Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 29th 2015 Contents ZURICH---Sepp Blatter told his staff he has done
"nothing illegal or improper" and has no immediate
plans to step down, the FIFA president s legal team
Blatter was back at Fifa headquarters three days
after being interrogated by Swiss investigators at the
scandal-battered governing body s headquarters.
Blatter is expected to hand over power in February
when an emergency election is held, triggered by the
president s resignation statement four days after being
re-elected for a fifth, four-year term in May.
But the 79-year-old Blatter does not appear to be
planning any sudden exit despite being the subject of
a criminal investigation over his management of world
"President Blatter spoke to Fifa staff today and
informed the staff that he was cooperating with the
authorities, reiterated that he had done nothing illegal
or improper and stated that he would remain as pres-
ident of Fifa," Blatter s attorney, Richard Cullen, said
in a statement.
Blatter was questioned by Swiss investigators on
Friday about why Fifa paid 2 million Swiss francs
(about $2 million) to UEFA President Michel Platini
in 2011 for work supposedly carried out at least nine
years earlier. Blatter denied wrongdoing and Platini,
who is also a Fifa vice president, was only questioned
as a witness.
"President Blatter on Friday shared with the Swiss
authorities the fact that Mr Platini had a valuable
employment relationship with Fifa serving as an adviser
to the president beginning in 1998," Cullen said. "He
explained to the prosecutors that the payments were
valid compensation and nothing more and were properly
accounted for within FIFA including the withholding
of Social Security contributions."
Platini wrote to UEFA members reiterating Friday s
denial of wronging while still not addressing why there
was a nine-year gap between carrying out his work
and receiving the payment. Platini became a Fifa adviser
after running the 1998 World Cup in France until 2002
when he joined Fifa s executive committee.
"It was a full-time job and my functions were known
by all," Platini said in the letter. "The remuneration
was agreed at the time and after the initial payments
were made, the final outstanding amount of 2 million
Swiss Francs was paid in February of 2011.
"The income has all been fully declared by me to
the authorities, in accordance with Swiss law."
The Scottish Football Association wants answers
about why it Platini was paid so long after the work
was carried out.
"It is an essential piece of information that still
needs to be provided," SFA chief executive Stewart
Regan responded to the letter on Twitter.
Scotland was one of the first UEFA members in July
to publicly endorse Platini s bid for the Fifa presidency.
Oct. 26 is the deadline for candidates, who must pass
Platini s letter did not reference his election campaign,
but he wrote: "I am aware these events may harm my
image and my reputation and by consequence the
image of UEFA."
Also, Blatter s statement did not reference allegations
by Swiss prosecutors that the president undervalued
the awarding of World Cup rights to former vice pres-
ident Jack Warner. (AP)
Two-time reigning winners of the First
Citizens Cup, Central FC will kick off its
bid for a third straight lien on the title
when the team comes up against Japs
North East Stars in the feature match of
a qualifying round double-header at the
Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo from
8 pm tomorrow.
Two hours earlier, Play Whe San Juan
Jabloteh and Defence Force, both two-time
tournament winners will meet in the first
qualifying round match, with the winners
advancing to the quarterfinal round carded
for Friday October 16.
The qualifying match-ups as well as the
tournament draw was disclosed by T&T
Pro League Chief Executive Officer, Dexter
Skeene at its launch held at the Hasely
Crawford Stadium, VIP Lounge, Mucurapo,
In explaining the format of this year s
competition, the first knockout tournament
for the 2015/2016 Pro League season and
in its 15th season of First Citizens sponsor-
ship Skeene said because of the league being
only one round old, a random draw was
done to determined the match-ups, instead
of seeding teams based on their positions
on the league table.
And boosted by its 3-0 defeat of Pt Fortin
Civic to kick off its Pro League title defence
on Saturday night, Central FC, under the
guidance of coach Ross Russell, a winner
with Defence Force back in 2009 will go
into its meeting with Stars, 2-0 winners
over Club Sando on Saturday, brimming
When both teams faced off in the final
at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo
last year, the "Couva Sharks" then with
Zoran Vranes at the helm won 1-0 thanks
to a Leston Paul strike.
The victory added to Central FC s 2-1
triumph in the 2013 final over Defence Force,
which was coached by Russell back then.
It was the third finals loss in five years
for Russell and Defence Force as they were
also beaten by the now defunct Joe Public
on penalties in 2010 after a 1-1 draw.
Speaking at yesterday s launch, Russell
was quick to note that despite the change
in clubs his objective will always remain
the same which is to win.
He said, "I know the two previous coaches
won the title for Central FC, and I am also
a winner of this same tournament with
men previous team, so anywhere I am as
coach my ambition will be the same."
A former national goalkeeper, Russell
added, "Stars will have to be worried because
Central FC is looking to keep hold of its
With regards to the tournament s change
in format, Russell said, "It will be little dif-
ficult having to start off with the qualifiers,
but we accept it and will be looking forward
to the challenge."
The winner of the Central FC and Stars
encounter will come up against Police FC
in the quarterfinals while the Jabloteh and
Defence Force victors gets 2011 and 2012
winner Morvant Caledonia in the last-eight.
In the two quarterfinal duels set, St Ann s
Rangers comes up against league newcomer
Club Sando while six-time winners W Con-
nection faces Pt Fortin Civic.
Compared to last year s winners cheque
of $100,000 this season s First Citizens Cup
champions will walk away with $110,000
while the runner-up gets $20,000.
There will also be special prizes of $1000
each to the tournament s "Top Goalscorer"
and "Most Valuable Player" while prizes of
two Flat Screen televisions will be on offer
as "Door Prizes"
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Central FC starts
First Citizens in qualifier
.....tackle Stars in finals repeat
More League $$$$$...First Citizens Deputy Chief Executive Officer Business Generation, Jason Julien presents T&T Pro League Chief
Executive Officer, Dexter Skeene with a cheque for $230,000 for the staging of the 2015/2016 First Citizens Cup at the launch which was
held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, VIP Lounge, Mucurapo, yesterday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Venue: Hasely Crawford Stadium,
San Juan Jaboteh vs Defence Force,
North East Stars vs Central FC, 8 pm
Quarterfinals: October 16
St Ann's Rangers vs Club Sando---(A)
W Connection vs Pt Fortin Civic - (B)
Police vs North East Stars/Central FC
Morvant Caledonia vs San Juan
Jabloteh/Defence Force winner (D)
Final: October 30
2015/2016 FIRST CITIZENS
Sepp Blatter tells
Fifa staff he has
done nothing illegal
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