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Time for Fifa to show its teeth

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David Bond | 16:46 UK time, Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The ethics investigation into suspended Fifa executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam will provide the biggest test so far of Sepp Blatter's re-election promise to clean up the disgraced governing body.

Although Bin Hammam denies any wrongdoing he is widely expected to be banned from all football following Friday's hearing in Zurich. But developments in Africa have raised questions over Fifa's enforcement of previous bans against two other football officials punished for breaching its ethics code.

Former Fifa Exco members Slim Aloulou, of Tunisia, and Amadou Diakite, of Mali, were both banned from worldwide football activity after they were accused of accepting bribes to vote for Morocco's failed bid for the 2010 World Cup. The allegations were part of the Sunday Times newspaper Insight investigation into Fifa which led to a total of six officials being banned including, at the time of the ethics hearing last November, two exisiting members of the Fifa executive committee.

Aloulou was banned for two years while Diakite was banned for three years. Both had their punishments reduced by a year each following an appeal in February.

And yet, despite these bans, the Confederation for African Football (Caf), has listed both men on a number of their committees for the period 2011 to 2013. The story was revealed by African journalist Osasu Obayiuwana for the Nigerian newspaper Next on Sunday.

Mohamed Bin Hammam

It is not yet known whether Bin Hammam will attend Friday's hearing in Zurich

Fifa says it has told Caf to clarify the situation. In a statement it added: "Fifa has asked Caf to ensure that, during the period of their suspension, the names of Slim Aloulou and Amadou Diakite are not published in any Caf committee list or, alternatively, are marked as 'banned from taking part in any football-related activity' on such lists during this period".

But it does seem an alarming oversight on Caf's part given the level of publicity the cases attracted. Which begs the question: What will Fifa do if the names of Diakite and or Aloulou remain on those lists? Fifa says it cannot speculate on any action it might take.

With Jack Warner's role in the Trinidad bribery scandal now beyond the reach of Fifa following his resignation from all football positions, the focus is now on Bin Hammam and Friday's ethics hearing.

According to leaks of the report into the case by former FBI director Louis Freeh, there is no smoking gun which links Bin Hammam to the alleged act of handing over the cash to Carribean Football Union officials. But the feeling inside Fifa is that the incriminating evidence is so strong - the committee's intial report on the case found compelling prima facie evidence of bribery - that Bin Hammam will be banned.

So will Bin Hammam turn up on Friday to defend himself? Or will he choose to duck the session, paving the way for suspension in absentia and leaving his lawyers to argue over process and set up an appeal to the Swiss courts?

Blatter knows that with his and Fifa's reputation still on the line, this is not a time for the ethics committee to appear toothless.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    I would have thought that there's no question that he will be banned. Everyone knows that Blatter rules with an iron fist in FIFA and Bin Hamann had the audacity to challenge him for the leadership.

    Evidence will not be required....the FIFA knives will be well and truly out for Bin Hamann, proving not that FIFA is 'getting tough' but that the power base at the top continues to get its way regardless of what might be fair and just.

  • Comment number 3.

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  • Comment number 4.

    I agree with number 2;

    I don't know if the allegations are true or not, but his real 'crime' was to challenge Blatter

  • Comment number 5.

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  • Comment number 6.

    FIFA survived the "outrage" of the last World Cup vote, so they probably see themselves as invincible now, and will just carry on the way they have been doing. It's a real shame that football associations around the world don't have the backbone to quit FIFA and try to set up a democratic rival organisation instead.

  • Comment number 7.

    FIFA has done a b-----y good job despite the whingeing British press who seem to want to control the sport themselves. They've opened the sport to, and embraced the sport to, an incredible number of countries, but of course there are going to be 'profiteurs' in certain regions just as we've seen in our own land - brown envelopes in football, second house abuses in government etc - but please forget we didn't get awarded the World Cup which the anti-FIFA thing is all about, others were better than us at 'playing the game' of seduction - move on..........

  • Comment number 8.

    Can't see any hope of real improvement at FIFA whilst Blatter is in place, for the simple reason that he likes it just as it is- his personal fiefdom. I have no doubt that Bin Hamman's biggest crime was to campaign against Blatter. Nothing will change till the biggest and most powerful national associations stand up and together say that they won't work with FIFA whilst he's there.

  • Comment number 9.

    Blatter proved FIFA was toothless when he allowed Warner to resign and Warner is already talking of coming back to FIFA with unfinished business. The dealings with Bin Hammam will soon be forgotten and Blatter will have strengthened his powerbase again. Any protests from the media will be met with cries of conspiracy from FIFA and they know that whilst the Champions League is strong, the top domestic leagues will not allow national associations to break away. Business as usual.

  • Comment number 10.

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  • Comment number 11.

    Presume that we can ask a NoW journalist for a copy of Blatters hacked phone conversations now ??

  • Comment number 12.

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  • Comment number 13.

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  • Comment number 14.

    Yawn

  • Comment number 15.

    FIFA should have to declare their roles they play in implementing their own ethics to a court outside of Switzerland . FIFA and UEFA need to investigated from a court outside of the country where they both keep millions (if not billions) in the bank system .

    The fact that CAF are able to keep 2 suspended officals on commitees and boards show that FIFA are not able to police thier orginization or enforce thier own ethics .

    I feel if it were not for the IFAB we would see games only played in front of millionaires and the club with the biggest bank account would always win .

  • Comment number 16.

    15.At 22:58 19th Jul 2011, murry1975 wrote:

    The fact that CAF are able to keep 2 suspended officals on commitees and boards show that FIFA are not able to police thier orginization or enforce thier own ethics .

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Too right, its a stunning piece of defiance from the CAF to FIFA and Blatter in particular. If Warner is planning some sort of comeback or reaction and Hamman and his supporters react badly to any ban then this could lead to civil war inside FIFA.

    Whatever Warner and Hamman have done its not as if Blatter has not had similar allegations made against him...according to Andrew Jennings....

    This is going to run and run..

  • Comment number 17.

    I hardly know any football association which is in bed with the population of the country it governs. They are all crooks!

  • Comment number 18.

    what really concerns me is the wording from FIFA to CAF. 'Do not publish those names'. NOT 'do not allow those men to serve on committees', but just don't publish their names.
    This should be legally tight, especially the wording. This is just wishy-washy.
    'Transparent', Mr Blatter?You must think our brains are ... Grrr!

  • Comment number 19.

    It will be as if Bin Hamman has disappeared from the face of the Earth. Maybe he will have. Who can say?

  • Comment number 20.

    So will Bin Hammam still be running the Qatar World Cup? If not, who else is there?

  • Comment number 21.

    @15
    "I feel if it were not for the IFAB we would see games only played in front of millionaires and the club with the biggest bank account would always win."

    We're already getting to that! Club ticket prices are at an all time high and with the influx of billionaire owners, we now have clubs like Citeh and Chel$ki buying trophies!

  • Comment number 22.

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  • Comment number 23.

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  • Comment number 24.

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  • Comment number 25.

    @ Shearer 96............. It could well be that the BBC has not secured any broadcast rights to the Copa America and as such prefers not to give it too much attention. To be fair all broadcasters do much the same and give desiproportionate coverage to events they have a stake in. On the other hand there have been a lot of Beckham non stories recently and they do seem to take up an awful lot of space!

  • Comment number 26.

    As I have said previously I believe that the only way forward is for as many countries as possible to form a new international footballing body and encourage the Africans, Asians etc to join AND WITHDRAW FROM FIFA. Fifa's power would be then be diminshed and this new body would control football even to organizing a 'International Football Cup' which would become the number one event in the football calender, as there would be so few countries left in FIFA to play for the traditional World Cup. Only then would Blatter's power be taken from him and hopefully the new body would consist of honourable officials.

  • Comment number 27.

    I would like to say I agree with the BBC own sports journalists on the situation at FIFA but if I do it seems I get modded!

  • Comment number 28.

    David, can you stretch out to another thread please? All we're going to get yet again is half the comments removed by the moderator, and the other half spleen venting about UEFA.

    We all know the thrust of Blatters 'clean up' campaign: "DON'T GET CAUGHT"

  • Comment number 29.

    Nobody would have cared less had England won the World Cup bid, let's not kid ourselves any differently.

    FIFA will always be around, the logistics of changing would cripple world football as we know it for years. This leaves us with two options:

    1) We stop moaning, accept the world isn't quite as nice as we thought and move on. FIFA will find some sort of accountability within the organization to put this saga to bed and we need not mention it further.

    or.....

    2) the English FA actually listens to "public" concerns for once (public being those handful of people still perched on their high horses taking the moral highground) and pulls out of FIFA altogether. This will result in the death of football as we know it, with players unable to ply their trade here and clubs going bust within a few weeks of non-activity. Not to mention the fact that England would never be able to play in a World Cup again.

    Corruption at any level is wrong and i would love to fight Blatter et al with everything we've got. But not at the expense of our national game. Why should English/British fans be punished because of our journo's holy crusade against football corruption?

    The world is a murky place, the quicker everyone gets used to it the better.

  • Comment number 30.

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  • Comment number 31.

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  • Comment number 32.

    Am waiting for a blog about the Man City situation and the seemingly brazen attempt to boost the clubs revenues, hence making a mockery of the wage cap.

    (or have i missed it?)

  • Comment number 33.

    Well said Shearer96 (#22 above) and very pertinent to this discussion. FIFA are no different to any multinational company - think about food or armaments conglomerates and how they operate. We have two distinct choices. We can take the moral high ground or play by their rules, and we also can choose to engage or be aloof.

    Whilst we have honourably taken the high moral ground, our fundamental error has not been to engage with 'these type of people', to quote one of the World Cup bid team. We are simply far too insular.

    The comments about the lack of Copa America coverage bear this out. If it was not for Phil Vickery, we would not know it was on if we only had the BBC's coverage. The press are just as bad - watch the Champions League reports in the autumn. The English club players are always marked out of 10 in the newspapers, but this courtesy does not extend to the foreign opponents in the same reports. We really can not complain when the world sees us as being somewhat arrogant.

  • Comment number 34.

    shearer 96

    first sentence of what bigbamboo2 at 25 said. no rights.

    post 2 sounds good but i'll go with 7.

  • Comment number 35.

    "Disgraced Governing Body"????????????????

    All because England did not win the bid to stage the world cup getting only 2 votes!

    Pray who really was 'disgraced'?

  • Comment number 36.

    @29 Fair point. Can't disagree

  • Comment number 37.

    It makes me angry that FIFA and others (jb194) feel this scrutiny of FIFA is down to our failure in the world cup bid. Given the uncovering of the sleezy practices undertaken by its members it is clearrly a pathetic attempt to deflect justified criticism.
    If the British press had not pursued this despite heavy critism from FIFA itself, then Mohamed Bin Hammam could now be president of FIFA.
    No matter how many good things FIFA have done, it cannot justify ignoring corruption and poor practice.
    The problem here is that Blatter feels he is the best man to oversee these changes to FIFA becuase he has been president since it became the huge force that it is now. In my view this is exactly the problem as he has helped build the organisation for better and worse, and needs to step away. He won't of course and FIFA will continue to rot from the inside. Can't help drawing comparrissons between FIFA and the current News Corp, both headed by old men who can no longer control what they helped to build.

  • Comment number 38.

    Surprise surprise... another article about corruption zzzz

    Please write about something else... this tinhat stuff really riles me.

    Why not an article about;

    transfer activity?
    the copa america?
    how teams are getting on in their friendlies?
    how the new managers will cope this year?
    how teams are fixed for the new campaign?
    the lack of activity at Everton?
    the impact of essiens injury on chelsea?
    champions league qualifiers?
    europa league qualifiers?
    etc etc etc etc etc

    i.e. FOOTBALL

    The list is endless and this is what we pay our taxes for!

  • Comment number 39.

    @33.At 10:20 20th Jul 2011, Harry wrote
    FIFA are no different to any multinational company
    .......................................................................
    Except they are . FIFA and the federations are registered charities . FIFA its self is governed by Swiss law and banking regulations . Could you see oxfam , MSF or help for heroes , behaving in such maner ? As I stated above , FIFA and UEFA need to be moved from their happy banking place of Switerland .

  • Comment number 40.

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  • Comment number 41.

    FIFA cannot afford to sideline Bin Hammam - they need him and Qatar too badly to shoot themselves in the foot in that manner.
    There will be a slap on the wrist - maybe a fine or something.

  • Comment number 42.

    @40
    For Cuppa america move there.

  • Comment number 43.

    David - I am surprised you still think there is a chance of a 'rightous ending' in this story?
    Bin Hamman may have over stepped the mark in challenging Mr Blatter and he may be sent 'packing' (for a while), but he'll be back and he will be re-accommodated within the Fifa ranks (somewhere) as most members who have previously transgressed, eventually are... ...but perhaps not Mr Warner, the knife's gone too far into his back!

    Frankly most of this is 'old news', the English FA cannot win the Fifa WC bid, the English Team cannot win the Fifa WC tournament, the English press cannot get 'mud to stick' on the Fifa Executives - lets retire gracefully from the room, this is getting terribly embarassing.

  • Comment number 44.

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  • Comment number 45.

    murry1975 wrote:
    @33.At 10:20 20th Jul 2011, Harry wrote
    FIFA are no different to any multinational company
    .......................................................................
    Except they are . FIFA and the federations are registered charities . FIFA its self is governed by Swiss law and banking regulations . Could you see oxfam , MSF or help for heroes , behaving in such maner ? As I stated above , FIFA and UEFA need to be moved from their happy banking place of Switerland .

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    murry - That is a little bit harsh on the Swiss, because, to be fair, the swiss tax-police and fraud office have also had long-going, longer than this story has been in our gutter-press, investigations into allegations of corruption within FIFA.

    It's smacks a little of jingoistic fervour to deride their entire nation like that.

  • Comment number 46.

    @45.At 12:06 20th Jul 2011, jamdoonsouth wrote:
    .........................................................................
    The fraud office and tax police that after 60 years is still with-holding the account details for gold and art deposits from the last world war ? Oh those guys they will have FIFA crack within a couple of centuries .

  • Comment number 47.

    Reputation? Is there one left to defend?

  • Comment number 48.

    ~29 ...Nemanja - Why would the FA withdrawing from FIFA bankrupt the English game? Does FIFA currently have any say in how our domestic clubs acquire overseas players, or any say in their registration? In any case the proposition is withdrawing from FIFA, not UEFA, so competing in the Champions League would go on as normal, and PL clubs' TV money both for domestic and European competition would be unaffected.
    The only way our game would suffer would be England's non-participation in the World Cup, which given recent dreadful showings would not be missed much anyway.
    Another commenter is right in that had we won the bid for 2018 no-one would give two chuffs about corruption at FIFA, but another commenter is being disingenuous when saying England were "disgraced" by receiving only 2 votes. Get real! I can accept that had we lost with a decent number of votes, fair enough, and Russia are just as entitled to hold a WC as anyone. But only 2 votes - was our bid that bad? No, it was rightly described as the best technical bid of the lot, so how come it only got 2 votes? That's more than slightly unjust, and stinks to high heaven!

  • Comment number 49.

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  • Comment number 50.

    @48.At 12:29 20th Jul 2011, mightyblooze wrote:
    Does FIFA currently have any say in how our domestic clubs acquire overseas players, or any say in their registration
    ..................................................................
    YES. Players have to registered with their club , which register them with the relevant FA , who in turn register them with the required federation who again pass this on to FIFA . If an FA where to withdraw from FIFA this stops the registration of players on the upward chain . These players , if they continue to play with the clubs outside of the circle , are no longer allowed to play with their national sides . UEFA does not allow clubs whos FA are not registared to play in European competitions .
    From the rules for participating in the Champions league
    "17.05 Players must be duly registered with the national association concerned in
    accordance with the national association’s own rules and those of FIFA,
    notably the FIFA Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players"
    http://www.fifa.com/mm/document/affederation/administration/01/27/64/30/regulationsstatusandtransfer2010_e.pdf

  • Comment number 51.

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  • Comment number 52.

    murry1975 - Thanks, couldn't have put it better myself.

    To pick upon Mightyblooze's voting point; we only got 2 votes because the wonderful British press decided to corner Lord Triesman and publish his thoughts on the rival bids. NO OTHER NATION would have stood by and watched their national press dismantle the years of hard work (not to mention money) put into a World Cup bid like that, i thought it was absolutely disgraceful.

    If you have evidence of corruption within FIFA then by all means bring it to the attention of the public, but do it in a responsible way. Don't corner the head of our bid team and ask him "off the record" what he thinks about other's bids. I guarantee the heads of the Russian, Australian and US bids also had their fair share of personal thoughts not meant for public examination but their press decided not to record them secretly.

    Our press is seen as an extension of the British people and footballing community by the rest of the world. As a consequence of the actions of a few reporters taking the moral high ground on our behalf the nation's reputation is now tarnished to such as extent that we would be lucky to ever win a bid again.

  • Comment number 53.

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  • Comment number 54.

    FIFA is blurter and blurter is FIFA. It is unrealistic to expect an old dog to learn new tricks. Blurter promised change, anf FIFA will change, only for the worse.

    Let the likes of EPL carryout its own innovations, e.g. unilateral introduction of Goal line techno;ogy, and eventually pull out of FIFA.

    After all only the corrupt regimes of the third world, and the South America have a lot in common: Doublespeak, backbite, etc

  • Comment number 55.

    murry & Nemanja - Thanks for putting me right on the player registration rigmarole! Obviously it would take a fair few associations leaving FIFA en masse for any boycott to work then, and that ain't going to happen any time soon.

    On the vote thing - I do not think our incredulously low vote total is entirely the fault of the British press, it was also down to the largesse offered (or not) by the FA not being up to the demands or Warner et al.
    To be honest I would rather have a press that exposes corruption in high places (even using legally dubious means) than one that ignores such wrongdoing for the pragmatic purposes of winning a World Cup bid.

  • Comment number 56.

    mightyblooze - Don't get me wrong,i have absolutely no problem with the press doing what the press should do, outing corruption etc. My main issue (rather topical at the minute too what with the NewsCorp case) is the method in which they choose to do it.

    Can you honestly imagine a national newspaper anywhere else in the world using the same tactics as those that caught Triesman out? I certainly can't, at least not credible newspapers anyway.

    Their argument was that it was in the public's interest to bring the triesman story and the wider corruption story to the world, i agree. However i would motion to suggest that a succesful World Cup bid would be more in keeping with public interest.

    The timing was strange to say the least. So desperate were they to get the scoop before anyone else that they gave absolutely no thought to the wider consequences of their actions. Whether England would have favoured more votes without the aforementioned taking place i guess we'll never know, but one would assume that the entirety of the British National Press descending on FIFA, digging for dirt in the run up to such a crucial vote, wouldn't exactly paint our nation in a great light.

    Why couldn't they have sat on the story until the voting was complete?. There has been no suggestion that England attempted to favour votes using the same techinques allegedly used by others so there was no danger of any succesful bid from us being revoked. They could have even used a succesful English bid as a springboard for publically highlighting the need for reform within FIFA, "Look what we accoplished without the need for cash in brown paper bags".

    But they didn't, instead they chose to run a story that they knew would have a devastating effect on the FIFA community's view of English/British football.

  • Comment number 57.

    FIFA's spiritual home is of course France where the organisation was founded. But in time it moved to Switzerland who throughout history have been willing to oblige those in need.

  • Comment number 58.

    It's an old story now but lets not forget England's world cup bid was not whiter than white.

    Handbags for delegates wives
    Executive boxes and freebies at Wembley
    Luxury friendlies arranged for 'supposed' votes. (Quickly cancelled after losing)
    The nauseating sight of royalty and the prime minister begging for votes (Remember that Putin and Medvedev stayed away and conducted themselves with dignity).

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to the Copa America Semi Final now. Who knows the BBC 'may' deem it worthy to get a mention!

  • Comment number 59.

    If we all agree that the people's game and the World Cup should be firstly for the benefit of the fans then the most worthy by far was the Holland/Belgium bid.

  • Comment number 60.

    Why does everyone hate Blatter so much?

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    If only Sepp Blatter, Michel Plattini and the rest of the FIFA Executive would of been invited to the Royal Wedding none of this bribery scandal would of come out. We would of got the World Cup in 2018 and the syndicate that were trying to get the 2022 in Antartica I believe would of been successful.Sepp Blatter may well of found that "mineral rights " in Antartica could well be worth more than shares in Qatari building companies.

  • Comment number 63.

    #29.

    There's one major problem with the thrust of your argument. Yes the world is a murky place but its not in anyone's interest to accept that it is so. We need no Holy Journo's crusade to tell us that.

    Football is not unique in this. The level of cynicism about nearly all "public" institutions is endemic largely due to the feeling people can't change it so the corruption simply has to be tolerated and accommodated.

    Scratch the surface and it can be seen the death of football is already here. Maybe I'm alone in thinking this, but talking to many one time football fanatics, the underlying feeling is that the game as a sporting competition is long dead. Personally, World cups and Champions League have more of the feel of the Eurovision Song contest in the way results are obtained.

    It is a very sad state of affairs and if ignored I see interest in the game imploding on a dramatic scale. Yes it is probably more financially successful than its ever been but those same economic forces have speeded the rot and those running the game have no interest in it other than the money.

    Money was never the factor it has become.

  • Comment number 64.

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  • Comment number 65.

    if there is corruption at club level, the club is ever fined or docked points, yet when it comes to the gov body uefa/fifa then nothing is done.

  • Comment number 66.

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  • Comment number 67.

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  • Comment number 68.

    Blatter is controversial
    Bbc have mentioned this so many times
    Can't see anything changing

    Still he will remain in power
    Hundreds of blogs will be written
    Of course no mention of the C***
    Wonder if this will change!

    Think that the Blatter debate is exhausted
    Half the comments are moderated anyway!
    Evidently a waste of time!

    Cunning people may try to break the system
    Of course they will probably be moderated
    Perhaps the days of BBC been a world news leader are gone
    Apparently no better than commercial news outlets

    Still hope springs eternal
    Calls for change are been made
    Often though these are ignored
    Really can't understand why!
    ESPN must be laughing
    So quickly have they gained viewers!

  • Comment number 69.

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  • Comment number 70.

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  • Comment number 71.

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  • Comment number 72.

    I wonder if, when it is proven that Bin Hamman did "nothing wrong" as far as the rules - which have up until now not been too fussed about the concept of giving gifts in exchange for votes - he will be allowed to stand in a rerun of the election that never was against Blatter?

    Not a chance. Blatter saw his only rival blocked (guilty until proven innocent) so he could walk unchallenged to victory.

    If this was an election in a country in the Middle East or Africa, there would be outcry. And its not as though this is unimportant, certainly from a financial point of view. Disgraceful

  • Comment number 73.

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  • Comment number 74.

    My take on situation - FIFA knew there were issues, but were unsure what issues were and what people had done exactly but knowing the furore they'd bring got both World Cups on the ballot to give themselves 8 years more power and away froma takeover by UEFA.

  • Comment number 75.

    I really don't understand this one, time for Blatter to make good on his "clean up FIFA" promises?
    Of course Blatter will happily throw the book at Bin Hammam, not for any of the allegations but because he dared to stand against Blatter for the presidency of FIFA. The only way Blatter could live up to his promises would be if he acted against his own cronies and somehow I don't see that one happening.

  • Comment number 76.

    I seem to have used a word of endarment that is not applicable to criticism of the English, so let's see if this mail is ok.

    A recent pole in an English newspaper placed Sepp Blatter as the person the English hate most. Don't you have enough politicians, bankers, journalists, murderers you can vote for? You didn't win the vote to host the World Cup. And Blatter doesn't kow-tow to the FA. Blatter is a businessman who has done a lot for football in the world. And as a businessman he has his dark sides, but so do so many others.

    Apart from that, well said no. 7 and to most of the rest of the contributors ... get a life!!!

  • Comment number 77.

    Am I excluded from this site because I have criticised the English or have I used language that is deemed derogatery? Or is criticism of the English who contribute to this website forbidden? I look forward to hearing from you

  • Comment number 78.

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  • Comment number 79.

    'the British press are seen as an extension of the British public...our reputation is tarnished...we will never get to host a WC again'

    Eh, I don't believe Scotland, N. Ireland, or Wales had anything to do with ENGLAND's failed WC bid.

    Hold on, is this not the blog about TeamGB and reasons for us not wanting to play for it? Apologies

  • Comment number 80.

    @ wineandgol
    ...............................
    Not everyone on here is English .
    Not everyone who diapprove of FIFA and shows distain of Blatter is English .
    So to qoute yourself "get a life" .

  • Comment number 81.

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  • Comment number 82.

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  • Comment number 83.

    FIFA will never be seen to be free of corruption until there is root and branch reform starting at the very top. Members have had ample time over the years to oust the President and start afresh but year after year, meeting after meeting golden opportunities are never grasped.

    And I wish people would stop being so parochial in their comment and look at the bigger picture as it is a problem around the world and every continent is culpable.

  • Comment number 84.

    63.
    At 00:29 21st Jul 2011, Steve wrote:

    #29.

    There's one major problem with the thrust of your argument. Yes the world is a murky place but its not in anyone's interest to accept that it is so. We need no Holy Journo's crusade to tell us that.

    Football is not unique in this. The level of cynicism about nearly all "public" institutions is endemic largely due to the feeling people can't change it so the corruption simply has to be tolerated and accommodated.

    Scratch the surface and it can be seen the death of football is already here. Maybe I'm alone in thinking this, but talking to many one time football fanatics, the underlying feeling is that the game as a sporting competition is long dead. Personally, World cups and Champions League have more of the feel of the Eurovision Song contest in the way results are obtained.



    the only dying is the EURO.
    soon the biggest leagues would be in brazil asia and africa

  • Comment number 85.

    Awaiting the editor's review on comment 78.

    For all the rest, comments involved a scapegoat/Fall guy and someone with his own agenda.

    Truth Hurts?

  • Comment number 86.

    First, thanks David for keeping this story and its many threads visible. Hammam has now been handed a life ban, the very least FIFA could do. The question is what comes next. Theo Zwanziger (lawyer and politician) the head of the German Football Association with its ca 7 million members, now elected to the FIFA executive committee is an individual that one should look to or put pressure on to drive change within FIFA.

    All the organisational (in)competence and governance is interesting but you get the sense football has too many issue to deal with to maintain credubility. FIFA is obviously one and reported match fixing/betting scandals (e.g. Germany where there have been convictions and Greece where allegations have been made) is another. One questions whether genies will ever get back in the bottle.

  • Comment number 87.

    Quite interesting why so many comments have been removed....

 

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