bonita mersiades

Im Jahr der Sport-Schurkenstaaten: Was würde Jennings tun? Was ist Journalismus, was Propaganda?

Im Jahr der olympischen Schurkenstaaten, mit Mega-Events in China und Katar, bei denen das IOC und die FIFA ekelhafte Allianzen mit Diktatoren eingehen, ist der einflussreichste investigative olympische Journalist aller Zeiten gestorben: Was würde Andrew Jennings tun im Jahr 2022? Was ist Journalismus und was Propaganda? Mein Editorial aus SPORT & POLITICS, Heft 3, der Andrew Jennings Edition. Die englische Variante, in diesem Fall das Original, gibt es an dieser Stelle.

Diese Episode würde AJ gefallen, da bin ich mir sicher. Er will, dass wir lachen. Also: Andrews Alter Ego Juan Antonio Samaranch Sr. hat akribisch Buch über seine Amtsgeschäfte als Präsident des Internationalen Olympischen Komitees führen lassen. 1997 hat das IOC dazu sogar ein Statistikbuch des schwedischen Sporthistorikers und Samaranch-Fans Wolf Lyberg veröffentlicht: The seventh President of the IOC – facts and figures. Es ist eines meiner Lieblingsbücher. Darin wurde so ziemlich alles aufgeführt, was die Menschheit dringend über das Tagesgeschäft und die ersten 17 Amtsjahre Samaranchs wissen wollte: 

An wie vielen Tagen Samaranch geflogen ist (2.116), die Anzahl seiner Reisetage (3.520), seiner Flugstunden (4.805), der verteilten Olympischen Orden (679), der zurückgelegten Kilometer (3.480.280), die Zahl der besuchten NOK (193) und der Staatsoberhäupter, Könige, Königinnen, Fürsten, Emire, Sultane und Premiers, denen er die Hand geschüttelt hat (179). Manche darunter, so hielt Lyberg offensichtlich begeistert fest, hatte Samaranch „vier oder gar sechs Mal besucht“!

Wow.

Warum ich daran erinnere?

Ich habe flink noch die Fotos von Samaranch gezählt, die in dem IOC-Büchlein gedruckt wurden: 92. Natürlich hat das IOC keine Fotos veröffentlicht, die Samaranch Sr. mit seinem verehrten Caudillo und mit ausgestrecktem rechten Arm zeigen.

In diesem Magazin zu Ehren von Andrew Jennings gibt es aktuell – im Moment, da ich diese Zeilen schreibe – mein Editorial muss noch bebildert werden, 29 Fotos von Andrew. Es werden vielleicht einige hinzu kommen.

92-29 also für Samaranch gegen Jennings. Ein souveräner Sieg.

Dafür finden sie in diesem Heft aber, das hätte Andrew gewollt, vier Fotos, die den Franquisten Samaranch so zeigen, wie das IOC ihn nie gezeigt hat. Und das gehört sich auch so.

Wie gesagt, Andrew würde diese Statistik gefallen. Sie, liebe Leser, werden sich aber vielleicht fragen: Verdammt, warum beginnt dieser Weinreich seinen Text mit so einer blöden Statistik über Bilder?

Ich kann Ihnen darauf eine Antwort anbieten: Weil Andrew Jennings nicht nur ein Mann der Dokumente war, wie von vielen Autoren dieses Magazins zuallererst und zurecht beschrieben – Andrew war auch ein Mann der Bilder.

Neben dem Leitspruch get the documents!, von vielen Autoren oft beschrieben in diesem Heft, habe ich etwas anderes von Andrew gelernt, was ihm extrem wichtig war: we need colorful notes!

Ohne Dokumente hätte Andrew nie eine so fulminante Wirkung erreicht und mehrere Generationen von Journalisten prägen können. Ohne seine colorful notes aber auch nicht. Er hätte seine Leser, Zuhörer und Zuschauer sonst nie so mitreißen können. Dieser Aspekt wird oft vernachlässigt.

Let‘s get on with it!

The most important investigative Olympic journalist has died in the year of the sporting rogue states, with mega events in China and Qatar. We honour the legacy of Andrew Jennings by not letting 2022 go unchallenged.

My editorial in the Andrew Jennings Edition of SPORT & POLITICS magazine.

Andrew would like this, I’m sure. He wants us to laugh. So: Andrew’s alter ego Juan Antonio Samaranch Sr. has had meticulous accounts kept of his official activities as President of the International Olympic Committee. In 1997, the IOC even published a statistics book on this by the Swedish sports historian and Samaranch fan Wolf Lyberg: The seventh President of the IOC – facts and figures. It is one of my favourite books. It listed pretty much everything that mankind desperately wanted to know about the day-to-day business of Samaranch’s first 17 years in office:

How many days Samaranch flew (2,116), the number of days he travelled (3,520), the number of hours he flew (4,805), the number of Olympic medals distributed (679), the number of kilometres travelled (3,480,280), the number of NOCs visited (193) and the heads of state, kings, queens, princes, emirs, sultans and premiers he shook hands with (179). Some of them, Lyberg obviously noted enthusiastically, Samaranch had visited “four or even six times”!

Wow.

Why am I reminding you of this?

I nimbly counted the photos of Samaranch printed in the IOC booklet: 92. Of course, the IOC did not publish any photos showing Samaranch Sr. with his revered Caudillo and with his right arm outstretched.

In this magazine in honour of Andrew Jennings, there are currently – at the time I am writing these lines – my editorial has yet to be illustrated, 29 photos of Andrew. There may be a few more to come.

92-29, then, for Samaranch against Jennings. A commanding victory.

But instead, as Andrew would have wanted, you will find four photos in this issue that show the Franquist Samaranch as the IOC has never shown him. And that is how it should be.

As I said, Andrew would like this statistic. But you, dear reader, might ask yourself: Damn, why does this Weinreich start his text with such a stupid statistic about pictures?

I can offer you an answer to that: Because Andrew Jennings was not only a man of documents, as described first and foremost and rightly by many authors of this magazine – Andrew was also a man of images.

Besides the motto get the documents!, I learned something else from Andrew that was extremely important to him: we need colourful notes! (That is the wording as I have memorised it).

Without documents, Andrew would never have been able to achieve such a brilliant impact and shape generations of journalists. But neither would he have done so without his colourful notes. Otherwise, he would never have been able to captivate his readers, listeners and viewers. 

Football Queensland: The nightmare before Christmas

Extensive whistleblower testimony provided to SPORT & POLITICS shows Football Queensland (FQ) to be riven by allegations of sexual misconduct, racism, bullying and sexism.

It is alleged that its President Ben Richardson – who we revealed in August to have lied extensively on his CV ahead of the federation’s election – rose to office off the back of a mishandled sexual misconduct case.

Further allegations include:

  • misuse of funds
  • culture of paranoia and fear
  • racism
  • sexism
  • faulty HR and recruitment processes

They further bring into question why Football Federation Australia (FFA) has not intervened in the ongoing saga of a state federation that seems to be out of control.

Instead, we understand that the FFA CEO, James Johnson, has partnered with Football Queensland in a pilot project on governance.

Christmas hijinks

When Football Queensland’s staff and directors gather at the Wilston home of its CEO Robert Cavallucci this Friday (11 December) for the organisation’s Christmas party, the bosses of the troubled state federation will be hoping that the event passes more peaceably than the Christmas Party it staged two years ago.

Hosted at the Pineapple Hotel near the Gabba, Football Queensland’s 2018 Christmas party was a boozy, raucous and fun affair. The state federation had flown down members from its zones for a day of meetings, which were to be concluded with a night of partying. The Pineapple has been serving food and booze to Brisbanites for 150 years and offers ‘signature steaks, pub classics, woodfired pizzas and bar snacks’ to its patrons. Its bar, it boasts, ‘projects gentlemanly character mixed with a good dash of larrikin.’ Although it was still only November, everyone was enjoying themselves.

But at the president’s table, the conversation took on a more sordid complexion. A female member of staff had attracted the attention of Glenn Smith, then president, who was deep in conversation with another board member, Tony Davis.

‘He made a lewd and disgusting comment about the size of her breasts,’ said a FQ staffer.

The staff member who was subject of this unwanted attention wasn’t present at the table, but two other colleagues were. Appalled by the conduct of the organisation’s president they reported the comments to Football Queensland’s then CEO Richard Griffiths.

The case of Ben Richardson and the accomplices in the Football Federation Australia, in media and even Sport Integrity Australia

Support Bonita Mersiades!

Serious and unanswered questions remain about how the spurious and illegitimate defamation case against activist, writer and whistleblower, Bonita Mersiades, is being funded, despite questions being raised at the highest levels of the sport in Australia.

Football Queensland (FQ) bosses Ben Richardson and Robert Cavallucci are seeking to destroy Mersiades by claiming $800,000 in damages (plus interest) with a bogus lawsuit, alleging defamation for a story that is nothing more than a factually correct report. You can read about the case here:

  1. How an out of touch federation is trying to destroy Australian sporting hero and whistleblower, Bonita Mersiades
  2. The curious case of Benjamin Richardson
  3. The Ben Richardson Case: Queensland Spin Cycle
  4. The Ben Richardson Case. Mysterious Hack Attacks from Queensland.
  5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Richardson: The recruitment consultant and the dodgy CV

There are many questions about the error strewn legal documents submitted to the Queensland Court by the pair’s lawyer Ashley Tiplady (Mills Oakley) who even managed in one filing to get the name of the website in which this so-called defamation took place wrong, but one fundamental question will not go away:

Who is funding this ridiculous case?

The Curious Case of Benjamin Richardson: The recruitment consultant and the dodgy CV

CV Ben Richardson, July 2020

Football Queensland president Benjamin Richardson has left behind a string of failed businesses, owing the Australian revenue at least $150,000 of unpaid taxes, while a bankrupt company under his control has drawn the condemnation of a liquidator for breaches of corporate law.

Richardson also misled voters when successfully standing for re-election as FQ President last month by circulating a curriculum vitae full of distortions and half-truths

The scandal raises serious questions of FQ’s and FFA’s due diligence processes and is out-of-step with FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport guidelines on integrity checks for senior level office-holders.

Richardson, along with FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci, is engaged in a spurious defamation case against Australian football activist, publisher and whistleblower Bonita Mersiades.

Richardson and Cavallucci are seeking $800,000 plus interest. They want to destroy Mersiades.

Putting this absurd, formidable demand against the backdrop of Richardson’s strange business practices, there may be some important answers.

We have written about the case here:

The Ben Richardson Case. Mysterious Hack Attacks from Queensland.

Over the past week a number of individuals connected with Bonita Mersiades’s fight for justice against a spurious defamation action that is intended to destroy her (remember, the plaintiffs Benjamin Richardson and Robert Cavallucci are seeking $800,000 PLUS interest) have encountered the sharp end of these twenty-first century crimes.

Hacking. Fake email accounts. Denial-of-service attacks.

Cybercrime.

We published our first investigation on the Ben Richardson case last Friday. It has caused a stir in Australia, far beyond the football community.

Only a few hours later, last weekend, and again on the early hours of Wednesday, right after the publication of our third article, this website encountered at least two separate denial of service attempts and was for a short period not accessible.

Investigators have told us these crude attacks were linked to a single computer in Queensland, Australia.

Mysterious.

The Ben Richardson Case: Queensland Spin Cycle

This is part 3 of our series on alarming problems of Good Governance in Australian football federations, on the suppression of free journalism, threats to whistleblowers and, in particular, on the curious case of Benjamin Richardson, president of Football Queensland (FQ).

According to whistleblower testimony Football Queensland hired an expensive crisis management consultancy following publication of articles in the Brisbane Courier-Mail (‘Let’s tackle junior sport’s absurd fees’/paywall) and Football Today (‘Cost of paying increases in Queensland’) about its chairman Ben Richardson paying himself $44,000.

The regional football association may have paid as much as $15,000 for these ‘crisis management’ services to Rowland, which was once Australia’s largest independent PR agency and is now a part of the Fleishmanhillard network. FQ is currently engaged in an expensive and spurious defamation case against Australian whistleblower and writer, Bonita Mersiades over one of the articles.

Benjamin Richardson and Robert Cavallucci, CEO of Football Queensland, instigated by their lawyer Ashley Tiplady (Mills Oakley), want to destroy Mersiades for her factually correct report. They are chasing a grand total of $800,000 reparations from Mersiades –  plus interest – in the Queensland courts.

Not only do they use football’s money for their dubious legal attempt to destroy Mersiades; they waste even more of FQ’s money – which belongs to mums and dads and their kids who pay their fees in good faith – for the services of an expensive PR and crisis management company.

We have written about this dubious case here, and we provided the most important documents that will, perhaps, lead to investigations of relevant authorities.

The curious case of Benjamin Richardson

Football Queensland, 2017 Annual Report, page 7

We need to talk about Benjamin Richardson, the president of Football Queensland (FQ), who is seeking to destroy whistleblower and author Bonita Mersiades via a spurious defamation case.

Richardson and Robert Cavallucci, CEO of Football Queensland, complain of an alleged defamation that is in fact nothing more than a factually correct report by Bonita Mersiades.

Together with their lawyer Ashley Tiplady (Mills Oakley), who claims to have reported us to Queensland police for daring to ask questions (although we still await a crime reference number, despite our repeated requests for one, so that we may perform our civic duty and share information with them), the gentlemen are chasing a grand total of $800,000 reparations from Mersiades –  plus interest – in the Queensland courts.

We explained the case last Friday (‚How an out of touch federation is trying to destroy Australian sporting hero and whistleblower, Bonita Mersiades‘), on the basis of documents, not on the basis of absurd medieval defamation documents, through which the lawyer Tiplady –  whose business we will also take a closer look at – has let down his clients with poorly worded legal briefs.

Richardson and Cavallucci will fail. Tiplady too.

How an out of touch federation is trying to destroy Australian sporting hero and whistleblower, Bonita Mersiades

Whistleblowers assume a special place in sporting culture. ‚These,‘ said Jens Sejer Anderson of Denmark’s Play The Game Institute in a 2017 speech, ‚are the unsung heroes who have shown the rest of us the true picture of the challenges around us. Without them, we would not know the reality on the ground and we would be fumbling in the dark.‘

Photo: Play the Game/Thomas Søndergaard

In our careers in journalism, Bonita Mersiades has been foremost among these brave voices. Sacked a decade ago from Australia’s 2022 World Cup for being ‚too honest‘, she cast a light on one of the most rotten sporting contests in history and her brave stance directly contributed to the US Department of Justice taking long-awaited action against FIFA. Her reputation as a whistleblower, author and activist globally is peerless. Her reputation amongst leading investigative journalists, criminal investigators, law enforcement agencies and academics working on sport corruption all over the world cannot be better.

Nevertheless, Bonita’s contribution to football has always transcended this narrow description as a whistleblower. First she was an activist in an early-century Australian game still struggling to broaden itself away from the national and ethnic rivalries of the immigrants who built the game to the ‚lucky country‘. Next she was a brilliant and formidable executive at FFA as the country staked its place in Asian football. Since the disastrous World Cup bid she has been the author of a formidable expose on FIFA’s rottenness, publisher of a small press, and editor of an excellent news website.

Her book ‚Whatever It Takes – the Inside Story of the FIFA Way‘ is brilliant, far beyond the Australian World Cup bid, peppered with numerous exclusive details – an absolute must-read. And, she donated all proceeds of the book to the Pararoos in their fundraising campaign to participate in international competition.

This is Bonita Mersiades.

SPORT & POLITICS, Heft 2: die 777-Millionen-Liste des IOC

Wenn Sie schon immer mal wissen wollten, was das IOC olympischen Organisationskomitees tatsächlich überweist, dann sind Sie hier richtig. Diese Frage wird in Heft 2 des olympischen Bildungsmagazins Sport & Politics exakt beantwortet:

776.743.193,61 US-Dollar.

Warum sagt aber das IOC, es habe die Rio-Spiele mit 1,531 Milliarden Dollar bezuschusst?

Tja. Um diese und andere Fragen geht es im neuen Magazin.

Gern können Sie die Liste des IOC von 117 Zahlungen über insgesamt 777 Millionen Dollar studieren. Natürlich mit Daten, Kontonummern, Zahlungsgründen und allem drum und dran. Ein derartiges Dokument aus dem IOC-Hauptquartier – amtlich beglaubigt mit den Unterschriften der Ethik-Sekretärin und des Generaldirektors – wurde weltweit nie zuvor veröffentlicht.

A decade that opened windows of democracy in sport

Zum neuen Jahr, zum neuen Jahrzehnt: Ein Kommentar meines Freundes Jens Sejer Andersen, Gründer und Direktor Internationales der Organisation und Konferenz Play the Game.

It was not primarily the athletes that drove the radical change of the sports agenda in the decade we leave. But there are signs that athletes will be at the heart of the agenda of the 2020’ies, writes Play the Game’s international director in a wind-up of ten turbulent years in world sport.

Was vom Tage übrig bleibt (85): Teixeira, Rowdypublizist Köppel, IOC, Olympia 2022, FIFA-Pressekonferenz, SRF „Der Club“

Fundstücke, Kurzkritiken, Lobeshymnen, Verrisse und Lesebefehle – aktuelle Notizen vom Tage. Freue mich über jede Ergänzung und Mitwirkung.

Moin moin. Bin gleich wieder auf dem Weg in meine zweite Heimat, nach Zürich. Heute Abend (22.25 Uhr) Diskussion in „Der Club“ auf SRF 1 mit Roland Büchel (Nationalrat SVP), Walter de Gregorio, Guido Tognoni, Daniel Jositsch (Nationalrat SP) und Gastgeberin Karin Frei:

Einige Hinweise:

1) Das kam wegen der FIFA hier zu kurz: Am Sonntag hat IOC-Präsident Thomas Bach die Besetzungen der IOC-Kommissionen veröffentlicht. Wurde alles etwas umgemodelt, werde darauf bald eingehen, bin ab Sonntag beim IOC in Lausanne, da ist Zeit dafür – und auch für die Olympiabewerbung 2022.

Ich habe im vergangenen Jahr während der Sotschi-Spiele mal ein Olympic Poem verfasst, das ich „Olympiagold für ARD-Reporter im Schleimspursurfen“ nannte. Nun, dieser Reporter sitzt jetzt auch in einer der IOC-Kommissionen.

2) Gestern veröffentlicht: Der Evaluierungsbericht zur Mini-Bewerbung um die Winterspiele 2022 mit Almaty und Peking. Dazu kommende Woche mehr live vom IOC-Seminar aus Lausanne.