english posts

Romário warns of Hickey ‚influence peddling‘ in Rio

Football legend Romário, the great striker turned politician, sickened by Olympic ticket scandals, has launched a blistering campaign to force the International Olympic Committee to share control of the sale of tickets for the 2016 Rio Games.

The socialist Congressman last week fired off formal requests for Olympic officials to testify to a Brazilian congressional committee. Romário’s first target is veteran IOC member Patrick Hickey, a member of the IOC’s Rio Co-ordinating commission who will be intimately involved in supervising ticketing plans.

Hickey, president of the Olympic Committee of Ireland, is in the unenviable position of having to explain how his son Stephen came to be on the payroll of the company that acquired a significant slice of Ireland’s allocation of tickets for the London Olympics. There are also questions still to be answered about Hickey’s knowledge of the bribes paid to win the 2002 Olympics for Salt Lake City.

Did Pat Hickey keep olympic bribes secret?

The British Government’s denial of a visa for the president of the Belarus national Olympic committee – who also happens to be the president of Belarus – was a blow to Irish IOC member Pat Hickey, always happy to overlook his pal’s favourite sports of murder, torture, corruption and vote-rigging in his day job as the dictator of Minsk.

The love affair between Alexander Lukashenko and Hickey blossomed four years ago when the Dublin property dealer, who presides over Europe’s Olympic Committees, arbitrarily presented the thug with a special award for his „Outstanding Contribution to the Olympic Movement.“

What could this be? Lukashenko’s locking up brave young human rights protestors? The disqualification of two Belarusian athletes at the Beijing games after testing positive for more testosterone than a billy goat on Viagra? Lukashenko has kept them on the sauce with the London 2012 women’s shotput winner soon stripped of her gold medal.

„Blatter knew about Havelange bribes 15 years ago!“

von Andrew Jennings und Jens Weinreich

Ich erinnere mich noch gut an diesen Januartag des Jahres 2004 in Tunis. Ich drehte für das schwedische und dänische Fernsehen eine Dokumentation über Joseph Blatter („The Untouchable“), Andrew Jennings war zum Kongress des afrikanischen Fußballverbandes CAF vor Ort (für FIFA-Events war er damals schon zur persona non grata erklärt worden).

Andrew hatte einige Tage zuvor in der Daily Mail(!) seine Geschichte aus dem Jahr 2002 über Havelange und das ISL-Schmiergeld konkretisiert, das irrtümlich auf einem FIFA-Konto landete und deshalb aus der FIFA-Zentrale weitergeleitet wurde.

Wir wollten nun gemeinsam Blatter damit konfrontieren. Hatten aber nur eine Kamera. Ich brauchte die Bilder für mein Filmchen. Andrew ahnte schon, dass er das irgendwann mal für BBC-Panorama benötigen würde.

Gemeinsam mit meinen Kollegen Søren Steen Jespersen und Kameramann Kim Frandsen haben wir also geprobt, mit einer Kamera alles einzufangen: Andrews Frage, Blatters Reaktionen. Alles lief nach Drehbuch.

Jérôme Champagne: „Which FIFA for the twenty-first century?“

Ok, some observers are thinking this man is a potential FIFA president. Some may think, the following words can be read as a presidential manifesto.

The name of the author?

Jérôme Champagne.

Once upon a time, in FIFA uniform: Robben Island, December 2009

I have always seen him as one of the top five competent officials in the whole Olympic World. But, he has two major problems: Champagne is not a member of FIFA’s gerontocracy. And he is too good. He became too influential and dangerous for all powerholders in FIFA: the President, the General Secretary, some Executives. That’s why he was fired two years ago.

After almost two years of silence (but years of influential work on different fields) he strikes back.

Read his programme, which he has sent out last weekend to all 208 National Federations. It may differ from another, a journalistic manifesto :) – The Real Road Map: investigate corruption in FIFA, what should be happening? – but it comes from inside. And it is, in general, astonishing.

Here it is, in length.

By Jérôme Champagne


Two years ago, exactly today, I had to leave FIFA having served there during eleven years with passion, dedication, for the football associations composing it and for football which is FIFA’s raison d’être.

The circumstances of my departure (see here attached FIFA press release dated 15th January 2010) have no other value than anecdotal and now form part of my past.

In these past two years and in spite of many requests, I remained silent and have not expressed myself on FIFA, its current affairs and its situation. I limited my public comments to my football consulting activities and to what I have been privileged to implement for Palestinian football alongside local FA President, Mr. Jibril Rajoub. In 2010, I spoke on several opportunities on the meaning for Africa and the rest of the world of the first FIFA World Cup organized in Black Africa, a project I have always considered as central towards the vision of a fairer and less racist world. Similarly, I defended in some French media the reform on bi-national players and the purpose of the changes in 2003 and 2009 of the FIFA regulations on that particular topic of bi-national players unfairly blocked in their international career.

But on more general topics such as FIFA’s, I always refused since I wanted to give me the time to absorb what happened in my 11 years of intense daily involvement in world football, to give me the time and the distance from the daily activities and controversies of the game in order to reflect on the future.

For the past months, FIFA engaged itself in a reorganizing effort made necessary by the troubled times that it is facing.

In this context blossomed in my mind the idea of contributing to this debate. I do it with humility and modesty without any other ambition than to stimulate it, but with the experience of my FIFA years and of all the projects I was so proud to contribute to. I do it affirming that no one has THE truth.

However, I do it with resolve because I love the game of football too much to remain indifferent to its fate. Because I do believe that today FIFA is needed to protect and develop this sport. And because I feel more than ever that football should play its transformative role to serve a fractured, unequal and globalized world with the vision of true world governance.

Moreover, the world is my passion, having lived on four of its continents, visited more than 140 countries and merged fourteen years of diplomatic career with my years spent in football (seven in the magazine France Football, one in the Local Organizing Committee of the World Cup France 98 and eleven in FIFA).

This contribution is structured around the triptych symptoms, diagnostic, solutions. In my opinion, one should start from the analysis of the problems faced by football today in order to be able to define its central issues and only then propose possible cures.

Rather than a top-down approach, it is necessary to start from football and to be aware of these central issues to define what needs to be achieved and to determine what FIFA could become in the twenty-first century. FIFA being at the service of football, the analysis of football and of its challenges will define what FIFA should be and will be. And not the other around!


The real road map: investigate corruption in FIFA, what should be happening?

Statement from  Andrew Jennings,  Jean François Tanda and Jens Weinreich

Friday January 6, 2012

As journalists we have investigated FIFA corruption for many years. We are recognized internationally as experts on the dark world of Joseph Blatter and his associates, inside and outside FIFA.

We have been invited to co-operate with Joseph Blatter’s so-called ‘reform process’ at FIFA.

It is absurd that Blatter, who has benefited from the explosion of corruption during his tenure as FIFA General Secretary and President and who managed the kickback scandals for at least two decades, is controlling this ‘clean-up’ scheme. It is created by Blatter to protect him and those close to him. His pretence of a ‘road map to reform’ is risible.

Also, we are concerned that Professor Mark Pieth, through an employee, threatened legal action against one of our colleagues investigating how much Pieth was paid by FIFA and how much he will get from FIFA in future for the work in the so called Independent Governance Committee (IGC), although Professor Pieth eventually confirmed the figures.

In these circumstances – and for the reasons given below – we are unable to co-operate with FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee.

FIFA’s „Independent Governance Committee“ is far from independent

by Roger Pielke Jr. and Jens Weinreich

TOKYO. The so called Independent Governance Committee (IGC), appointed by FIFA and Committee chair Mark Pieth (Basel Institute of Governance) seems to be a big disappointment.

Key question is:

  • Is this committee really independent?

There are way too many reasons to doubt.

Roger Pielke Jr. has offered a first review on his blog The Least Thing.

I am happy to crosspost this analysis. In general I agree with Roger’s comments:

  • 2 from 12 IGC members are independent
  • 4 from 12 IGC members are independent pending full disclosure of financial ties to FIFA
  • 6 from 12 IGC members are not independent (including its chair Mark Pieth)

Before offering Roger’s article I copy-paste all information which have been officially published about composition of IGC so far.

It is not much.

Since we are talking about Good Governance and Transparency and since FIFA’s propaganda is going around the world without proof (see newest Makudi example) I would expect much more and really transparent information.

I don’t know yet if Mark Pieth is really aware of this (his) obligation.

„Will Sepp Blatter flee with FIFA’s billions?“

Vetternwirtschaft unter Journalisten: also mal wieder ein Crosspost meines Freundes Andrew Jennings. Er schreibt über die Einzelunterschrifts-Berechtigung des FIFA-Patrons Joseph Hosni Ben Ali Blatter. Ein Umstand, den vor Jahren in Geschichten über die Desinteresse-Erklärung der FIFA im ISL-Verfahren schon Jean François Tanda berichtet hat. Ich finde allerdings, die Story, die AJ da nun veröffentlicht, ist heute wichtiger denn je, da Sepp sich schon den albernen Segen einer Vertreterin von Transparency International geholt hat und behauptet, die FIFA werde zu einer volltransparenten Organisation mutieren.

Nun ja. Die Fakten sprechen ein wenig dagegen.

Ich habe da etwas beizusteuern, eine Kleinigkeit nur, öffentlich zugängliche Daten, die leicht abrufen kann, wer sich dafür interessiert. Der Sepp darf nicht nur für die FIFA Einzelunterschriften leisten:

Sepp Blatter, Einzelunterschriftsberechtigungen (c) Teledata.ch

Hier nun der Beitrag. Viel Vergnügen:

By Andrew Jennings

FIFA president Blatter has given himself the authority to sign cheques without the approval of his staff or colleagues. Documents at the Zurich Commercial Register reveal that Blatter has had sole signatory powers for nearly two decades.

João Havelange, his predecessor as FIFA president, currently under investigation by the IOC for bribe-taking, had this power but as he lived in Rio, he allowed his then general secretary Sepp Blatter also to have sole rights.

As corruption allegations swirl around President Blatter he could, if he wanted, write himself a cheque for the $1.6 billion in FIFA’s bank account, take his empty suitcases to FIFA’s bankers UBS on Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse, speed on to the airport, take his last trip on a FIFA-funded jet (he never flies scheduled airlines) and abscond to safe haven in countries like Burma, Russia, Azerbaijan and Zimbabwe where he has been given warm welcomes in the last year.

Andrew Jennings’ presentation to Senate Committee in Brasilia: “The Truth about FIFA Corruption & Ricardo Teixeira”

by Andrew Jennings, Transparency in Sport

presentation to Senate Education, Culture and Sports Committee in Brasilia, Wednesday October 26, 2011.

[youtube YfYucw22KOY nolink]

The Truth about FIFA Corruption & Ricardo Teixeira – A verdade sobre FIFA Corrupção & Teixeira Ricardo

Good morning. Thank you for your invitation.

I have been an investigative reporter for 45 years. I research and acquire confidential documents.

Then I write books and articles and make investigation films for the BBC.

I have been investigating FIFA for 10 years.

I have considerable experience in investigating organised crime and I can assure you that FIFA ticks all the boxes in the academic definition of an Organised Crime Family.

Today I want to tell you about the latest corruption crisis at FIFA and how it will impact on the 2014 World Cup.

But first – Meet some of the members of FIFA’s 23-man Executive Committee.

Play the Game 2011, Tag 1

Die Konferenz Play the Game ist eröffnet. Über einige Highlights werde ich bis Donnerstag berichten und bin selbst in einigen Sessions eingebunden. Teilweise werden die Veranstaltungen live übertragen. Zum Beispiel diese …

[Den Livestream habe ich nach oben über die Artikelspalte versetzt.]

… und auch am Nachmittag, u.a. die Rede von Dick Pound, die inhaltlich hochwertigste, die ein IOC-Mitglied dieses Kalibers je zum Thema Korruption im Sport gehalten hat.

14.16 Uhr: Eben haben wir noch lange beim Frühstück gesessen, nun hat er seinen ersten Auftritt in Köln: James Dorsey, dessen Blog The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer ich wärmstens zur Dauer-Lektüre empfehle befehle.

15.28 Uhr: Großartiger Vortrag von Hans Bruyninckx, Universität Leuven. Kritisch, witzig, sarkastisch. Mehr dazu später.

In der Parallelgesellschaft Sport ist Verbrechen nicht Verbrechen, Korruption nicht Korruption, Doping nicht Doping … da gelten andere Regeln …

The sports world with its isolated activities is convinced of its own exceptionalism.

15.30 Uhr: Nun die Rede von Dick Pound.