By Tony Attwood
Now either you can think that this is another story that is being hidden from British football fans and others interested in corruption by the British media, or you may think that the British media take the view that British supporters are just not interested in fraud issues relating to Fifa.
You can obviously decide for yourself. For my part, I think each of these Fifa corruption stories is of interest because as I have said many times before, British taxpayers’ money goes to fund the Football Association, and the FA uses that money to make insane bids to host the world cup. Last time they did it, they spent £21m in the bid to host the World Cup in 2018. They got two votes: one was England’s and the other was Australia.
That is £10,500,000 per vote. All provided by the British taxpayer.
That, of course, was not corruption, although as we suggested at the time, and has since been proven, the vote was fixed. So maybe the media is trying to cover that up because they know just how many scandals there are in relation to Fifa. And indeed, it’s funny I should say that because here’s another one just breaking today.
The Israel bank, “Bank Hapoalim” has been fined $904m in a case involving US clients’ tax evasion, and Fifa.
In summary, the US Justice Department stated that Israel’s biggest bank admitted assisting US clients to evade taxes and its involvement in bribery and corruption. As a result the bank has to pay $874 million to settle tax evasion claims, plus $30 million costs.
The story broke today, 3 May. So maybe this article will goad the British media into mentioning it.
Under the deal, and in an attempt to seek finally to settle claims addressing actions between 2002 and 2014, Israel’s biggest bank was ordered to pay an overall fine of $904 million.
The FIFA case dates back to 2015, when 14 people were indicted in connection with an investigation by the FBI and IRS into wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering by Fifa officials and other sports industry officials. These, you may recall if you have been following our reporting of Fifa activities, are normal and everyday events in the Fifa world – the world the UK government loves to invest money in.
Israel’s largest bank, Bank Hapoalim, and its Swiss subsidiary have admitted not only failing to prevent but actively “assisting US customers to set up secret accounts, to shelter assets and income, and to evade taxes,” the financial daily newspaper Globes quoted US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman as saying.
“The combined payment approaching $1 billion reflects the magnitude of the tax evasion by the Bank’s US customers, the size of the fees the Bank collected to provide this illegal service, and the gravity of the illegal conduct.”
The US Justice Department said that Bank Hapoalim had pleaded guilty to “conspiring with US taxpayers and others to hide more than $7.6 billion in more than 5,500 secret Swiss and Israeli bank accounts and the income generated in these accounts from the Internal Revenue Service.”
What is particularly interesting here is that the fine imposed on Hapoalim is higher than penalties paid by other Israeli banks, such as Bank Leumi and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank, for their involvement in similar tax evasion affairs, reflecting the seriousness of the evasion and fraud that took place – and the fact that where Fifa is involved IT JUST KEEPS HAPPENING.
So yet again the question arises, what is the Football Association doing being involved in an organisation like Fifa which constantly stretches out across the globe seemingly looking for any dodgy business it can be engaged in.
What’s more, it raises the question, yet again, of why will the UK media not report this. It is quite rightly ready to report on the appalling human rights record of Saudi Arabia, and a long long time ago it was reporting the human rights abuses of migrant workers in Qatar, but now the Qatar story is simply not mentioned, and everyone wants to get behind the next English bid for the world cup in England.
Yet all that will do is bring wholesale corruption to England.
Meanwhile, there is still no reporting of the case in Switzerland at the moment over the current case involving Fifa and the Swiss federal prosecutor.
Put another way, how long does the British media intend to go on covering up Fifa’s actions?
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