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How deep does Fifa's problem lie?

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David Bond | 15:15 UK time, Monday, 30 May 2011

Sepp Blatter will try and get Fifa back on an even keel later on Monday but there is no question his empire is teetering.

A day after he was told he had no case to answer by an ethics committee, the decision to suspend Mohamed Bin Hammam and Jack Warner has sparked a backlash which threatens not only Blatter but his general secretary Jerome Valcke.

Facing an investigation into claims he helped bribe Caribbean football officials on behalf of Bin Hammam in his bid to unseat Blatter as president, Warner's credibility has to be seriously questioned.

But in publishing an email from Valcke sent to Warner on 18 May 2011, the head of the Concacaf confederation has sparked another crisis for Fifa this time over the decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup.

Valcke, who has confirmed the email is genuine, writes: "For MBH (Bin Hammam) I never understood why he was running. If really he thought he had a chance or just being an extreme way to express how much he does not like anymore JSB (Blatter). Or he thought you can buy Fifa as they bought the WC (World Cup)."

I caught up with Bin Hammam this morning at the Baur Au Lac Hotel, where many of the Fifa delegates are staying ahead of the congress and presidential vote on Wednesday.

I asked him why he thought Valcke had made this claim. He responded by saying I should ask Valcke. I then asked if the allegations were true and he said this: "What do you think? And if I bought the votes, what about the 13 people [on the executive committee who voted for Qatar?]"

Even if Valcke has no evidence to back up his claim about Bin Hammam and Qatar buying the World Cup, this is hugely damaging for Fifa and now goes way beyond a nasty internal squabble over who should run this discredited organisation.

For its general secretary to express such a serious allegation in an email - admittedly a private email - is incendiary. Qatar has already been accused of trying to bribe members of the executive committee - a claim bid officials have denied.

How can Fifa now not investigate what went on during that bidding process? And what questions does this raise about the process for 2018, which was run at the same time?

Every country and its government will now be demanding answers from Blatter and, while he will try to paint himself as the man capable of cleaning up the organisation, it is starting to feel way too late for all that.

He has run Fifa for the last 13 years. He has worked closely with men like Warner and Bin Hammam for the best part of the last two decades. He is not going to be able to claim that they are an isolated problem which he has suffered because that begs the question why did he suffer them?

So what happens next?

Much will depend on what Blatter and Valcke now say, but the general secretary's position is looking extremely vulnerable.

And for all the outside pressure from the media and politicians around the world, the only organisation which can call a halt to Wednsday's election is the Fifa congress itself.

As the delegates from the 208 member countries start to gather in Zurich for that now critical meeting, we should start to get a sense of whether a backlash is coming.

At the moment it is hard to see where it would come from. The English FA remains the only governing body so far which seems prepared to make even the tiniest protest statement by abstaining in the election.

It will take a lot more than that to derail the congress and election but much now depends on how far Warner and Bin Hammam are prepared to go and how many other members become implicated.


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  • Comment number 1.

    This is certainly not an endorsement of the two-game world BUT the time surely is here to say UEFA will take the lead in becoming the new global game organiser with invites to the the other big nations e.g. Argentina.
    However I think there has to be a rethink of how some teams are integrated into the "global game" and the top-flights of every nation, no matter where, should be ran on same lines e.g. goal-line technology - and if you can get this working then you're out.

  • Comment number 2.

    Valcke new about the alleged “goings on”? So if Blatter really didn’t then he is so out of touch with his own organisation as to be labelled incompetent.

    I'd say Blatter's position is untenable. If FIFA simply go ahead and reappoint him anyway then they lose the last and tiniest bit of credibility they have left.

  • Comment number 3.

    How on Earth can the Qatar 2022 bid still stand when the General Secretary of FIFA is saying it was bought? Surely it's time for the investigation of these matters to be passed to to some police agency rather than some |internal inquiry?

  • Comment number 4.

    @ 3 - I totally, totally agree - whilst I'd be OK with England not getting it as if we lost on merit then that's OK I hope if Qatar don't deserve it then it's removed - I'd like to see it removed and then send the thing either to Australia (that means it's been played in every continent) or to United States so that means FIFA have plenty of time to sort themselves out (WC '14, '18, '22) and I'd ask for football to be removed from Olympics in the meantime too.

  • Comment number 5.

    Blatter is innocent and the man to clean up FIFA. After all the FIFA ethics committee have given him a clean bill of health and I'm sure he didn't personally appoint everyone on that committee.

    Anyone else still believe in the tooth fairy and Father Christmas?

  • Comment number 6.

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  • Comment number 7.

    The joker in a house of cards..

  • Comment number 8.

    Football can't have it's Kerry Packer moment or WBC/WBA/WBO/IBF boxing debacle....can it??

  • Comment number 9.

    For a long time UEFA nations have been bankrolling football worldwide with less and less say on how it is run. There is a strong argument for them now to take their ball home unless there are wholesale changes at FIFA. There needs to be a clean up of the sort that happened to the IOC post Salt Lake City. Term limits for president. An independent disciplinary commission, removal of stupid rules - have a committee of former players and refs decide law changes and "rules" like bookings for removing shirts - and move from Switzerland where there are few corporate disclosures into a jurisdiction where there is full disclosure strong corporate governance.

  • Comment number 10.

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  • Comment number 11.

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  • Comment number 12.

    Has Sepp Blatter actually been convicted of corruption? Has anything been proven against him?

    Stop the witch hunt you hypocrites and take a look at English football - it is far from perfect. How much money is being taken out of the game? Why are fans forever being exploited and fleeced of ever more money?

    I hope Sepp Blatter stays on as FIFA head. It takes more then mr quarter finals and royalty to get the right to host the world cup. Nobody cares about the England national team anyway, apart from once every two years. If they did, they wouldnt allow their club teams to be packed full of foreign players, with no emphasis on youth development.

  • Comment number 13.

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  • Comment number 14.

    Its the final whistle for Blatter. Regardless of whether he knew about corrupt practices or not, its happened during his 11 year watch because he didn't put adequate checks and balances in place. This goes to the root of the problem, lack of transparancy. Game over Blatter, its time to let a younger more talanted chief clear up your mess!

  • Comment number 15.

    Let's hope the whole pack of self-serving bureaucrats fall in the backstabbing.
    What we've all known for a long time is finally coming out.

    FIFA is clearly unfit for purpose and should disband.

  • Comment number 16.

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  • Comment number 17.

    FIFA stinks and Blatter should go.

    However, Jack Warner has not changed for years, nor have the allegations against him. Questions should be asked about the dealings of the FA and the bid in their dealings with him. The allegations raised by Triesman are no different in substance from those raised by McBeth - where were the FA morals when McBeth raised his allegations? Why did England play a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago in 2008 and where did the money from that fixture go? Why did Warner receive gifts from the English bidding team? Why wait until losing a world cup bid to express outrage against Warner? Looks like sour grapes to me.

  • Comment number 18.

    The Premier League is unfit for purpose and should disband.

    dont believe me? watch alan sugar's recent documentary on financial indiscipline and leveraged buyouts. Whilst your at it, track down an episode of Panorama from September 2006, which alleged corruption in your wonderful league - a league binged out on debt and foreign players, managers and owners. A league where ticket prices and sky subscriptions rise year on year, just so that players and agents can make an extra million or two. Its a disgrace.

    Long live FIFA and Sepp Blatter, keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 19.

    The FA are clearly useless as well. They've been too weak to stand up to what they know has been going on and too incompetent to 'play the game'.

    Root and branch reform is required at home and abroad.
    The sports administration gravy train must come to a grinding halt.

  • Comment number 20.

    Read this slowly....

    Lord Treisman makes a complaint to the British Parliament Select Committee... FIFA investigates the people he names... Jack Warner, Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi. "All four are completely clean," said Fifa General Secretary Jerome Valcke. Fast forward a couple of weeks... Jack Warner is suspended... and Jack is parading an email (that Mr Valcke admits is written by himself,) stating that Bin Hamman bought the World Cup?

    Sounds completely rotten to the core to me. Maybe we should start again?

  • Comment number 21.

    The gravy train will never come to a halt, too many people are making millions. We are just the grease that keeps the machine moving. Fans need to organise themselves better, even unite in certain issues. If the manchester united fans want rid of the Glazers, they need to boycott Old Trafford en masse. Once that happens, the game is up. The same should happen in other instances. The game belongs to the fans - not to parasites, who are here to exploit our love for our clubs/national teams.

  • Comment number 22.

    Well, I guess the following issues can be raised:

    1. Is the Qatar Foundation's sponsorship of Barcelona in any way connected to Qatar winning 2022? Was it provided in return for delivering the spanish votes en bloc?
    2. Does Sepp Blatter engage in electronic bugging of anyone's PC, outside of FIFA employees, either directly or indirectly?? If so, why??
    3. What, exactly, is it that Blatter has done, is doing, may be about to do which must 'be stopped', as Warner as stated?
    4. Will all the 13 people who voted for Qatar state, under oath, in a court of law, that they, their Federations, their country, received no considerations from Qatar? Were they advised by Blatter to vote for Qatar?? If not, what was the reason that they did???? Since the technical report clearly wasn't a justification..........and nor is the weather in the SUMMER.........
    5. Are there any referees who are prepared to blow the whistle on any alleged Russian activity to promote Spain in the 2010 World Cup and if so, how was it done??
    6. Which countries would agree to host FIFA, if it is thrown out of Switzerland? What standards of business/corporate governance probity are the norm in those countries?
    7. Why is goal-line technology anathema? Is human error more important than the years of work, training, frustration of top players and the outgoings of true fans?

    The only other thing I don't get is why, if Beckenbauer is now retired, that he believes that silence is golden.

    Doesn't make sense........unless FIFA is clean or Germany is implicated........

  • Comment number 23.

    The whole thing is ridiculous, the organisation, the election, the world cup going to Qatar, the fact there is still no technology, the fact the country who invented football and who's league makes the most money and is broadcast in the most countries is so often ignored and mistreated, scrap the whole organisation.

    The world cup will have been to South Africa, Russia and Qatar three in four tournaments...says it all really, South Africa was terrible, the Russian world cup will be over-shadowed by the inevitable racism from the host fans and the Qatar world cup breaks Fifa's own rules over player safety...

  • Comment number 24.

    The vast majority of fans think qatar 2022 is fishy. A place the size of Yorkshire (with no football history) - even FIFA branded it high risk. This should be re-run if there is any evidence of votes being rigged.

  • Comment number 25.

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  • Comment number 26.

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  • Comment number 27.

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  • Comment number 28.

    If Sepp Blatter had any conscience he would resign, but I guess he would do anything to hang on to power.

  • Comment number 29.

    England, Australia and USA should now be mobilising other members to ensure that the elections do not now take place on Wednesday. Warner has promissed a tsunami and he has already started. His comments and those of Bin Hamman will be very damaging for Blatter, other members and FIFA. These officials from FIFA are supposed to act like diplomats and in most cases, I believe that they are treated so by every country they visit. Hearing the outburst from Jack to a reporter was very embarassing and I hope that he and all those officials who have sullied the name of the organisation, really get what they deserve- banishment and the embarassment that goes along with it. FIFA needs a purge and that must happen this time around so come on FIFA members, do what you must do- don't just do things right, do the right thing

  • Comment number 30.

    Poor old Sepp Blatter, he must be sick and tired of the allegations of corruption that have dogged his time as president.

  • Comment number 31.

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  • Comment number 32.

    At 16:48 30th May 2011, Whiteside of 606 wrote:

    The FA are clearly useless as well. They've been too weak to stand up to what they know has been going on and too incompetent to 'play the game'.
    Root and branch reform is required at home and abroad.
    The sports administration gravy train must come to a grinding halt.

    I agree the FA didn't exactly cover themselves in glory. They only started complaining after they had lost the bid. They were the first to jump on Panorama before the vote.

    Corruption is evil, it stinks in every way and the FA should have pulled out beforehand.

  • Comment number 33.

    Nav Sandhu-Are you anything to do with FIFA ? If you are I will vote for something if you like. Just feeling a bit peckish. A cheeseburger with large fries will do.ANTARTICA World Cup 2026. Thats fine where do I put my X.

  • Comment number 34.

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  • Comment number 35.

    FIFA looks to be more than teetering.
    I can't see how the organization can continue. With the claims that have been made it is difficult to see how it can be swept clean. It would be normal to do this from the top down.

    It would seem that being based in Switzerland FIFA found a home where secrets are buried and like the banking system the rest of the world can swivel if it wants to know what is going on.

    There appears to be little option than to scrap the whole thing and start over.
    We should forget about the world cup and it may be best to have a gap as a lasting memory to Blatter.

    Is Uefa any better? who knows not me.
    If we are to start again it has to be relocated to a country where the government would take an interest looking at a business that is run without any apparent oversite or check.

  • Comment number 36.

    Asking the self-serving fifa bureaucrats to get their own house in order will fail for exactly the same reasons as the self-serving FA bureaucrats can't govern the domestic game effectively.

    Fans, and old institutions no longer matter. It's all about getting the last penny from the sponsors and as big slice of cake as possible for yourself. Modern Football deserves to die.

  • Comment number 37.

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  • Comment number 38.

    nav sandhu - I think the ethics committee need to investigate you. Do you actual evidence of corruption in the Premier League? You write as if you have.
    The only answer to the FIFA situation is for all Countries to form a new world governing body of soccer which would over-ride FIFA and make it irrelevant. But it needs the support of a vast number of countries and accordingly much preparatory work has to be done. It is the only way to wrest control from FIFA. Then Blatter and everyone else in that organisation would simply be ignored and we would have fair and proper voting for future World Cup hosts.

  • Comment number 39.

    This is now an issue for governments.Alot of public money went in to the bids by many of the losing nations.They have a right to expect a full and transparent inquiry into the voting for the next two world cups.

  • Comment number 40.

    ah so europe in the post colonial world! running lt like a feudal lord and now in the words of paul merton stabbing each other in the front.

  • Comment number 41.

    At 16:17 30th May 2011, Nav Sandhu

    I have just read some of the other recent posts you have made and it seems to me that you’re carrying an awful lot of anti England baggage. Why? can only guess at.

    The fact remains, whether allegations prove to be true or maliciously false, the organisation which runs the World’s number I sport, watched by billions, needs to open its doors and let some fresh air in. The footballing public have a right to transparency in the conduct of this organisation. Its meetings need to be held in public, how else will we ever know what a representative says, or stands for. The trust which should reside in this body has been seriously compromised of late and nothing less than a complete overhaul of its working structure, that is, proceedings open to public view, will suffice. Those within the organisation who are against this would in my opinion be suspect.

    Of course this will never happen, it will remain an exclusive private club whose doors are barred against the face of truth.

  • Comment number 42.

    Just a quick question - considering that it is illegal to offer bribes to win contractural agreements (and can there be a bigger contract to win then the World Cup), surely there is some recourse, if these claims are proven and i make no statement that they are (does that satisfy the lawyers?), to make all those involved face the courts!

    And if we cant do it under UK law, how about the other nations, the US certainly has the laws, what about Aus? We might have lost out on the World Cup but you can at last take down the (allegedly) most corrupt people in the world!

  • Comment number 43.

    World football should be run by an organisation controlled by it's leading nations. It should be dominated by European and South American members. How on earth did West Indian and Middle Eastern countries ever have anything to do with it? It's like putting banger racers in charge of F1.

  • Comment number 44.

    How can this game that is loved and admired across the globe be allowed to run by this shambles of an outfit called FIFA. We have this guy Blatter that despite all accusations of bribery and corruption over 13 years has totally distanced himself from the whole debacle and left it to his own payroll to clear his name ready for his next term in charge - very clever. Why is it despite technology being available (like in other sports) and the opinions of countless other football experts to help referees make the right decisions still not been implemented? The whole thing stinks. I’m sure a lot of people feel very strongly about this including me. Decent footballing nations need to brake away from FIFA and give it a governing body that the game deserves.

  • Comment number 45.

    In the "real world" the only 75-year olds who seek re-election are dictators who know that they have the contest in the bag for entirely undemocratic reasons. History of major sports organisations is littered with people that thought that they were bigger than the sport in question overstaying their welcome and ruining their reputation. In the process they generally set their sport back by ten years.
    FIFA is in such a mess that its next President has to come from outside the organisation.

  • Comment number 46.

    Are we talking about the same people who shook Prince Williams' hand and promised they were voting for England and then didnt ? While our own house may not be fully in order we should expect footballs' rulers to be held to a higher standard . Time for a complete overhaul i think starting at the top

  • Comment number 47.

    @ 43. Probably because they spend the most money.

    Seems about right for Fifa, ignore who produces the "product" (premier league, la liga etc) and focus on who spends the most money on it, give them the international tournaments (South Korea and Japan, South Africa, Qatar) in the hope it will make them a shed load of cash in the future, or they will receive it up-front as it seems for Qatar.

    Since 2002 up to 2022 the world cup will have been to a historic footballing nation 2 times out of 6 (Germany '06 and Brazil '14)...all about the money

    I'd rather watch on TV rather than go to a land of racism (as reported in the media and on this very website) in 2018 and a land of homophobia (again as reported in the media and on this very website) in 2022.

  • Comment number 48.

    Time for a new order, The FA to lead the change and create a new governing body. I expect USA, Australia, Wales, Japan, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Spain to be the first to join. Followed by a critical mass that ends Fifa altogether.

  • Comment number 49.

    There is something rotten with football, but sadly it is not just at the is global. I am sure that most of the professional leagues have corruption going on to a degree. The FIFA bigwigs like Blatter, Warner, Hammam etc are just continuing the practices that have been faiithfully followed over the years throughout football. This really is the tip of the iceberg. Football is rotten. I love football, but I fear the pro game sold it`s soul a long time ago...maybe even decades ago. But hopefully this will start the unravelling of all the lies and corruption and match fixing etc that has gone on for years. I really hope the truth is revealed, even if it means revealing stuff about my team. Lets hope some ex players, officials, managers or even FIFA executives like Blatter will be, sing like canaries.

  • Comment number 50.

    Just confirms what we all know.

    Valcke should already have cleared his desk. His confirmation that the mail is genuine tacitly OKs Qatar buying the WC 2022. Anything he says cannot be relied upon. And I hope all the 2022 losing bidders will join Australia in asking for their money back.

    And if the General Secretary acknowledges the above, how can we believe in the integrity of anything else, from the 2018 bidding process, to the last minute switching of World Cup Play-Off home and away legs, from refereeing, to the refusal to embrace decision-making technology? We must refuse to do any further business with these people until the whole organisation has been fumigated, and if Wednesday's Congress continues to support the status quo, that will tell us everything we need to know, and leads to the question that seems to be getting avoided, "Who received money from Qatar for their vote?" Wasn't it all done and dusted after the first round of voting?!

    So FA, what are you going to do?!

  • Comment number 51.

    Whoever the final journalist in that press conference was, he deserves respect for speaking out at the end. You can sense that the press ar getting stuck into this, and if Blatter thinks this is the end then he is more deluded than we thought, it is merely the beginning.

    Between the press, the fans and hopefully some of the more courageous associations we can bring down this crumbling empire and give football the leadership that it deserves.

  • Comment number 52.

    I'm loving this! It proves what we all thought after the December fracass, that FIFA is riddled with corruption. At the very least Qatar's bid should now be declared null & void. Watching the Champion's League final at Wembley on Saturday, reminded us, that England could hold the tournament tomorrow without spending a cent. It's so frustrating that FIFA is run by Blatter and a bunch of third world incompetents.

  • Comment number 53.

    Sort of agree with robo, but my gripe isn't the corruption per se.
    The whole game is being taken away from the masses (for whom it was created and by whom it is adored) and administrators, financiers and some ex-players do not have a clue how the game can be improved.
    That is my hope, improvement and honesty. The game is in a downward spiral, the absolute refusal to use technology to make the game fairer, more honest is appalling. I saw 15 minutes of Barca v Real and it sickened me to the core. The world cup final was no better. But I don't blame the clubs/countries involved, I blame the so-called administrators of the game who have quite literally, taken their eyes off the ball. The whole committee should be disbanded and a process put in place to set up a new structure to sort the mess out and take the game forward. It will be time-consuming and won't be cheap, but let's face it, football can afford it. I used to love playing and watching the game, can now barely sit through to the end of a game. Don't think I am alone.

  • Comment number 54.

    If Mr Blatter is the be all and end all of fifa,and after having his say on goal line tech and video replys with out consultation, are we to belive that some committee find him still a shinning star of fifa, wake up and smell the coffee his grip on fifa is iron clad and if not sorted it will be like london was before Joseph William Bazalgette built the sewer system?creating a big -----

  • Comment number 55.

    The press conference was a farce and when asked if 2022 bid was clean, Blatter side stepped the question by saying it used the same process as the 2018 election! Any sane person would surely know there can't be this much smoke without fire, therefore I would like to know what possible hold could Blatter have over these delegates for them to want to re-elect him.

  • Comment number 56.

    If Sepp Blatter had any honour, he would have started and ended that press conference by committing Harakiri, FIFA is a sham, i only hope there are enough associations with a bit of backbone to stand up to FIFA and change the greatest and most popular sport in the world, for the better. If FIFA was a national government, the people would rise up and over throw them

  • Comment number 57.

    The voting for the world cup, should be made by the footballing nations leading league club chair persons only, and they can not vote for their own country,
    and the winning choice forwarded on a set date and time, the country with the most votes wins such a diverse voting system as that would be hard to argue with

  • Comment number 58.

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  • Comment number 59.

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  • Comment number 60.

    All this is very very sad really, I remember when I was young and I first played football at school ... The joy and elation of scoring goals and winning games tempered with the isolation of being red-carded and the pain of conceding or losing.

    Had I known then, that it all just boils down to who has the bigger wallet and the smaller concept of fair play I wouldn't have bothered at all - and would have taken up Cricket: Where even though the sport is run by old guys who don't really play the game at least they know how to give each side an even chance of victory!

    Labelling football as a product was the beginning of the end, and FIFA and BSkyB along with all the world's FA's have contributed to it's poor state of affairs and it's eventual downfall.

    Sucks but that is how the cookie crumbles. Give us back our ball!!

  • Comment number 61.

    While I don't wish to suggest that FIFA is an exemplary organisation, my problem all along with this story has been the BBC's coverage. In a week in which an alleged war criminal has been tracked down FIFA remains at the top of the news agenda. I cannot imagine that any other country - or broadcaster - is devoting as much time and energy to this story as the BBC. I think the BBC have fallen into the tabloid trap, because it is the red tops which seem to be setting their news agenda. There has been undisguised anger since England failed to secure the 2018 World Cup bid. Someone is to blame for our failure - after all, it can't possibly be our fault. Our bid was the best possible, wasn't it? We could only have been cheated out of it. I seem to recall a similar mood used to prevail with regards to the IOC. The Olympic family were completely corrupt and rotten from top to bottom, we'd hear all the time. But then we won the right to host the 2012 Olympics and guess what? All those stories disappeared overnight. When did you last read about corruption in the IOC? If we'd succeeded in our bid to host the 2018 World Cup I doubt the BBC news would have devoted 25 minutes to a Sepp Blatter press conference. We simply wouldn't care. All this has ever underlined for me is our utter gracelessness in defeat. As for the notion of leaving FIFA, what an utter nonsense, when FIFA statutes preserve the separate status of the four home countries. Who, pray, will join the holier than thou England? If we did leave, of course, we could always organise our very own world cup. With only one team competing, we'd be almost certain to win.

  • Comment number 62.

    The problem lies very deep and it centres around Blatter who has presided over a period when FIFA's credibility has plumbed new depths. If there is to be some solution found it seems inconceivable that it would happen while he is still in charge. To claim there is no crisis speaks of breath-taking arrogance and suggests he intends to carry on with business as usual. Surely, for the sake of football and the reputation of FIFA the election CANNOT go ahead as planned this week. In this instance I hope press attention will achieve it's aim and unseat a thoroughly discredited leader.

  • Comment number 63.

    Sepp 'Officer Barbrady' Blatter at it again - "OK people, nothing to see here, move along!"

  • Comment number 64.

    It seem like Sepp Blatter will rule supreme over FIFA till his as had his holiday in Quatar in 2022, they say the weather is very hot there just like Sepp likes it?

  • Comment number 65.

    Blatter’s answers and attitude during the press conference tonight reminds me of historic events we have learned to forget or ignore. This man seems to be in total denial. He also attempts to place the blame on the victims as well as the people asking the questions.

  • Comment number 66.

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  • Comment number 67.

    Blatter will either come out of this whiter than white or he will be forced to go, and I dont feel very confident about the prospects of the latter going by previous "scandals". He strikes me as one of those people that would have the nerve to try and hold on to an untenable position, and he's definitely arrogant enough to stay there.

    Getting away from that for a second, I think our response as a country should have been the same as the Australians (for starters). We should be demanding our campaign money back. We should also go one step further and pull out of FIFA until they have cleaned house. How can any member country want to be a part of this farce of an organisation? All FIFA does is embarass its members by its very presence in its current state. We are better off out.

  • Comment number 68.

    Blatter is doing great damage to football but many if not all Football Associations from around the world (including our own) stand by twiddling their thumbs. We don't even try to find someone to stand against him, we merely abstain. Now is the time for leadership and integrity. Sadly I expect nothing to change.

  • Comment number 69.

    Where is the Swiss government and police in all this as they should be investigating FIFA on all this claims of bribery is against the law. Maybe it's time to start asking the Swiss authorities what they are doing in protecting a non-profit world sports governing body?

    Great insight and coverage David as the Canadian soccer community is following this as we have a mini-FIFA in Canada.

  • Comment number 70.

    Mike @3

    I think the WC in Qatar should also be stopped on health and safety grounds. Playing football in 40C is downright dangerous.
    We should leave FIFA. Its ExCo is as dodgy as a nine bob note. The majority of its members don't like us and wish us to fail. If England can't host the WC on the back of hosting the Olympics and with many brand new stadia already built then it we will never again host it. I don't care if the national team doesn't play again - we're rubbish, and, like Spain, care more about club football anyway.

  • Comment number 71.

    Can we with hand on heart say since Sepp Blatter became President of FIFA the world game has progressed into a fairer, watchable, spectacular event we all want to watch for the game of football with skilled players playing as a team not the teams being argumentative, the game as gone to far into the hands of coaches who teach winning tactics and money driven owners to buy the best sometimes not with there own money, not to allow rule changes to take the volatile nature out of the players so self control is the key word and skill and team play the main aim.
    This should be Mr Blatters main aim for the good of the game in his next term of office

  • Comment number 72.

    38 It needs EUFA to break away from FIFA in the first instance. It could stand on its own in the first instance, while attempting to bring some other major associations on board, in particular South America. That would leave FIFA pretty much meaningless and most of the remaining associations would flock to the new governing body.

  • Comment number 73.

    Crisis what crisis?

    Well it is now apparent that we will not see any cleaning of FIFA from the top down.

    Swis Police to get involved? Don't hold your breath.

    We can scrap it or we can get out? no other apparent option.

  • Comment number 74.

    It will be interesting to see who votes for Blatter and who abstains. This will tell us what this is all about. This morning I spoke to a French football expert who explained to me why Michel Platini supports Blatter and voted for Qatar.I am afraid it would leave a sour taste if you knew.But you can get some idea if you read Martin Samuel in the Mail this morning.
    The big worry is that with Platini, the head of UEFA on board,it looks like to me that Blatter is untouchable. My only defence for Platini is that he played for Juventus in Serie A in Italy, where he was told what to do. It looks like it has stuck with him.

  • Comment number 75.

    It will be interesting to see what the FIFA accounts show for their participation and financial control of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

  • Comment number 76.

    The idea that Qatar could ever host a World Cup is fanciful. It doesn't have the size, the population, the stadia, the infrastructure and the climate needed. Everyone knows this. Fifa's own technical report deemed it as "high risk". And yet I never doubted for a second that Qatar's bid would emerge victorious. Why? Money.

    Now that it has come to light that Fifa's General Secretary has cast doubt on the legality of Qatar's 2022 bid, questions must now be raised about the World Cup going to the Middle East in 11 years time. It simply cannot be held in the summer months and if Fifa try to force a change to a winter World Cup, the European Clubs will simply not allow it. I think there is a very real possibility of a breakaway organisation being created if Fifa does not get its own house in order and look again at where the 2022 World Cup is going to be held.

    Will Blatter do this though? Given that he has just arbitrarily decided that there is no corruption in Fifa, no charges to investigate, and no questions to answer, I highly doubt it.

  • Comment number 77.

    There is no point in being a member of FIFA, international football is dying and cant be resuscitated, club football rules, the PL should join forces with Spain, Germany and Italy and focus on these 4 countries and leagues. The rest of Europe are just feeder leagues for the big four. If the USA can be brought on board with games played over there on a regular basis then our game will prosper.

    Let Africa, South America and Asia go their own way, they had nothing apart from history and being feeder countries to the big leagues.

    The FA has also had its day and wont be mourned either

  • Comment number 78.

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

  • Comment number 79.

    So we have heard Blatters opinion , Rome is burning so lets all get our fiddles out and play on ........... For Blatter to say there was no issues until after 1998 is wrong , there was major issues in FIFA regarding commercial rights and ISL before 1998 . Proving bribery is very difficult as those who generally take part dont leave a trail , its generally all verbal so the only option is following the money and if you dont know where to start and where to look , then its nigh on impossible . The problem with FIFA now is that there is so much smoke , there has to be a fire ! which brings us back to where I began . There is also an arrogance regarding be dismissive of governments with concerns and also football fans the world over , their opinions should matter to the FIFA members who vote on the next president as this is the world game . As regards Valcke , to say his remark related to only how much Qatar spent on their bid is questionable as all the others spent a lot on their bids too and we was all lead to believe no matter how much was spent on bids the decision to award would be based on its technical and commercial factors , ooops I forgot , we had the best technical and commercial bid for 2018 and spent a fortune on it ............. but didnt get it ......

  • Comment number 80.

    I am astonished at Blatters press conference.
    He looked and sounded like and rambling delusional old man. No wonder FIFA is imploding.

  • Comment number 81.

    "If we did leave, of course, we could always organise our very own world cup. With only one team competing, we'd be almost certain to win. " - simonb

    Ugh, that would no doubt be ran by the FA, who run a close second to FIFA for being a closed society within a society and who are also answerable to no-one. I reminded myself of this fact recently whilst watching a Brian Clough documentary which noted that the FA had chosen their new manager despite running a public process of recruitment. In other words, the FA are to be trusted as much as FIFA. They are both old boys networks.

    Even though your suggestion was a point being made with sarcasm, I'll say no thanks to both that and FIFA.

  • Comment number 82.

    At 16:17 30th May 2011, Nav Sandhu wrote:

    Has Sepp Blatter actually been convicted of corruption? Has anything been proven against him?

    Stop the witch hunt you hypocrites and take a look at English football...


    Much as I hate to burst your bubble I'm not English. As a Scotsman I could care less whether England gets the World Cup. What concerns me, and what you've dodged addressing, is the fact that General Secretary of FIFA is saying Qatar bought the 2022 World Cup, not some poster replying to this blog, the General Secretary of FIFA. Then we have FIFA vice-presidents accusing one another of corruption, you really think all of this should just be ignored and brushed under the carpet?

  • Comment number 83.

    Riggadon-You have got it spot on. Whilst others are playing the "Resevoir Dogs" ending, our own FA know only too well where their own bread is buttered and will stay "stumm" incase anybody points the revolver at them.

  • Comment number 84.

    To people like Nav Sandhu who come on these boards every time there is a discussion about FIFA etc... why do you always turn it into a discussion about the English? Why do you always turn it into -you English think you are the best - you only get to quarter finals - you think your league is the best - no one likes the English...... What has any of that got to do with a debate about FIFA?.... you are not the 1st to do it and you will not be the last, but your Jealousy shines through.... This discussion is far more important than your small minded bigotry... its about the fundamental future of the game we and the rest of the world love... if there is wrong doing then it has to be tracked down, it has to be investigated... there is no smoke without fire....Blatter cannot just wipe this under the carpet... too much is coming out now...There has got to be an independant enquiry into this mess... if we cannot trust the delegates not to be bought then how can we not trust the match officials to be bought. Correct examples and behaviour should be set from the top otherwise the public cannot have any confidence in the beautiful game... FIFA IS in crisis.

  • Comment number 85.

    84 To answer your question about Nav, it's pretty obvious really. He has his own anti-English agenda, probably fuelled by an inferiority complex, and uses these boards to try and wind people up and get a reaction. Best just to ignore his posts.

  • Comment number 86.

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

  • Comment number 87.

    This is a direct quote from Sepp Blatter's speech earlier today..........

    "When I entered Fifa 36 years ago, we had no problems. We had no problems until 1998"

    Sepp Blatter was elected President of FIFA in 1998. Is it just a coincidence that 1998 was when the problems started?

  • Comment number 88.

    When a player does anything mildly wrong off the the pitch he is punished or reprimanded or banned etc.

    Why should it be any different for these bureaucrats? Why isn't the world media calling for their ouster?

    Its one thing to be objective and report the news, but at times you have to do just that bit more because its the right thing to do!

  • Comment number 89.

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

  • Comment number 90.

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

  • Comment number 91.

    88 Agreed! The recent antics of some top FIFA officials has certainly brought the game into disrepute in my opinion. It's impossible to envisage that FIFA can sort its own affairs out without bringing about a major regime change. Otherwise it will be like asking turkeys to vote for Christmas, as too many of the current top brass have far too much to lose personally.

    Warner is one of the worst examples, an ego out of control, corrupted by the powerful position he has managed to attain. There are numerous examples of how he has profiteered from his position, so how he is still in the role is beyond me.

    Remember, this is the guy that sent Roy Keane a disparaging letter written on FIFA headed notepaper after Dwight Yorke withdrew from the Trinidad and Tobago team. Keane was spot on when he responded by calling the guy a clown and a disgrace.

  • Comment number 92.

    for me i think that some sort of wrong doing did happen in awrding the world cup 2022 to qatar...bcoz they have the cash to ensure it happened...and FIFA is a body that survives on is not a volunteer group that does not need cash to survive. Qatar had all the rite reasons to want to host the WC..bcoz it want to be the first in the arab world to host it...with it comes bragging rites... Like it or not in this day and age money talks n money makes the world go round...and Qatar has plenty of it
    All this turmoil in FIFA brings shame to the memories of it founding fathers..who had a vision of greatness for the game of football

  • Comment number 93.

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

  • Comment number 94.

    It seems that the corruption that thrives in every single part of life is just as abundant in the world of football, yet we turn a blind eye to more important issues like world poverty because one country paid more in bribes than another country to host a world cup! I wish other issues were discussed with as much vigour........

    Football has lost a fan, and ceased to be a "sport" a long time ago

  • Comment number 95.

    FIFA should protect the interest of European football instead of Africa or Asia. We are the biggest contributors to the game and we get absolutely NOTHING for it in return.

  • Comment number 96.

    My only concern is the England national team. We got exposed in the last world cup and the blame lies at the feet of the FA and the greedy Premier League. There is no emphasis on promoting english players or managers. Its all wrong, they are my enemies - not FIFA. The bizarre thing was that a lot of people thought we had a divine right to host the 2018 world cup, but our national team is being left behind. The likes of Japan and South Korea have caught up. Our showing would be a disaster as usual. We should first concentrate on creating a world class team. Due to that, i was happy Russia won the bid. It provides the football fraternity with a chance to develop the game there.

    I wish Seppy the best of luck in the future, although i would like him to implement a global salary cap, reduce agents' fees and ensure contracts are honoured, not treated like trash at present. Also, please stop foreign ownership in the greedy Premier League, how many Portsmouth's, West Ham's and Tom Hicks do we have to sit thru before the penny drops?

  • Comment number 97.

    Nav, you really dont realize that you are on the wrong board her do you? will you stop going on about the premier league and salary caps, we are talking about posible corruption in FIFA - WORLD FOOTBALL - not West Ham et al.

    So back to the subject NAV ...... what are YOUR views about any possible FIFA corruption? are you happy that an organization that represents you and I (football fans together) can just be 'bought'?

    look at the facts: Warner and Hamman have been suspended, they are implicated in buying votes, paying money for favours and as Hamman states that if he is guilty of buying votes for Qatar then there must be 13 delegates who are responsible for accepting the bribes, is he saying this as a veiled threat to FIFA – come and get me and all hell will unleash - Like a pebble thrown into a pond the ripples will start to spread further. How can you ask delegates to vote out a hierarchy that might directly affect their own jobs? It’s not going to happen. FIFA are not in a position to act independently…How can Blatter be allowed to give out free ‘gifts’ and then have this voted on after the event as Platini suggests. How can Valcke use the words ‘buy or bought the world cup’ and then try to riddle out of it by saying he meant the weight of the money used to campaign for the world cup, either he goes because he knew about it or he goes because he is incompetent at his wording in emails and is either way not fit to serve.
    There has to be international law here, FIFA cannot be outside this, there has to be an independent enquiry / investigation and if anyone is found guilty then they should be brought before the courts and criminal charges brought. This serves 2 purposes, either FIFA is proved fit to govern football and we all move on or the virus that has infected it is removed and then again we can move on. The greater picture will be that any organisations, whoever they are and in whatever sports etc are not above international law they will then know that they can be held accountable for their actions. This is not said because I am English and am sore about losing the World cup bid. Personally if I was running our campaign it would never have just been England but all the football associations of the UK, this would have brought the UK together as one and would have been far more appealing as a bid. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have got some wonderful stadiums and if they did not have they could have been built and it would

  • Comment number 98.

    With everything that has gone on Fifa should disband all existing committees and the Presidential vote suspended. If they fail to do that all the major European Leagues should walk away from Fifa and no longer recognise it. If Engalnd, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Holland set up their own leading group or asked UEFA to run the game it would not take long for the others to leave Fifa. Without the European super powers of football Fifa will become extinct. Take away Brazil and Argentina and the power of football lies in Europe

  • Comment number 99.

    Just one more point Nav…… when you say people believe that we have a divine right to host the world cup, I believe that it is the other countries who believe this more than us… they are the ones always banging on about England being the motherland of football, I and my friends do not believe we have a divine right to host it but we do believe we have a divine right to be part of a fair voting system, its not just us but even Australia are now asking for their campaign money to be re-imbursed, what does this say about FIFA?

  • Comment number 100.

    So it has taken 13 years to work this out? Or is it just the fact that England didnt get the 2018 world cup that made a light bulb go on in somebody's head?

    As i have said before, Sepp Blatter hasnt been convicted of anything yet. Let justice be served and then lets all pass judgement. Corruption exists all over the world, i just get the feeling some people think they are holier then thou.

    I dont buy into all this nonsense that Blatter is the devil incarnate. He's been the same person since he took over in 1998. Why wasnt there a movement against him before?


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