FIFA has sent a formal note to the government of the UK objecting to the proposal for Mr Usmanov, Arsenal shareholder, in sorting out the scandal over MPs expenses.
“What does Usmanov know about corruption,” FIFA gruppenfuhrer Sepp Blatter said last night, “he has never been found guilty of corruption in his life. There is not a shred of evidence against him. This is a football matter, and it should be handled by the international football authority which knows a thing of two about corruption.
“I very much doubt that Mr Usmanov knows a single thing about bungs, sleaze and vote-rigging, whereas such things are second nature to FIFA. Over the years a million pounds worth of bribes have been repaid. True this has not been by the officials who received the kickbacks – but, by FIFA itself. Of course we couldn’t pay it all back because we don’t have records of every bribe we pay – but the main thing is that when it comes to bribery and false accounting there is no one to beat FIFA.
“It is for this reason that I demand that Mr Usmanov is removed from the commission to investigate the trough that MPs clearly have their noses in, and that I, Septimus Blatter, am put at the heart of this investigation.
“On my team I shall have several senior executives from ISL, the marketing company that paid the bribes on behalf of FIFA. We paid bungs systematically through offshore bank accounts for over 20 years, so working out who had what for a swimming pool, a moat or a windmill restoration scheme is going to be the play of the kiddiwinkies.
“You in the Inkerland think you are so clever with your invention of football, and your “play the game” attitude, and your upper lip that is stiff, but when it comes to corruption, you know zero. You leave that to FIFA. I shall start my investigation tomorrow, and I shall name and shame all the MPs who have not been involved in false accounting.”
(Mr Blatter has asked us to point out that the word “not” in the final sentence was a slip of the tongue).
(c) Tony Attwood, Sea of Tranquility, the Moon
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