It seems that every time the name FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is mentioned some part of its walls come tumbling down. For those who have been in outer space, or stuck at either pole of the earth would probably not know that the footballing body is in ruins at the moment. Filled with bribes, money laundering and racketeering, the organization is holding its breath as more scandal is about to come.
Following the media frenzy with Trinidad and Tobago’s Jack Warner the former vice president of the association last week and earlier this week, reports out of Switzerland have confirmed that the Swiss Police have seized IT data from the institution’s headquarters. Having promised to look into the future World Cup destinations, the authorities made good on their word, confiscating data from the organization’s financial chief Markus Kattner and secretary general Jerome Valcke. Now in the heat of the scandal Valcke announced that bidding for the 2026 World Cup will be suspended pending investigations.
The secretary general also revealed that he authorized a $10 million dollar transfer to a soccer official based in the Caribbean but denies any wrongdoing. He expressed that the money transferred was not the association’s money and that the transfer was from South Africa to the Caribbean Football Union. Although previously in an email to the New York Times, Mr. Valcke denied that he had the authority to do such a thing. Which makes Valcke at the heart of FIFA walls tumbling way, way down.
Speaking with reporters Valcke said, “Why is it FIFA who has to explain the misuse of the money? It was not FIFA’s money. We have nothing to do with this money. I have no more answer about this case,” he went on to add “You have decided that after Blatter, I have to be the head to cut.” Alongside Valcke was Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko who echoed the statement made by FIFA, stating there are no legal grounds for the World Cup to be stripped away from Russia and Qatar as it was done under a democratic voting system. Only the association’s independent head of audit and compliance body Domenico Scala along with Sepp Blatter himself have started putting things in place for a reform to happen. With investigation only now starting if it can be proved that the bids had bribes or foul practice attached to them then the hosting countries of the World Cups will set to change. This gives an opportunity to England and the United States who can host the events on with a short time to prepare to have it.
Blatter who announced that he will be the staying on until his successor can be determined requested an emergency meeting along with the executives of FIFA to set the date of this event. It was reported that the elections were going to be on December 16th but proved to be false by the institution. It is well expected that Former Brazil midfielder Zico also known as Arthur Antunes Coimbra will place his name into the hat along with, Luis Figo, and favorite Prince Ali bin Hussein who brings the package of Diego Maradona as vice president. If this is described as the beginning of this fiasco, there would not be any more walls to keep tumbling down in the FIFA much longer.
By Andrew Joseph
Source: BBC: Swiss police seize IT data from FIFA headquarter
CNN: No grounds to take away world cup from Russia or Qatar
New York Times: Jerome Valcke authorized a $10 million transfer
Photo courtesy of AsianFC’s Flickr page all creative common license
Photo courtesy of Fotos GOVBA’s Flickr page all creative common license