excuse is that they have no excuse.
What must be giving Uefa and Fifa hope however is that the media isn’t picking up on this point.  That’s why they go on lying and lying.
Gianni Infantino stated he had no prior dealings with any of the companies and/or individuals named on the indictment. Uefa has “apologised” for this “oversight.”

So now, thanks to the Panama Papers, we know that one of the members of the Fifa ethics committee had long professional links to a former Fifa exec who has been indicted.   Juan Pedro Damiani, who has just resigned from the ethics committee, had links with Eugenio Figueredo, a former senior Fifa vice-president accused of corruption.   Damiani set up several offshore companies for Figueredo who was then named as a person involved in bribes.

A spokesman for Damiani said he had told the ethics committee about his links with Figueredo in 2014.

When questions were asked about whether Infantino had been involved in any of this Uefa said no.

And still Arsenal and the rest of the Champions League and Europa clubs are trading with Uefa.  Still the FA trades with Fifa.

Infantino said he would not accept that his integrity is being doubted by certain areas of the media, especially given that Uefa has already disclosed in detail all facts regarding these contracts.

What we now know is that football is run with cash that meanders through Panama and other very dubious places.

What we don’t know, but most certainly will do in time is how many more players there are like Messi who are hiding money here there and everywhere, and I will stick my neck out and say that there are several owners of Premier League football clubs, who are engaging in some of the most dubious financial and manipulative activities you can imagine.

I might even come back and quote this page when the next array of evidence hops out.


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  • 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.

You can find details of all five on our new Arsenal Books page

14 Replies to “There’s a bit in the latest Uefa fiasco that the media is missing, and it is a key issue.”

  1. These crooks keep digging for evidence while digging a hole for themselves. It is time for Governments to get control of these corrupt organisations & bring some transparency & honesty into sport.

  2. Tony, the broad brush is not for me!

    A tiny thread, and I will keep tugging, pulling and twisting, to see what tumbles out.

  3. Could not agree with you more. The truth will come out and I also think we are going to see that other PL clubs are involved and up to their damn necks in it. Bit by bit by bit.

  4. Hi Tony, I respect what you write enormously and mention your blog to friends who are supporters of other teams.
    They’re reply is consistently, why would i read an Arsenal blog?
    have you ever thought of starting perhaps, Untold Football for your non Arsenal specific articles?
    I feel that would increase the readership.

  5. We await more & more papers to be released to know whom and whose Ox will be gored. The story coming out from the Nigerian popular online news website – shows that at least 4 heavy weight past & present politiicians that includes, a former immediate past and present President of the Nigerian Senate, a prominent past Chief of Army Staff under the past military government of former military head of state, Gen Olusegun Obasonjo and James Ibori, a former Governor of Dental have all been indicated by the released of the Panama Papers.

    But save James Ibori and Lt. Gen TY Danjuma (retired), the rest of the remaining 2 have denied having any hand in the dictments of PP that indicted them of money laundering among others. The true may be delayed, but it will eventuality surfaced. Why has a former President of Nigeria rushed to Aso Rock Villa early today to see President M. Buhari? Only God knows why.

  6. Menace,
    Are you sure that Governments are the appropriate bodies to “..get control of these corrupt bodies and bring transparency and honesty into..” sport??? Anything???
    Pardon me for having a jaundiced view on life, but GOVERNMENTS???
    Wtf do they know about transparency & honesty???
    Maybe get the Boy Scout movement to do it?
    Or the national association of Sunday School helpers?
    The Old Bill are out – they’re all on the take.

  7. Lots more to come out, even the shameless might end up embarrassed.
    This will seriously make some think who they are electing.
    And yes, I am sure EPL footballers, pundits, owners, agents, managers and managers dogs will be revealed. Except maybe the American owners, they don’t need Panama, they have Delaware.
    What would be interesting if some of the leading lights of the PGMOL were involved.

  8. With the daily exposing of new names by the Panama Papers , could there be a sudden and/or subtle change in the direction of this season’s EPL trophy ?
    Just thinking out loud , mind.
    Maybe some clearing up of incriminating footprints ? Anyway the next few weeks are going to be very interesting .

  9. How fortunes are redirected !

    An old miser, due to his terrible cheapness, had no friends nor family. Just before he died he called his doctor, his lawyer and a minister to come see him. They complied, and gathered together around his bed.

    “I always heard you can’t take it with you, but I am going to prove you can,” he said. “I have $90,000 cash hidden underneath my mattress. It’s in 3 envelopes of $30,000 each. I want each one of you to grab one envelope now and just before they throw the dirt on my grave, you throw the envelopes in.”
    Weeks later, the three attended the funeral, and true to their word, each threw in their envelope into the grave. On the way back from the cemetery, the minister said, “I don’t feel so good about this, I am going to confess, I desperately needed $10,000 for a new church we are building, so I took out $10,000 and threw only $20,000 in the grave.”

    The doctor said, “I, too, must confess. I am building a clinic and took $20,000 and threw in only $10,000.” He looked ashamed.

    The lawyer said, “Gentlemen, I’m surprised, shocked and ashamed of both of you. I don’t see how you could in good conscience hold on to that money. I threw in a personal check for the entire amount.”

  10. The following are all replies that Manchester women have written on Child Support Agency Forms in the section for listing “father’s details”

    These are genuine excerpts from the forms.

    1. Regarding the identity of the father of my twins,
    Makeeshia was fathered by Maclearndon McKinley I am
    unsure as to the identity of the father of Marlinda, but
    I believe that she was conceived on the same night.

    2. I am unsure, as to the identity of the father of my
    child as I was being sick out of a window when taken
    unexpectedly from behind. I can provide you with a list
    of names of men that I think were at the party if this helps.

    3. I do not know the name of the father of my little
    girl. She was conceived at a party at 360 East Bolton Avenue
    where I had sex with a man I met that night. I do remember
    that the sex was so good that I fainted. If you do manage
    to track down the father, can you please send me his phone
    number? Thanks.

    4. I don’t know the identity of the father of my daughter. He drives a BMW that now has a hole made by my
    stiletto in one of the door panels. Perhaps you can contact BMW service stations in this area and see if he’s had it replaced.

    5. I have never had sex with a man. I am still a Virginian. I am awaiting a letter from the Pope confirming that my son’s conception was ejaculate and that he is the Saver risen again.

    6. I cannot tell you the name of Alleshia dad as he informs me that to do so would blow his cover and that would have cataclysmic implications for the economy. I am torn between doing right by you and right by the country . Please advise.

    7.Tyrone Hairston is the father of child A If you do catch up with him, can you ask him what he did with my AC/DC CDs? Child B who was also borned at the same time…. well, I don’t have clue.

    8. From the dates it seems that my daughter was conceived at Euro-Disney World; maybe it really is the Magic Kingdom.

    9. So much about that night is a blur. The only thing that I remember for sure is Gordon Ramsey did a programme about eggs earlier in the evening. If I had stayed in and watched more TV rather than going to the party at 56 Miller St , mine might have remained unfertilized.

    10. I am unsure as to the identity of the father of my baby, after all, like when you eat a can of beans you can’t be sure which one made you fart.

  11. This one is for you Charles – enjoy !

    Heard the one about the Englishman who was stopped by Australian immigration officers at Sydney airport?
    They asked him if he had a criminal record.
    He replied: “I didn’t know it was still necessary.”

    The Australian bobsleigh team have asked the Aussie cricket team for a meeting.
    They want to ask their advice about going downhill so fast!

    What’s the difference between Ricky Ponting and a funeral director?
    A funeral director doesn’t keep losing the ashes.

    What do you call an Australian with a champagne bottle in his hand?
    A waiter.

    Of everyone in the Aussie team, who spends the most time at the crease?
    The woman who irons their cricket whites.

    What’s the height of optimism? An Aussie batsman putting on sunscreen.

  12. Menace
    Governments? Ha Ha Ha.
    They are near the top of the food chain and are just as if not more corrupt?

    Oh Ando said it already. 🙂

  13. Ando, para – at least our government is elected by the people. If they are corrupt it is our fault for electing them. We cannot abdicate our electoral right & then point fingers at our government. I vote & therefore call the government mine (even if I voted against them). It is their job to do my bidding albeit with a lot of goading & petitions etc.

    My vote is all powerful – just one vote but it is the best right I have.

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