Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 11th 2015 Contents A61
Thursday, June 11, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
RIO DE JANEIRO---Former Brazil star Zico wants to
run for the presidency of FIFA, even though he
believes the odds are stacked against him being elect-
ed.The 62-year-old former playmaker said yesterday
that "there s a possibility now for change."
FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced his resignation
last week, amid separate investigations by the US and
Swiss authorities into alleged bribery and corruption
involving the 2010, 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
"I would like to confirm this decision about the pos-
sibility of being a candidate in the next FIFA election,"
Zico told a news conference in his native Rio de Janeiro.
"I feel capable of this."
But he added: "Of course, changes in the rules of
the game would be necessary. Mainly because, with
the rules in place now there isn t the slightest possibility
(of being elected)."
FIFA said earlier yesterday its executive committee
would meet next month to choose an election date.
All 209 FIFA member federations will vote for a new
president, with the current favorite being Michel Platini,
the head of Europe s governing body UEFA.
Potential candidates need the support of five national
football associations in order to stand for election.
A hugely gifted midfielder, Zico played in three World
Cups---1978, 1982 and 1986---but never won the trophy.
He played at clubs in Brazil, Italy and Japan before
going on to a coaching career in Turkey, Greece, Russia,
Uzbekistan, the Middle East, India and also Japan s
Platini mum on
PARIS---Michel Platini declined to divulge his inten-
tions for the FIFA presidency.
Speaking publicly for the first time since Sepp Blatter
announced his decision to resign, the UEFA president
shied away from questions yesterday about his plans
for the future.
"I m not making any political decision. I know where
you want to lead me and I won t go there," said Plantini,
who had opened the news conference by saying he
would not talk about FIFA. "When I know something,
I ll tell you."
The 59-year-old Platini, a former France great and
national team coach, is a leading candidate to replace
Blatter as FIFA president. He met with French President
Francois Hollande on Wednesday before attending a
news conference about next year s European Cham-
pionship, which will be played in France.
"This news conference was scheduled way before
recent events involving FIFA. Many of you have come
here to question me about these events, about FIFA
and about my future," Platini said at the start of the
news conference. "I will do that when the time is right.
But this is not the time or the place."
FIFA has been plunged into crisis since US authorities
indicted 14 people on corruption charges ahead of last
month s FIFA congress. Seven of them were arrested
Blatter then won a fifth, four-term as FIFA president
on May 29, but four days later announced his decision
to resign. He said elections for a successor would be
held sometime between December and March.
Platini, a former Blatter confidant turned adversary,
would need help from outside his European power
base to win a FIFA election. But he steered clear of
any campaigning on Wednesday.
"We are here to talk about Euro 2016," said Platini,
who scored nine goals for France when it won the
European title on home soil in 1984. "This is an impor-
tant step toward Euro 2016 and I don t want the events
surrounding FIFA to undermine this." (AP)
star Zico running
for FIFA pres
On another day of turmoil for FIFA
and the World Cup, the bidding contest
for the 2026 tournament was put on
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke
said yesterday it would be "nonsense" to
begin the next bidding process on schedule
this week amid the American investigation
into soccer corruption.
Valcke, speaking at a news conference
in Russia hosted by organisers of the 2018
tournament, also defended his role in a
$10 million bribery scandal linked to the
2010 World Cup.
"I will answer all the questions. I have
nothing to hide," Valcke said.
While Valcke spoke in Samara, his staff
in Zurich gave more evidence to Swiss
authorities for a separate investigation
into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid
contests won by Russia and Qatar, respec-
"FIFA handed over seized IT data," the
Swiss attorney general s office said in a
Two weeks ago it raided FIFA offices
and opened "criminal proceedings against
persons unknown on suspicion of criminal
mismanagement and of money launder-
The storm unleashed by separate US
and Swiss federal investigations has already
further sullied FIFA s image and led to the
announced resignation of its president,
Sepp Blatter. He is not a suspect for Swiss
authorities but is a target of the American
The favourite to succeed Blatter, former
protege turned adversary Michel Platini,
criticized soccer s governing body yesterday
while also welcoming a delay in 2026
"Today there is no leadership at FIFA
so it s normal that it s been suspended,"
the UEFA president and former France
great said at a news conference in Paris
which overlapped with Valcke s in Rus-
sia.The United States is among the expected
contenders in the May 2017 vote.
FIFA also said yesterday its executive
committee will meet to choose an election
date in a special session next month---
possibly July 24 in St Petersburg, where
Swiss and American investigators won t
get the chance to ask questions. The 209
FIFA member federations will vote in
Zurich for a new president four months
after a deadline set for would-be candi-
dates to apply.
Blatter s prolonged departure is "not
doing himself and the whole of football
a favour," said Wolfgang Niersbach of Ger-
many, who is on the executive commit-
tee.FIFA has been in crisis since the US
Department of Justice indicted 14 people
on corruption charges ahead of Blatter s
re-election at the FIFA congress two weeks
ago. Seven of them were arrested in Zurich
and face extradition.
Although Blatter was not named in a
164-page indictment --- which alleged
$150 million in bribes linked mostly to
non-FIFA tournaments in North and South
America---officials familiar with the case
have said he is a target.
Valcke, however, has been scrutinised
for his direct links to payments totaling
$10 million from FIFA accounts which the
US Department of Justice says were bribes
to FIFA executive committee members to
vote for South Africa as 2010 World Cup
In an impassioned voice Wednesday,
Valcke repeated previous FIFA statements
on his behalf: That he merely signed off
on money transfers agreed to by South
African officials from their World Cup
funds, and authorised by the then-chair-
man of the FIFA finance panel, Julio Gron-
dona of Argentina, who died last year.
"I m signing all the contracts of FIFA,"
said Valcke, who began his job several
months before the money transfers in early
2008 to accounts controlled by disgraced
former FIFA vice president Jack Warner
Valcke insisted that the alleged bribe
money did not belong to FIFA and ques-
tioned why he was targeted by interna-
"You have decided that after Blatter,
my head is to be cut. Fine," said the former
television journalist from France. "But
don t say it is because of this $10 mil-
Valcke and Russian sports minister
Vitaly Mutko, who is also a FIFA executive
committee member, repeated that the 2018
hosting victory was won cleanly. (AP)
More turmoil for FIFA,
W Cup bidding contests
BUENOS AIRES---An Argentine busi-
nessman who was indicted by US
authorities in the FIFA corruption case
says he is willing to be extradited to the
US from Italy, where he is being held.
Alejandro Burzaco, who has dual Argen-
tine-Italian nationality, turned himself in
to Italian police Tuesday. Lawyer Mariano
Mendilaharzu told Argentine Radio Mitre
yesterday his client won t fight extradition
that could happen "in about two months."
Burzaco is accused of being involved
in a $110 million bribe and is under house
arrest in the northern Italian city of
He was one of 14 people indicted by
US authorities May 27 on bribery, vote-
rigging and other corruption charges.
Seven of the indicted men were arrested
during dawn raids at a luxury Zurich
Swiss attorney general seizes
evidence from FIFA offices
BERN---The Swiss attorney-general s
office says it has seized more evidence
from FIFA headquarters for its investi-
gation into the 2018 and 2022 World
Cup bidding contests.
The Swiss federal agency says
FIFA handed over seized "IT data" to
The evidence gathering follows two
weeks after FIFA s offices were raided for
Switzerland s Attorney General Michael
Lauber opened criminal proceedings
"against persons unknown" two weeks
ago in a case probing possible criminal
mismanagement and money laundering
in the World Cup bid contests won by
Russia and Qatar.
FIFA filed the criminal complaint last
The Swiss agency says FIFA president
Sepp Blatter and Secretary General Jerome
Valcke are not suspects in the case.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, right, and Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko,
left, walk along an embankment of Volga river in Samara, Russia, Tuesday. Valcke
came to attend a 2018 World Cup board meeting. AP PHOTO
Argentine willing to be extradited to US in FIFA case
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