Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 29th 2015 Contents A45
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recorded a new track
record (10.3) in the
men s individual sprint
qualiying round at the
onships, on Wednes-
"I know many peo-
ple hold me ultimately
responsible ... (but) I
cannot monitor every-
one all the time."
Fifa President SEPP
any involvement in the
allegations of corrup-
tion currently sweeping
(Ext: 2213, 2711,
The eleventh Indian Arrival Day
Junior Chess Tournament comes off
tomorrow at Presentation College,
Chaguanas, starting at 10 am.
Organised by the T&T Chess
Foundation, the tournament has
become one of the most popular
among the country's young chess
Cash prizes will be awarded to the
first three winners in each of the four
categories, novices, Under 12, Under
14 and Under 20.
In addition, the first six places in
these categories will receive trophies,
while chess pins will be presented to
the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth
The novice section will be a seven
round Swiss with 50-minute time
limit while the other sections will
comprise of five rounds with 50-
Indian Arrival Day chess tournament
Sepp Blatter has refused to resign
as Fifa president following a request
from Uefa chief Michel Platini.
The 79-year-old Swiss held an emer-
gency meeting with key Fifa officials
yesterday after world football s gov-
erning body was subjected to yet more
damaging corruption claims.
Platini then made a personal appeal
for Blatter to quit but was told it was
"too late" to resign.
Sepp Blatter: "I cannot monitor
everyone all of the time... those who
are corrupt in football are in a minor-
Blatter later vowed to restore trust
in Fifa and "find a way to fix things".
Opening a meeting of Fifa s congress
yesterday, on the eve of today s pres-
idential election, he said: "These are
unprecedented and difficult times for
"It must fall to me to uphold respon-
sibility for the well-being of the organ-
However, while admitting he could
not be held responsible for the actions
of a few, he conceded: "I m sure more
bad news may follow but it s necessary
to restore trust in our organisation."
His speech came just hours after
Frenchman Platini said the latest crisis
had left him "absolutely sickened",
adding: "People have had enough, they
don t want this president any more."
Blatter, who has been president since
1998, is seeking a fifth term when he
takes on Prince Ali bin al-Hussein in
today s election.
Several influential football figures
had called for the vote to be delayed
after seven Fifa officials were arrested
in Zurich on Wednesday.
But Uefa, which governs European
football, decided on Thursday not to
boycott the election and will continue
to back Prince Ali, although some
member associations, such as Russia,
have said they will back Blatter.
Uefa head Michel Platini said: "Blatter
will convince the majority to vote for
him... but he has already lost, Fifa has
already lost" CAF, which looks after
the interests of Africa, has also reiterated
its support for Blatter.
So has the Asian Football Confed-
eration, although one of its members,
the Australian football federation, has
announced its intention to vote for
"A big, big, big majority of the Euro-
pean associations will vote for Prince
Ali," said Platini.
Dutch FA boss and former presiden-
tial candidate Michael van Praag, who
pulled out of the running so as not to
split the anti-Blatter vote, said: "He is
the end responsible person in Fifa. You
cannot always continue washing your
Fifa was plunged into fresh crisis on
Wednesday when United States author-
ities indicted 14 people and arrested
seven senior football officials on bribery
and racketeering charges.
In a separate development, Swiss
officials opening criminal proceedings
into the bidding process for the 2018
and 2022 World Cup bid processes.
Blatter s decision to chair an emer-
gency meeting with representatives
from Fifa s six confederations is sig-
Such gatherings are rare.
It also took place without two of its
Jeffrey Webb, president of the North,
Central American and Caribbean Asso-
ciation, and Eugenio Figueredo, pres-
ident of the South American confed-
eration, were both absent after being
arrested on Wednesday.
Blatter, who has been in power since
1998, was widely expected to win a
fifth term as president before the cur-
rent crisis engulfed Fifa.
But things are not so clear-cut now.
Blatter has plenty support
He is understood to have widespread
support among Fifa s 209 member
associations, but Prince Ali, a Fifa vice-
president from Jordan, could benefit
from the latest crisis to his world foot-
ball s governing body.
Prime Minister David Cameron and
English Football Association chairman
Greg Dyke joined those calling for Blat-
ter to step down.
Britain s representative David Gill
also says he will resign from Fifa s exec-
utive committee if Blatter is re-elect-
ed.But support for the president came
from Russian president Vladimir Putin,
who has claimed the United States is
meddling in Fifa s affairs in an attempt
to take the 2018 World Cup away from
It's not just about the election, is it?
No, it s not. Fifa s entire future
appears to be at stake.
Its reputation has been sullied by
corruption claims for years now.
However, there is a sense that these
latest developments could have a seis-
mic impact on the footballing land-
There are two investigations here.
One is led by the United States, which
is focusing on bribery claims going back
more than 20 years and involving several
key Fifa figures. The other, led by Swiss
authorities, is focusing on potential
wrongdoing when voting took place
for 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting
How serious are the bribery claims?
Seven Fifa officials were arrested in
Zurich on Wednesday on charges they
received more than $150m (£100m) in
bribes. Among them was Fifa vice-
president Webb, a hugely influential
figure who holds a lot of power in North
America and the Caribbean.
In total, 14 defendants were charged
by the US Department of Justice with
racketeering, wire fraud and money
laundering conspiracies in a 24-year
Jack Warner, a former Fifa vice-pres-
ident who quit world football s gov-
erning body in 2011, was also among
them. The US is trying to extradite all
seven officials arrested in Zurich.
Unsurprisingly, all seven are fighting
such a move.
What about the 2018 and
2022 World Cups?
It seems unlikely that either Russia
or Qatar will be stripped of the tour-
naments at this stage, although any-
thing is possible. Despite Fifa s numer-
ous attempts to prove the bidding
process was fair, rumours persist that
not everything was above board.
The latest development have only
added to the speculation. Naturally,
both Russia, who were awarded the
rights to stage the 2018 tournament,
and Qatar, who will host the 2022 event,
are fighting hard. Both have always
insisted that they won their bids fair
How is Fifa dealing with the crisis?
As expected, it is working overtime
to calm fears it is in meltdown.
Fifa director of communications Wal-
ter De Gregorio tried hard to put a pos-
itive spin on developments on Wednes-
But not everyone believed him when
he claimed the investigations proved
Fifa was on the right track.
In an attempt to be proactive, Fifa
has already banned 11 of the 14 people
charged by the US Department of Jus-
But it is coming under increasing
pressure from unhappy sponsors. BBC
...vows 'to restore trust'
FIFA CONGRESS 2015
Sepp Blatter has
refused to resign
as Fifa president
following a request
from Uefa chief
Blatter refuses to quit
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