Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 4th 2015 Contents The chairman of Football Federation Aus-
tralia says bidding for the 2022 World Cup
awarded to Qatar was not clean, explaining
in an extraordinary open letter yesterday
how he felt Australia never had a chance to
be given hosting rights.
The day after Fifa president Sepp Blatter
announced he was resigning his post and
would call a new election within nine months,
FFA chairman Frank Lowy said "world football
might just be at the dawn of a new era."
Australia went against the agreed position
of the Asian Football Confederation to support
Blatter in last Friday s presidential election
and instead voted for Prince Ali Bin Al-Hus-
sein. The 79-year-old Blatter was returned
to a fifth term as president despite a week
dominated by arrests of top Fifa officials over
And while the Asian Football Confederation
was offering little comment on Wednesday
to Blatter s surprise resignation, billionaire
businessman Lowy, one of Australia s richest
persons, was scathing in his criticism of both
Fifa and the bid process for 2022.
"Sepp Blatter s resignation should open
the door to major reform. I say should because
Fifa s problems are deep-rooted and tangled
in a culture that has developed over decades,"
Lowy said. "It will take a united, concerted
effort by its football associations to fix the
Lowy said that since December, 2010 when
Qatar was awarded the 2022 World Cup and
Australia received just one vote, "I have nursed
a bitter grievance."
"We ran a clean bid," Lowy said. "I know
that others did not, and I have shared what
I know with the authorities, including Michael
Garcia who undertook a two-year investiga-
tion into the 2022 World Cup bid."
Lowy acknowledged Australia made mis-
takes in its bid, including the hiring of Euro-
pean-based consultants "who ultimately
proved less than effective to say the least."
He also defended a $500,000 payment
made by Australia to the CONCACAF con-
federation during the bidding process, osten-
sibly for funding of a feasibility study into
a Centre of Excellence in Trinidad and Toba-
go.Lowy said subsequent inquiries "found
(CONCACAF president) Jack Warner had
committed fraud and misappropriated the
funds" and said Australia only agreed to a
smaller payment rather than the $4 million
that was requested.
"We asked CONCACAF to give our money
back because it wasn t used for the purpose
we intended, and were advised by Fifa to
wait until the inquiries were complete," Lowy
said. "Those inquiries are still ongoing."
"We ran a clean bid and we are proud of
that but it wasn t a level playing field and
therefore we didn t win it. I will always be
bitterly disappointed about the outcome."
The AFC released a brief statement yes-
terday about Blatter s decision to stand down,
saying: "The AFC is closely monitoring the
situation, and will discuss with its member
associations and sister confederations in order
to find the best way forward for both Fifa
and world football."
Elsewhere around the South Pacific, officials
in the Oceania confederation were not forth-
coming about Blatter s resignation and what
it might mean to their football programs.
Comment was being sought from Fiji, Samoa,
Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu by email or
phone calls, but none of those officials had
replied by the end of the business day yes-
ZURICH---One week after an American inves-
tigation of football corruption erupted at Fifa,
seven men remain detained in Zurich prison
The seven officials---including two Fifa vice
presidents, one member-elect of the Fifa exec-
utive committee and one Fifa staffer---were arrest-
ed in early morning hotel raids.
All face extradition to the United States in a
process which could last months. Only then
could they be questioned about involvement in
alleged racketeering, money-laundering and wire
fraud in a $150 million bribe scheme spanning
more than two decades.
Here are some things to know about the ongo-
ing legal process in Switzerland:
The seven in Zurich have until next Monday
to appeal being detained by Swiss authorities.
Their best chance of being released on bail
lies with their lawyers either finding flaws in
how American and Swiss agencies processed
and handled the arrests, or a lenient judge.
"Release on bail is possible, but it s very, very
rare," said Folco Galli, spokesman for the Swiss
Federal Office of Justice in Bern.
The next deadline in the Swiss extradition
process is July 3.
The US must submit its formal extradition
request by then and may be in no hurry to do
so.All seven detainees could be feeling a long
way from their home countries in South and
Central America and residences in the US.
"We will publish a press release as soon as
these requests have been submitted," Galli said
The Swiss justice office will examine the merits
of each request and likely issue an extradition
order within a month or two.
One condition is that the allegations each faces
in the US would also be punishable in Switzer-
The Swiss authorities will not have an opinion
on the likely guilt or innocence of each detainee.
That is for the American courts to decide, Galli
An order granted can be appealed to the Swiss
Criminal Court in Bellinzona, in the Italian-
border canton (state) of Ticino. A further appeal
route goes to the Swiss Federal Tribunal in Lau-
That whole process could last at least six
months, depending on how much resistance is
put up by the seven.
SEPP BLATTER'S POSITION
The outgoing Fifa president will not be detained
in his home country on behalf of American pros-
ecutors. As a Swiss national, Blatter cannot be
extradited by Switzerland.
Still, the 79-year-old Blatter becomes more
exposed if traveling abroad where a warrant for
his arrest and extradition could be sought by
Fifa tournaments are being played this month
in New Zealand and Canada.
Under normal circumstances, Fifa protocol
would require Blatter to attend the Under-20
World Cup final in Auckland on June 20 and the
Women s World Cup final on July 5 in Vancou-
ver.Fifa said yesterday that Blatter does not have
any confirmed travel plans in the next two weeks.
WORLD CUP CASE
In a separate case, Swiss federal authorities
are looking at possible criminal mismanagement
and money-laundering in Fifa s decision to award
the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and
Swiss police last week questioned some of the
ten non-Swiss residents who voted in the process
and still held their Fifa seats.
Yesterday, the Swiss attorney general s office
said it could not confirm which of the ten were
spoken to as "persons providing information."
One voter who claims not to have been spoken
to is Fifa senior vice president Issa Hayatou of
Hayatou, the Confederation of African Football
president, told media in his home country this
week that no authorities approached him in
After Blatter announced his resignation on
Tuesday, the Swiss agency confirmed that he
was not involved in its case.
"His announced resignation will have no influ-
ence on the ongoing criminal proceedings," the
attorney general s office said. (AP)
NYON---UEFA has can-
celed a meeting in Berlin
this weekend where mem-
ber federations were to dis-
cuss ways of opposing a
Sepp Blatter-led Fifa.
UEFA president Michel
Platini says it is better to
await developments after
Blatter announced plans to
Platini also noted the
"unpredictable nature" of a
US federal investigation into
corruption in world soccer.
He says "considering new
information is revealed every
day, I believe it is wiser to
take time to assess the sit-
The 54 UEFA member
federations were expected
to meet on the sidelines of
this weekend s Champions
At least ten UEFA mem-
bers are thought to have
voted for Blatter despite Pla-
tini urging the Fifa president
to resign before the election
Australian football chief:
2022 Qatar process not clean
tactics What next for the 7 men detained in Fifa raids
Journalists wait in front of the Fifa logo at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland,
yesterday. About 100 journalists outside Fifa headquarters are sunbathing or taking shade
from the baking sun, waiting for more news a day after Fifa president Sepp Blatter announced
he will resign. AP PHOTO
Thursday, June 4, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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