Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 17th 2015 Contents BERNE---The corruption scandal
sweeping world soccer engulfed Ger-
many as FIFA said yesterday that it
would investigate "very serious alle-
gations" that voters were bribed to
win the 2006 World Cup bid.
The latest claims of wrongdoing
linked to football s governing body
broke as suspended president Sepp
Blatter went public with his fight to
get his FIFA ethics case thrown out.
Blatter may have deepened the
prospect of a long ban by admitting
there was only a "gentleman s agree-
ment" for the 2011 payment he autho-
rised to UEFA president Michel Platini
and which led to them both being
suspended by FIFA last week after it
emerged through a criminal investi-
FIFA is attempting to contain the
damage to the image of the world s
most popular sport by ramping up the
scale of inquiries into alleged illegality.
After 14 football officials were indicted
in May by US authorities in a football
bribery case, FIFA launched an internal
investigation in an attempt to show
it is committed to eradicating corrup-
The investigation will now include
looking into a report in news magazine
Der Spiegel that Germany s 2006
World Cup bid committee established
a slush fund of 10.3 million Swiss
francs (then about $6 million) to bribe
four of the 24 voters.
Franz Beckenbauer, the former Ger-
many great who headed the bidding
committee, and Wolfgang Niersbach,
the current president of the German
football federation (DFB), as well as
other high-ranking football officials
were aware of the slush fund by 2005
at the latest, the report claimed.
Former Adidas chief Robert Louis-
Dreyfus, who died in 2009, provided
the funding, according to Spiegel, and
asked for the money---by then worth
6.7 million euros---back before the
Spiegel reported that a cover was
created with the help of FIFA and that
6.7 million euros were transferred to
FIFA as a contribution to an opening
ceremony gala that was later canceled.
"These are very serious allegations,"
FIFA said in a statement. "They will
be reviewed as part of the independent
internal investigation currently being
conducted by FIFA under the direction
of its legal director with the assistance
of outside counsel."
No criminal authority has said it is
investigating the latest allegations but
FIFA s statement stressed that it "con-
tinues to cooperate with the investi-
gations of the US Department of Jus-
tice and the Office of the Swiss
The German football federation
insisted the report was "completely
baseless" and said neither Niersbach
nor the other members of the organ-
ising committee "were involved or
could have known about such oper-
The money was reportedly used to
secure the backing of four Asian rep-
resentatives in a vote already notorious
due to a New Zealander abstaining.
Germany defeated South Africa 12-11.
Charlie Dempsey, then the Oceania
president, abstained despite being
mandated to support the Nelson Man-
dela-backed South Africa bid in the
final round. Dempsey said he received
telephone threats from "influential
European interests" the night before
voting. He resigned from FIFA one
week later and died in 2008.
It is far from the first FIFA vote to
be suspected of foul play.
Former FIFA executive committee
member Chuck Blazer admitted to US
authorities he was involved in the
facilitation of bribes in connection
with the selection of the 1998 and
And FIFA is still imposing sanctions
as part of its investigation into the
dual votes for the 2018 and 2022 World
Cups in 2010.
Russia, the 2018 host, and 2022
winner Qatar both deny wrongdoing.
Blatter has previously hinted at
wrongdoing in the 2006 World Cup
vote, but FIFA s leader of 17 years has
ethics problems of his own now.
The 79-year-old Swiss is a week
into a 90-day suspension as the FIFA
ethics committee investigates a pay-
ment to Platini of 2 million Swiss
francs (about $2 million) he authorised
in 2011. The lack of a written contract
is at the heart of the case and Blatter
confirmed that it did not exist.
Despite accused officials risking
further sanctions if they discuss ethics
cases in public, Blatter spoke out to
deny illegality in his first television
interview since being placed under
criminal investigation last month.
Platini has said the money was
unpaid additional salary from his job
as Blatter s adviser between 1998 and
2002 which FIFA could not afford to
pay at the time.
"That was a contract I had with
Platini, a gentleman s agreement and
that went through," Blatter said.
Blatter hopes to be cleared in time
to preside over the emergency FIFA
Congress on February 26 when his
successor will be chosen.
The case might have fatally damaged
Platini s bid to succeed Blatter, who
announced he was quitting just four
days after being voted in for a fifth
term in May as the investigations into
soccer officials escalated.
Platini lost England s support for
his FIFA presidential bid yesterday,
signaling the first crack in the Euro-
pean unity behind the Frenchman that
UEFA had sought to portray after the
previous day s meeting of member
The English Football Association
was unconvinced by the explanation
they heard from Platini s lawyer for
the payment and suspended its back-
ing until his legal "position is clear."
That process could continue beyond
the election and the FA is preparing
the ground to back a new candidate.
Jordanian federation head Prince
Ali bin al-Hussein, who most Euro-
pean nations backed in the May elec-
tion, is running again.
But Asian Football Confederation
president Sheikh Salman Bin Ebrahim
Al Khalif, who endorsed Platini s cam-
paign in July, is now also considering
submitting his candidacy before the
October 26 deadline. (AP)
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BRAVO scored a half-
century (50) on the
third day in the open-
ing Test against Sri
Lanka at the Galle
need this type of
order to grow the
women s game in
T&T women s foot-
ball coach RANDY
WALDRUM on the
local team facing
world champions US
in an international
Ext: 2069, 2071,
Barcelona and Real Madrid will start
their Copa del Rey campaigns
against third-tier clubs.
Barcelona will travel to western
Spain to play the first leg against
Villanovense on October 28 to make
room in the calendar to play at the
Club World Cup.
Madrid, which will face Cadiz, and
the rest of the teams will play their
first legs during the first week of
Atletico Madrid, Valencia and
Sevilla were also paired with third-
This round is the first to include
the 20 first-division teams. It will
include four direct matchups
between topflight clubs: Real Betis
vs Sporting Gijon; Levante vs
Espanyol; Las Palmas vs Real
Sociedad; and Rayo Vallecano vs
Barcelona, Madrid start Copa del Rey against 3rd-tier teams
Probe into new World Cup
vote bribery allegations
In this March 6, 2006 file photo German football legend and head of the
organizing committee for the 2006 football World Cup in Germany, Franz
Beckenbauer, right, talks to Wolfgang Niersbach during a workshop in the build
up for the World Cup in Düsseldorf, western Germany. AP PHOTO
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