Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 5th 2015 Contents A55
Friday, June 5, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Two days after becoming
the face of soccer corruption,
disgraced FIFA President Sepp
Blatter said yesterday he has
already started working on
ways to clean up the sport s
Blatter, who announced his
decision to resign on Tuesday
as the FIFA corruption crisis
continues to build and spread
around the world, tweeted a
photo of himself sitting in a
leather chair with a light blue
jacket and no tie.
"Working hard on reforms
after meeting Audit & Compli-
ance Committee Independent
Chairman Scala," Blatter wrote,
along with a link to a statement
released by FIFA.
FIFA has been plunged into
crisis for more than a week, ever
since seven soccer officials were
arrested at a luxury Zurich hotel
ahead of the FIFA congress. They
were among 14 people indicted
by the U.S. Department of Jus-
tice on corruption charges.
A law enforcement official,
speaking on condition of
anonymity, has said that the 79-
year-old Blatter is a target of
the investigation. Blatter has not
been officially implicated in the
case. The official spoke on con-
dition of anonymity because the
case is ongoing.
In his statement on Thursday,
the first since calling for new
elections to find a successor,
Blatter said he met with FIFA
audit panel chairman Domenico
Scala "to establish a framework
for action and a timetable" for
his final months.
He made no mention of his
status as a target of the Amer-
ican investigation. Instead, he
kept the short statement
focused on reforming an organ-
ization he has presided over for
"I want a comprehensive
program of reform and I am
very aware that only the FIFA
Congress can pass these
reforms," Blatter said in the
In a separate investigation,
Swiss authorities are looking
into the 2018 and 2022 World
Cup bidding contests won by
Russia and Qatar.
In his resignation speech on
Tuesday, Blatter promised a
final round of modernizing
reforms before leaving office.
That includes finding a date for
a presidential election by next
He also pledged to bring in
term limits for his successor
and FIFA executive committee
members, and tougher integrity
checks for election candidates.
Blatter s statement came after
separate investigations into soc-
cer corruption were opened in
South Africa and Australia, and
after the headquarters of the
Venezuelan Football Federation
was raided by military intelli-
The South African probe
revolves around allegations of
bribery related to the country s
winning bid for the 2010 World
Cup, while Australian authorities
are investigating corruption
claims surrounding Australia s
failed bid for the 2022 World Cup.
US court asked to
reveal Blazer's plea deal
The New York Times has asked a US federal
judge to make public the government's plea
agreement with former FIFA executive
committee member Chuck Blazer.
In a motion filed yesterday in US District
Court in Brooklyn, New York, the paper said the
plea agreement should be made available under
rights attached to federal common law and the
The plea agreement was referenced in a 40-
page transcript of Blazer's November 2013 plea
hearing, which was unsealed on Wednesday.
Blazer, the former No. 2 official of soccer in
North and Central America and the Caribbean,
forfeited over $1.9 million at the time of his
pleas to 10 counts of racketeering conspiracy,
wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering
conspiracy, income tax evasion, and failure to
file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial
Accounts. He agreed to pay a second amount to
be determined at the time of sentencing.
Ireland $5 million loan
write-off for missing
World Cup 2010
FIFA has admitted to writing off a $5 million
loan to Ireland in compensation for missing out
on the 2010 World Cup after Thierry Henry's
handball set up the French winner.
The payment, initially a loan, was not
disclosed following the 2009 playoff game,
which France won 2-1 on aggregate to reach
the finals in South Africa.
The cash from FIFA was first disclosed in
public on Thursday by Football Association of
Ireland chief executive John Delaney, who didn't
say it was a loan.
FIFA says it granted the loan "to put an end
to any claims against FIFA," but it would have
to be reimbursed if Ireland qualified for the
2014 World Cup.
Minister says racism
Qatar's foreign minister says racism is behind
the allegations that his country was wrongly
awarded the 2022 World Cup, and he
denounced the furor surrounding the widening
Khalid Bin Mohammad Al Attiyah, visiting
Tunisia, said on Thursday that his country
cooperated with American investigators and
was cleared of any suspicion.
"Unfortunately, there are some parties that
cannot swallow the fact of an Arab and Muslim
country hosting this competition," he said.
South Africa checks
South Africa's organised crime unit is
conducting a preliminary investigation into
bribery allegations surrounding the 2010 World
Cup bid after being provided with documents
by an opposition political party.
The unit's spokesman, Hangwani Mulaudzi,
says a file has been opened and the unit will
decide whether the information calls for a full
Mulaudzi would not describe the documents
the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation
received from the Freedom Front Plus political
Mulaudzi says the unit has "investigators
looking into the matter."
Disgraced Blatter starts
work on reforms amid crisis
FIFA President Sepp Blatter rubs his eye as he speaks at a press conference at the ICC in Durban, South Africa. Blatter said he will resign
from soccer's governing body amid a widening corruption scandal and promised Tuesday to call for fresh elections to choose a successor.
THE FIFA FIASCO
The British government says England
is ready to step in and host the 2022 World
Cup if the tournament is stripped from
Qatar amid the corruption scandal engulf-
"Obviously if FIFA came forward and
asked us to consider hosting it, we have the
facilities in this country and of course we
did mount a very impressive, if unsuccessful
bid to host the 2018 World Cup," culture
secretary John Whittingdale told the House
However, Whittingdale acknowledged
that "it does seem very unlikely that another
European country would host it in 2022"
because Russia is due to stage the World
Cup in 2018.
Swiss authorities are investigating the
bidding contests for the 2018 and 2022
World Cup tournaments, and have seized
documents at FIFA headquarters.
Britain wants 2022 World Cup
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