What the media won’t tell you about football 5: Fifa lends money to Switzerland


The football stories the media won’t touch

So far…

I’ve been critical in this series about the way that various issues are well-known (such as referee bias in terms of home and away matches) and yet not only does PGMO do nothing about the issue, the media will absolutely not comment on it.

So what else will they not comment on in football?

For me, and this is personal, there is one story I really love above all others on Untold.  It was published on 22 January 2015, and I remember distinctly thinking, “there must be something wrong here” because little Untold doesn’t get scoops this big!  And I thought that as I typed up the tale because that story was so gigantic that if true it was going to rock Fifa to the core.  And there was just little Untold Arsenal, all on its own (at least in England)  running the piece

That piece, along with all the 11,757 other articles that we have published since 14 January 2008 is still on the site under the headline Switzerland take a greater interest in Fifa – at last so you can go and have a look.   But the essence of the tale was that people attending the conferences of international bodies like Fifa would no longer be immune from arrest if wanted in another state.

Fifa of course didn’t take any notice – it is obviously above all laws.  At least until March 2008 when it gave me great pleasure to write If FIFA Execs had read Untold in January they would have known they were going to be arrested.   

And I can’t tell you the joy that headline gave me, not just because I was proven right but because of the irony of me, of all people, telling Fifa to be careful, them ignoring little old me, and suffering mass arrests, exactly as predicted.

And that is why I started this little series with the headline Why, with football, it is important to ask what is not being reported

But Fifa survived and has expanded its operations.  Indeed 20min recently ran the headline  The city of Bern has borrowed nearly 1.8 billion francs from Fifa.

Which is ironic given that in June 2022, Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini. appeared for fraud before the TPF Criminal Court with Sepp Blatter accused of having ordered the payment by Fifa of 2 million francs to Michel Platini.  

Of course whether the people of French speaking Switzerland think this is ok or not depends rather on whether they see Fifa as an aberration, a major factor in the undermining of the well-being of football on a worldwide scale, or a collection of jolly scallywags who occasionally get carried away a little in the scale of their whizzo ideas.

Meanwhile elsewhere, there is still a level of concern in federal Switzerland with the way Infantino held secret meetings with its own head of the legal services for the whole of the Swiss state.

But there is of course a financial side to Fifa’s largesse.  If it puts its billions of dollars into bank accounts in Switzerland it doesn’t get any interest on the cash – rather the reverse; it pays for the privilege of using the bank’s facilities.   (If you are British you may gawp at this, but yes, things are different in Switzerland.).  But if Fifa lends the money to the Swiss state, it gets paid.   So Switzerland has been directly financing Fifa, not just through its national team’s affiliation Fifa, but by borrowing money from Fifa.

And of course with Fifa now directly integrated into the very heart of the Swiss economy (in the sense that if Fifa pulled the plug, several cities in Switzerland could face bankruptcy) it makes it ever less likely that the Swiss will see through their legal case against Infantino.  However, the latest statements from Switzerland suggest that it is now changing direction and getting its money elsewhere so maybe the Infantino prosecution will happen after all.

The fact that the city of Lausanne opposed a fan zone during the World Cup in Qatar for ethical reasons caused a lot of ironic comments in the country and Lausanne is now reviewing its practice: A spokesperson for the City has said, “After the World Cup in Qatar, the situation changed, notes the socialist. The position of the City is now different and we no longer wish to work with FIFA in terms of cash”.   So that’s ok.

There is more on the story here.


4 Replies to “What the media won’t tell you about football 5: Fifa lends money to Switzerland”

  1. Tony

    I read all your articles regarding FIFA and I simply cannot fathom how the entire operation has not been shut down. I wonder, how can this go on? Then I look at how our Country is run, and by who, and I understand. It’s just f***ing normal.

    This is how the mega rich behave.

    Not content with buying people and things, they actually buy the law.

    They used to say, where there’s a will there’s a way. Well actually, where there’s a Billion Bucks there’s a way. It’s a sad World.

  2. Well, this made for another interesting transfer window.
    Which pretty much no one saw coming if you look at Arsenal.
    And the players will hit the ground running as they have PL experience. And one has EL experience which is most probably one of the reasons he joined us.

    We’ve now got cover enough on the left wing. We’ve got an alternative for Elneny and the more I think about it, the more I believe ESR will play more in midfield then on the left. Which I believe he can do.

    And Marquinhos as well as Lokonga and Cedric will hopefully get lots of playing time which will enable them to hopefully show off their skills and get experience.

    To me the squad management has been a lot better these past seasons. And we’re seing confirmation thereof now. Smart choices.

  3. Saudi Arabia to sponsor the Women’s world cup? Seems Fifa can’t resist a bit of cash. Be interesting to see where this goes as the hosts claim not to have been consulted prior to the appointment or the announcement. Various rights organisations including Amnesty International expressing concerns.

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