FIFA Bribery Scandal: Why Sepp Blatter Needs to Be Fired Immediately
Famed defense attorney Johnnie Cochran's closing argument in the O.J Simpson trial was, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit."
Now, all the corruption allegations against Sepp Blatter would fit in with institutionalised corruption, but like Simpson, Blatter will have costly but crafty lawyers to carry out a Chewbacca defense to cloud his indiscretion.
This slideshow will pull no strings and give you 10 examples of corruption by Blatter during his reign, that not even Cochran could defend.
Corruption 1: David Yallop’s Damning Allegations
In 1999, investigative journalist, David Yallop published the book, How They Stole The Game.
Here is a passage.
“…Some of Blatter’s supporters had begun to panic on the Saturday prior to the Monday vote. They were convinced that Lennart Johansson still held the majority. …Between 15 and 20 delegates were persuaded to exchange the white envelope containing their vote for another containing $50,000.”
Having applied for a court order to ban distribution of Yallop’s How They Stole The Game in Germany and Switzerland, Blatter told FIFA.com, “It was never my intention to curb freedom of speech and the press.”
Contradiction at its finest.
Corruption 2: The Curious Case of Charlie Dempsey
In 2000, then OFC president Charlie Dempsey strangely abstained from voting in the final round to decide which nation would host the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
So why didn’t Dempsey vote?
The Weekend Herald reported Dempsey stating, “I got an envelope under my door which offered gifts if I voted for a certain country which I won't name.”
German satirical magazine Titanic admitted to “bribing” Dempsey; they offered a cuckoo clock if he voted for Germany.
The BBC reported South African bid chairman Irvin Khoza stating, “I do not see how a man can vote in the first two rounds and then not in the third and final round. FIFA should investigate this.”
To translate, Khoza insinuated that Dempsey was bribed into abstaining from voting.
This theory is supported by investigative journalist Andrew Jennings, who told Simon Plumb at stuff.co.nz, “There's no doubt he [Dempsey] walked out, because in my view he was paid by Germany because he was the crucial voter who could be paid to walk away.”
Corruption 3: $100,000 for Farah Addo’s Vote
In 2002, then vice president of CAF Farah Addo blew the whistle on Sepp Blatter buying his way to FIFA presidency.
Addo told the Daily Mail, how he was offered $100,000 to vote for Blatter in 1998 and that he knew 18 CAF members were bribed into voting for Blatter.
In his homeland of Switzerland, Blatter took Addo to court, and the District Court of Meilen ordered Addo to pay 14,948 Swiss francs of damages and legal fees to Blatter.
Corruption 4: Michel Zen-Ruffinen’s Dossier
In 2002, then FIFA general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen released a dossier alleging of financial mismanagement by Sepp Blatter as FIFA president.
Zen-Ruffinen’s most eye catching allegation was that Blatter paid financial favours to CONCACAF president Jack Warner.
Eleven FIFA executive committee members sued Blatter, who again used his money to settle out of court.
Corruption 5: FIFA’s Financial Irregularities
In 2002, in addition to Michel Zen-Ruffinen’s dossier, then UEFA treasurer Mathieu Sprengers called out Sepp Blatter for FIFA’s financial irregularities.
Alan Campbell at The Sunday Herald reported Sprengers stating, “When I asked him privately, he would not deny he had used the 2006 money [2006 FIFA World Cup funds], but when he is challenged in public he denies saying that.”
In 2010, the guardian.co.uk reported Blatter stating, “I think something is wrong here with the Premier League […] To let a club go into administration, this is not good. They have two clubs in the Premier League who are not in debt. Why? Because they have two sponsors, and they have taken away the debt. These clubs are Chelsea and Manchester City.”
In 2002, FIFA faced a loss of £22 million following the collapse of its marketing partner ISL. Well that was the figure Blatter put out; the estimated loss FIFA incurred was £230 million.
Talk about hypocrisy on Blatter’s behalf.
Corruption 6: £500,000 for Amos Adamu's Vote
In 2010, the Sunday Times set up an undercover sting which exposed FIFA executive member Amos Adamu selling his vote for £500,000.
FIFA handed Adamu a three-year ban and a 10,000 Swiss franc fine.
Corruption 7: £1.5 Million for Reynald Temarii's Vote
In conjunction with the undercover sting on Amos Adamu, the Sunday Times also exposed OFC president Reynald Temarii selling his vote for £1.5 million.
Temarii was intending to use his bribery money to fund a football academy in Tahiti.
FIFA handed Temarii a one-year suspension and a 5,000 Swiss francs fine.
Corruption 8: Lord Triesman’s Revelations
After England had suffered an ignominious result in the FIFA World Cup hosting votes, former FA chairman Lord Triesman made some stunning revelations against FIFA vice president Jack Warner, FIFA executive committee members Issa Hayatou, Jacques Anouma, Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi.
- Warner wanted £2.5 million to fund education facilities in Trinidad and World Cup TV rights, in return for his vote.
- Qatar paid £1.5 million to Anouma and Hayatou for their votes.
- Leoz asked for a knighthood in return for his vote.
- Makudi wanted TV rights to an England vs. Thailand friendly in return for his vote.
- Teixeira was open for anything in return for his vote.
Corruption 9: Blazing Whistle Blower
Having disregarded whistle blower Farah Addo because it implicated him, Sepp Blatter used the allegations from whistle blower and FIFA executive committee member Chuck Blazer to bring FIFA vice president Jack Warner and AFC president and FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam in front of the FIFA ethics committee.
Blazer claimed bin Hammam and Warner paid $40,000 to CONCACAF members.
FIFA has provisionally suspended bin Hammam and Warner.
Corruption 10: Jérôme Valcke’s Email
In response to his suspension, Jack Warner not only violated his suspension by meeting with CONCACAF officials, but he also released an email which implicated FIFA general secretary Jérôme Valcke and Qatar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup bid.
Valcke stated in his email, “For MBH [Mohamed 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 [Joseph Sepp Blatter]. Or he thought you can buy FIFA as they [Qatar] bought the WC.”
Valcke would be forgiven for being frank, given he was emailing Warner, who was active in FIFA’s bribery.
Brian Homewood at Reuters Africa reported Valcke backtracking, “They [Qatar] were a candidate with a very important budget and have used it to heavily promote their bid all round the world in a very efficient manner.”
Talk about putting a spin on things.