Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 13th 2015 Contents A59
Friday, November 13, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PARIS---Kickoff can t come soon enough
for those involved in the friendly between
France and Germany in Paris today.
For 90 minutes, at least, the teams will
take centre stage, rather than the embar-
rassing scandals which have engulfed them.
While France striker Karim Benzema fights
to clear his name in a sex tape controversy,
German officials are caught up in corruption
allegations surrounding the 2006 World
Cup in Germany.
This is France s biggest test since losing
1-0 to Germany in the World Cup quar-
terfinals last year. But it comes at an awk-
ward time for France coach Didier
Deschamps, who has more than tactics to
French investigators are trying to find out
if Benzema had a role in an extortion attempt
targeting his national teammate Mathieu
Sports daily L Equipe has splashed the
entire transcript of a phone-tap conversation
between Benzema and a friend which was
recorded as part of the investigation, and
which appears to give credence to the claim
that Benzema was active in the scam.
The case could drag on for months, and
may cost Benzema his place in the France
team---and even a spell in prison if found
guilty---if Deschamps sticks to his word.
When taking charge after the 2012 Euro-
pean Championship, Deschamps emphat-
ically underlined how the behaviour of his
players was fundamental to rebuilding the
national team s poor image following the
2010 World Cup, where players boycotted
training after Nicolas Anelka was sent home
for an expletive-laced rant at coach Raymond
Three players were suspended after that
tournament: Anelka, captain Patrice Evra,
and Franck Ribery. Then, following Euro
2012, midfielder Samir Nasri was given a
three-match ban for insulting a journalist,
while wingers Hatem Ben Arfa and Jeremy Menez
were reprimanded for poor behaviour.
But Benzema s case could overshadow all of them,
and Deschamps---who had no
qualms leaving Nasri out of
his World Cup squad---may
have no choice but to axe his
most gifted player even if he
clears his name.
Meanwhile, there are ten-
sions within German football,
albeit not directly concerning
Joachim Loew s national team.
German federation presi-
dent Wolfgang Niersbach
resigned on Monday over a
suspect payment to FIFA.
The payment in connection with Germany s 2006
World Cup nine years ago has led to a tax evasion
probe against Niersbach, who denies wrongdoing,
and two other former top-ranking federation officials.
Scandals overshadow France-Germany friendly
ZURICH---Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa
was listed as an official FIFA presidential candidate
yesterday, while Musa Bility of Liberia was left out
after failing an integrity check.
FIFA announced the five declared candidates for
the Feb. 26 election, with Michel Platini a potential
sixth man. Platini s candidature was not judged at
this stage by the FIFA election committee pending
his ethics case.
The five candidates are: Sheikh Salman of Bahrain,
Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, Jerome Cham-
pagne of France, Gianni Infantino of Switzerland and
Tokyo Sexwale of South Africa. They are in the run-
ning the replace Sepp Blatter, who announced in
June he would step down as president after FIFA was
plunged into crisis following US and Swiss corruption
Sheikh Salman passed an integrity check by FIFA s
election panel despite protests filed by rights groups
in Bahrain. Activists claimed Sheikh Salman took
part in a process of abusing rights of athlete protesters
during pro-democracy events in 2011.
The integrity check weighed "human rights vio-
lations" among "potential red flags," which also
included fraudulent behavior and match-fixing, FIFA
said in a statement.
Bility, the Liberia soccer federation president, was
excluded "in view of the content of the integrity
check report relating to him," the FIFA statement
"For reasons of protection of personality rights,
the ad-hoc electoral committee---while it has explained
its considerations in detail to Musa Bility---will not
comment publicly on the specifics of its decision,"
the statement said. (AP)
FIFA passes Sheikh Salman
as election candidate
ZURICH---Sepp Blatter s adviser says the suspended
FIFA president has left a Swiss hospital.
The 79-year-old Blatter spent about a week having
his health assessed, about a month after he was sus-
pended for 90 days by the FIFA ethics committee.
Adviser Klaus Stoehlker tells The Associated Press
that Blatter was discharged on Wednesday. He says
Blatter s daughter Corinne has taken him to his home-
town of Visp to relax before he returns to his private
office in Zurich next week.
After speaking to Blatter yesterday, Stoehlker says
"he s very motivated to fight against his suspension."
Blatter is awaiting the full verdict from the FIFA
ethics case into a payment to Michel Platini he author-
ized in 2011. The UEFA president has also been sus-
leaves Swiss hospital
Links Archive November 12th 2015 November 14th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page