Posts Tagged ‘Bin Hammam’

Britain may lose privileges after Fifa election attack

Britain may lose privileges after Fifa election attack

So angry are European federations that the FA chairman, David Bernstein, went against their overwhelming advice not to try and postpone last week’s Fifa election that they are considering pushing for Uefa to take over the automatic Fifa vice presidency that has been a British privilege for 63 years.

Although there has long been considerable resentment in Fifa about what is seen as an unnecessary anachronism, Europe has always been behind the so called automatic British seat, taken over by Northern Irishman Jim Boyce at last week’s Fifa Congress.

But Europe’s support is now eroding because of Bernstein, with several sources telling The IoS that Britain no longer deserves to have the position all to itself, a view apparently shared by Uefa’s president Michel Platini, who is likely to replace Sepp Blatter as head of Fifa in four years’ time. A number of associations approached Boyce straight after Bernstein’s intervention in Zurich and warned him the British seat has now been weakened. “They said I had a hell of a task,” Boyce said last night. “They felt I had a lot to live up to.”

It is understood that Boyce, who takes over from the former FA chairman Geoff Thompson, was not consulted prior to Bernstein’s intervention. While he refused to comment on the apparent European backlash, he admitted he had taken over the position at a time when it has never been under greater threat. “I don’t think any British vice president installed at Fifa has come in under the kind of circumstances that I have. Some people have asked me what I have let myself in for. There could be repercussions on a lot of fronts but I hope there won’t be.

“There have been in the past rumblings about the British privileges and it’s an onerous task. But I’ll do everything in my power to rebuild the bridges that have been broken. Damage has been done but it’s not irreparable.”

One of Boyce’s first tasks will be to seek a meeting with Argentina’s Julio Grondona, the most senior Fifa member after Blatter, who attacked England with such venom in Zurich after Bernstein’s show of defiance, and was supported by a handful of other speakers from Haiti to Cyprus. “I’ll try and speak to Mr Grondona at the World Cup draw in Rio in July,” said Boyce. “I don’t know him but I want to speak to him and others who said what they said about England. I don’t think his comments should have been made.”

Boyce has refused to criticise Bernstein’s stand and admits he was surprised that no other federations had the nerve to stand up publicly and back him. Sixteen associations lined up in favour of Bernstein and 17 more abstained. “I was shocked that no one else got up and appeared to support what David said,” Boyce said.

With the veteran Fifa powerbroker Jack Warner and Asian football chief Mohamed bin Hammam under investigation for their alleged roles in the biggest bribery scandal in Fifa history, Boyce added: “What I have said is that if certain individuals not just Bin Hammam and Warner are proven to be corrupt in any form, they shouldn’t be there.”

The power struggle within Concacaf heightened yesterday when the North and Central American federation provisionally banned their acting president, Lisle Austin of Barbados, for allegedly violating rules. He faces a Fifa hearing on 13 July. Concacaf did not specify details of the case.

The vice president, Alfredo Hawit of Honduras, has assumed Austin’s role. Austin himself had taken the interim post after long time president Jack Warner of Trinidad was suspended by Fifa last Sunday.

Fifa are investigating Warner and Bin Hammam for allegedly bribing Caribbean voters during Bin Hamman’s failed bid for the Fifa presidency. They deny the claims.

FIFA advisers urge support for Garcia probe to resolve allegations about Qatar World Cup bid

FIFA advisers urge support for Garcia probe to resolve allegations about Qatar World Cup bid

GENEVA FIFA’s reputation depends on resolving allegations about Qatar’s selection as the 2022 World Cup host, according to the governing body’s anti corruption advisers.

The expert panel chaired by Swiss law professor Mark Pieth gave its full support on Wednesday to a FIFA investigation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes, led by ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia.

“The ethics committee should not rest until there is a conclusive answer,” Pieth wrote in a report to FIFA board members, some of whom agitated last month to remove Garcia from the case.

“If FIFA is to emerge from the scandals of recent years it must now produce a convincing and transparent answer to any issues relating to hosting decisions, either to confirm that the suspicions are, sadly, well founded or to demonstrate that they are groundless,” the report said.

The comments were published in Pieth’s 15 page final report to the FIFA executive committee, which voted for Qatar and Russia as World Cup hosts in December 2010.

After FIFA President Sepp Blatter promised to reform the scandal hit governing body in 2011, the board appointed Pieth to lead the Independent Governance Committee advisory group which insisted on creating an independent ethics court to tackle corruption.

“This explicitly included allegations in relation to World Cup hosting decisions and the IGC singled out this issue including the decision to award the tournament to Qatar as one that required further investigation,” Pieth wrote on Wednesday. Attorney and Interpol vice president.

“The IGC’s view was that only appointing a competent and experienced professional outsider to this role would enable FIFA fearlessly to investigate allegations of corruption at the heart of FIFA,” Pieth said. “FIFA and all involved individuals must therefore fully and unconditionally co operate with Mr. Garcia’s investigation.”

Moves to disrupt Garcia’s probe were revealed by reformist board members who joined FIFA’s hierarchy after the controversial World Cup vote.

Garcia reportedly upset some of the 13 voters who remain in office by arriving unannounced in Zurich to quiz them during a week of committee meetings.

The American lawyer and his investigating team are also seeking interviews worldwide with people who worked for the nine World Cup bid candidates, and offered anonymity to whistleblowers who had evidence of wrongdoing.

Garcia is expected to report this year to the ethics panel’s judging chamber led by Joachim Eckert of Germany, which will decide any sanctions.

“If allegations are confirmed, FIFA must ensure that the consequences are meaningful,” Pieth wrote.

The Qatar 2022 organizing committee has denied repeated allegations of wrongdoing linked to its well funded bid.

After fresh allegations last month implicating disgraced former FIFA board members Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar and Jack Warner from Trinidad and Tobago, World Cup officials in the Gulf kingdom distanced them as “private individuals.”

Britain’s Daily Telegraph claimed Warner and his family were paid almost $2 million from a company controlled by Bin Hammam. One request for $1.2 million was dated December 2010.

Then, Bin Hammam and Warner presided over two of football’s six continental confederations, with a combined 41 years’ service on FIFA’s board.

The “circumstances raising a suspicion that the payments were corrupt and were made in connection with the successful Qatar bid to host the World Cup in 2022 are a good example of the importance of the creation of professional and independently led functions, such as the ethics committee,” Pieth’s report stated.

Summing up progress toward building public trust and being more transparent, Pieth’s group praises FIFA for reaching “important milestones,” including appointing Garcia, Eckert and compliance overseer Domenico Scala.

Still, the report highlights unfinished business and questions if some football leaders, including in Europe, truly want to change their “longtime privileges and well functioning networks.”

FIFA should publish salaries and bonuses, and the IGC still wants two independent outsiders to join the executive committee with voting rights. The 209 FIFA member countries will also vote on age and term limits, at a June 11 meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Having lost a battle which let confederations vet their own election candidates for integrity, Pieth hopes FIFA “strictly monitors their implementation and sanctions non compliance.”

FIFA advisers urge support for Garcia probe to resolve allegations about Qatar World Cup bid

FIFA advisers urge support for Garcia probe to resolve allegations about Qatar World Cup bid

GENEVA FIFA’s reputation depends on resolving allegations about Qatar’s selection as the 2022 World Cup host, according to the governing body’s anti corruption advisers.

The expert panel chaired by Swiss law professor Mark Pieth gave its full support on Wednesday to a FIFA investigation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes, led by ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia.

“The ethics committee should not rest until there is a conclusive answer,” Pieth wrote in a report to FIFA board members, some of whom agitated last month to remove Garcia from the case.

“If FIFA is to emerge from the scandals of recent years it must now produce a convincing and transparent answer to any issues relating to hosting decisions, either to confirm that the suspicions are, sadly, well founded or to demonstrate that they are groundless,” the report said.

The comments were published in Pieth’s 15 page final report to the FIFA executive committee, which voted for Qatar and Russia as World Cup hosts in December 2010.

After FIFA President Sepp Blatter promised to reform the scandal hit governing body in 2011, the board appointed Pieth to lead the Independent Governance Committee advisory group which insisted on creating an independent ethics court to tackle corruption.

“This explicitly included allegations in relation to World Cup hosting decisions and the IGC singled out this issue including the decision to award the tournament to Qatar as one that required further investigation,” Pieth wrote on Wednesday. Attorney and Interpol vice president.

“The IGC’s view was that only appointing a competent and experienced professional outsider to this role would enable FIFA fearlessly to investigate allegations of corruption at the heart of FIFA,” Pieth said. “FIFA and all involved individuals must therefore fully and unconditionally co operate with Mr. Garcia’s investigation.”

Moves to disrupt Garcia’s probe were revealed by reformist board members who joined FIFA’s hierarchy after the controversial World Cup vote.

Garcia reportedly upset some of the 13 voters who remain in office by arriving unannounced in Zurich to quiz them during a week of committee meetings.

The American lawyer and his investigating team are also seeking interviews worldwide with people who worked for the nine World Cup bid candidates, and offered anonymity to whistleblowers who had evidence of wrongdoing.

Garcia is expected to report this year to the ethics panel’s judging chamber led by Joachim Eckert of Germany, which will decide any sanctions.

“If allegations are confirmed, FIFA must ensure that the consequences are meaningful,” Pieth wrote.

The Qatar 2022 organizing committee has denied repeated allegations of wrongdoing linked to its well funded bid.

After fresh allegations last month implicating disgraced former FIFA board members Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar and Jack Warner from Trinidad and Tobago, World Cup officials in the Gulf kingdom distanced them as “private individuals.”

Britain’s Daily Telegraph claimed Warner and his family were paid almost $2 million from a company controlled by Bin Hammam. One request for $1.2 million was dated December 2010.

Then, Bin Hammam and Warner presided over two of football’s six continental confederations, with a combined 41 years’ service on FIFA’s board.

The “circumstances raising a suspicion that the payments were corrupt and were made in connection with the successful Qatar bid to host the World Cup in 2022 are a good example of the importance of the creation of professional and independently led functions, such as the ethics committee,” Pieth’s report stated.

Summing up progress toward building public trust and being more transparent, Pieth’s group praises FIFA for reaching “important milestones,” including appointing Garcia, Eckert and compliance overseer Domenico Scala.

Still, the report highlights unfinished business and questions if some football leaders, including in Europe, truly want to change their “longtime privileges and well functioning networks.”

FIFA should publish salaries and bonuses, and the IGC still wants two independent outsiders to join the executive committee with voting rights. The 209 FIFA member countries will also vote on age and term limits, at a June 11 meeting in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Having lost a battle which let confederations vet their own election candidates for integrity, Pieth hopes FIFA “strictly monitors their implementation and sanctions non compliance.”