Why, as another Fifa corruption case starts, will the FA not say, “we don’t deal with crooks”?

by Tony Attwood

Imagine your ran a business.  You were trading with a company and suddenly you find a whole stream of its senior people being hauled into court and charged with corruption in general and taking millions of pounds worth of bribes in particular.

One after another they are charged and they eventually plead guilty.  And it keeps happening, over and over again.

What do you do?  Do you keep on dealing with this organisation as if nothing has happened?  Or do you think…

  1. Morally this is not the sort of gang I should be dealing with.
  2. I don’t care for morals, but if they are swindling everyone else, it is more than likely they are swindling me so I had better get out.
  3. They’ll be nasty to me if I pull out, so I’d better just carry on.

I’d like to think I’d take a moral position, but I am realistic and know that during a lifetime in business I have accepted work that involves dealing with people I find dubious.  Not absolute Fifa style crooks, but dubious nonetheless.  However eventually after one really bad experience I did pull my company out of such deals and said, “No matter what the potential rewards I’m not dealing with people like that again.”

But what worries me about football is that it is not that I think organisations like the FA make the wrong decision out of a, b and c above, but that they never even think there is a decision to make.

Why is that?  Is it because they are so fully entrenched within the corrupt enterprise they don’t even think there is an alternative?  Is it that our government is so pathetic and weak that they can’t actually knock over the pack of cards, which in reality is all the FA is?

Or has someone got at both the government and the FA, and got them so profoundly they dare not get together with other countries and say, “football does not have to be like this.”

I ask because yesterday in the USA another group of football administrators (this bunch all coming from south America) were accused of yet another multi-million dollar fraud.  If you ever wondered what “endemic corruption” looks like, it is Fifa.  .

This time around they have got José Maria Marin, former head of Brazil’s football federation, Juan Ángel Napout, the former president of South American football’s governing body Conmebol, and Manuel Burga, the former president of the Peruvian football federation.  

The charges are racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering.

In May 2015, fourteen people were indicted in connection with an investigation by the FBI and the IRS.  In November 2016 prior guilty pleas by four football executives and two corporations were revealed. Since then the guilty list includes Chuck Blazer, Alejandro Burzaco, Rafael Equivel, Jose Hawilla, Alfred Hawit, Jose Marguiles , Daryan Warner, Sergio Jadue, Jeffrey Webb, Eduardo Li, Aaron Davidon and the entire company, Traffic Sports International.

All in all over 40 officials and marketing executives have been charged by US authorities with 23 already pleading guilty. This trial is about how marketing and sponsorship rights were sold for three tournaments with the accused taking massive bribes.  Same old…

And yet despite these numbers of people, and despite the fact that it is quite clear the US prosecutors are still only scratching the surface, and despite the fact that it is clear that a lot of other money went through countries other than the US, our dear FA continues to deal with Fifa as if nothing was happening.

Is there any debate about whether the name of English football should be tarnished through dealings with Fifa?  Nope.

Is anyone saying, “hang on if these guys can break this many laws in this law, isn’t it likely that they are screwing with what happens on the pitch?”   Nope.

Is anyone thinking, “there were a lot of complaints about dodgy refereeing in the play off rounds of the world cup recently.  Given what we know about Fifa, is there perhaps a chance that something in the refereeing sector is not right?”  No again.  No one is asking.

Why is this?

The possible reasons are

a) The FA is made up of people with brains that are so weak they make cabbages look hyper-intelligent

b) The FA is made up of people who are too frightened that they will be implicated if anything blows up here.

c) The FA is made up of people who will do anything to hang on to their cushy jobs.

Are there other reasons why the FA won’t take a stand and stop dealing with such a profoundly corrupt body?  Perhaps you can help me with some suggestions.

It really is simple.  Fifa is corrupt.  Why is a tax payer funded body like the FA, dealing with Fifa?

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16 Replies to “Why, as another Fifa corruption case starts, will the FA not say, “we don’t deal with crooks”?”

  1. The government of the UK is the key. FIFA rules say that state-governments cannot meddle in the ‘internal’ business of their FAs but the governments can stop funding them.

  2. If (heaven forbid) Arsenal would suddenly stop existing I would completely stop watching any football at all. It is only Arsenal (and my local team once or twice a year) that I still watch.
    I don’t look at the Corruption League also known as the Champions League. I don’t look at the Europa League (apart from Arsenal matches) as Uefa is organising it.
    I don’t watch any other PL matches, I don’t even wath MOTD anymore….

    And to think there was a time when I watched every ball kicked anywhere on the world. If at midnight a match was shown on TV between two South American teams I never heard of before I would have been so football crazy I would give up my sleep.

    But with all the money and the corruption I see everywhere in the football world I have given up completely apart from Arsenal.
    For me Arsenal is a beacon in the football world and I think that has a lot to do with the person of Wenger. He is not the man to give in to the corruption and who will fight it even with his hands tied behind his back. As his whole career has shown. And I think he is the manager that has suffered most of all from corruption in his career

  3. Oh and I certainly don’t watch matches organised by Fick Fufa. Just to make that clear.
    Even yesterday when I was zapping on my TV and the match Italy-Sweden came on by accident with some 10 minutes to go and a tense score line. My wife asked do you want to watch it? I said: no, no just look at your house programms you like so much. She still isn’t used to me acht this way 🙂

  4. It was a crap game Walter!
    Great result though.
    Is there an irony in the (probably) most corrupt footballing country in western Europe being eliminated from the WC at the group stage?

  5. Tony can I ask a few questions?
    1. Why do you make this pull out demand of only the English FA? USA authorities have been leading the investigation and prosecution against FIFA, the US FA is still in FIFA, partook in the WC qualifier’s
    &continues to bid to host future FIFA WCs. Switzerland seems to be the next country in terms of pursuing FIFA, the Swiss FA remains a member of FIFA, the Swiss team is going to the WC. why have you never called them names?
    2. You tell us how the FA, uefa, FIFA, the PL, the CL is corrupt, arsenal remains in these bodies. Why have you never called arsenal names for remaining.
    Is it a case of giving a dog a bad name so you can kill it?

  6. Walter it was the Swedes doing to Italy what Italy does to everyone else. The whole bus company parked in front of the goal. There were so many fouls by the Azzuri that were not penalised by the Spanish official. It looked like he was playing for them. It is not often you see an official physically push a player, but this one did -several times.

    The shame is that this WC is in another corrupt country (not much different from the rest of today’s world).

  7. England U-19 won there last qualifying round game. Eddie Nketiah seemingly had nothing to do with this play, but I believe the lad that scored has assisted a few times in the previous 2 games. This game is a UEFA thing. Nketiah was replaced by Willock at 59 minutes. I gather the draw for the next round is Dec 6, England finishes top of their group (obviously with 3 wins).

  8. Amos I think one can go on extending this argument ad infinitum. But there are three fundamentals.
    First the reality is that if Arsenal pulled out on its own, it would have nothing more to do, unless it could persuade other clubs to join it.
    Second, Arsenal is not an organising and controlling body – it is a club. Third it pays tax, it doesn’t get grants from government.

    The FA is an organisation within which many clubs exist. It is a controlling body. It could contact other organisations and say, ok, let’s stop paying fees to Fifa until they are clean. Or let’s form our own association that is clean.

    And yes there is a contradiction about the USA, but at least it is doing something. My problem with the FA is that even in investigating issues within its own domain, like racism within the FA, and sex abuse within English football, it is useless.

  9. The Commons Digital, Culture, Media & Sports Select Committee yesterday questioned Minister of Sport Tracy Crouch on why FA failures Greg Clarke, Martin Glen & Dan Ashworth were still in their jobs.
    Crouch wriggled out of it by saying ‘It’s not my job to say whether the chairman or chief executive should be fired.’
    Bit of a cop out really!
    But at least questions are being asked.

  10. @Tony, fair enough. But surely it’s easier for arsenal to pull out than the FA. The FA is a body entrusted with the responsibility of representing the interests of a heterogenous group of people, surely it has to be harder for them to take a decision with such a grave implication. For eg let’s say arsenal fans think uefa is currupt and support a pull out from uefa, bit man utd fans think otherwise, how then can the FA decide to pull out without getting in trouble with the other guys?
    Arsenal on the other can more easily pull out on the say so of Stan, or am I wrong?

  11. Also, just as you claim for arsenal, the FA unilaterally pulling out of FIFA would achieve nothing unless it got the backing of other FAs, the same with arsenal. So I still don’t understand the double standards

  12. Corruption News

    As this second round of corruption prosecution starts in the USA, I guess the opening day seen someone name Burzaco present a bunch of information. Stuff about bribes was included.

    I gather that later that day, one of the people named (but not in New York for this trial) named Delhon seen that a train was coming, and decided it would be better if he was underneath that train instead of waiting for when it would be his turn from the FBI/US-DOJ.

  13. Corruption News

    How serious are these corrupt people in FIFA?


    > federal prosecutors on Wednesday accused Manuel Burga, the former head of Peru’s football association, of making a “slicing motion across his throat” directed at Alejandro Burzaco,

    Hey, if the idjuts in FIFA feel that is the level required, maybe the US-DOJ should be looking for the death penalty to any convicted?

  14. A question for any person or family who supports football. Do you want people like Manuel Burga participating in your life, your friend’s life, your child’s life, or any other person you know?

    We need to get these people out of football, and that includes the blatterbird, the infant one, and most of UEFA. But it seems the football crew in South America all needs to go. Or nearly all. Alexis Sanchez most certainly doesn’t need to go.

  15. cggorruption in fifa look at the penalty in northern Ireland v swizerland world cup ist leg it was pure cheating from the referee it almost backed fired as in zthe 2nd swizerland were glad to hear time

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