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BLATTER TURNS HUMILIATION INTO TRIUMPH AS FIFA GIVES THE ‘PIRATES’ FROM THE ENGLISH FA ANOTHER GOOD KICKING

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Blatter says he will learn from his "slapping"

Blatter says he will learn from his "slapping"

BY JOHN GUBBA

Love him or hate him, you have to admire the way Sepp Blatter has expertly navigated the stormy waters of his FIFA re-election like a triumphant admiral who has neatly dodged the pirates trying to sink him.

Equally, credit where credit is due and the ice cool Swiss politican has wasted no time in setting about reforming FIFA.  The 75-year-old started his fourth term as President after announcing a raft of measures designed to give the world’s governing body greater transparency and accountability.

A secret ballot saw Blatter re-elected with 186 votes and 17 abstentions as he stood unopposed as  the only candidate, following Mohamed Bin Hammam’s withdrawal on Sunday – hours before he was provisionally banned over allegations that he was involved in Qatar paying bribes to secure the 2022 World Cup.

England humiliated by 2018 World Cup vote for Russia

England humiliated by 2018 World Cup vote for Russia

Earlier Blatter announced a new system of choosing World Cup hosts with all 208 Fifa nations voting instead of the 24-man executive committee. He told the Congress: ”I thank you for your trust and confidence from the bottom of my heart and together we will have four more years – provided the Lord gives me the life, the energy and the strength to continue on our path.”

His victory will taste even sweeter because the Football Association’s fruitless attempt to block the vote ended in heavy defeat and vengeful recriminations. It left England looking even more  isolated than ever in the corridors of power of  world football.  FA chairman David Bernstein said his organisation’s move had been worthwhile and insisted they had not suffered for sticking their head above the parapet. But it is hard to agree. Even Wales and Northern Ireland voted against England and the fall-out saw several powerful figures in football line up to attack the FA.

The leaders of associations from Haiti, DR Congo, Benin, Fiji and Cyprus all spoke to criticise the FA’s move, and the most forceful attack came from FIFA’s senior vice-president Julio Grondona of Argentina who branded England a bunch of “pirates” fueled by ” journalism which is more busy lying than telling the truth.”

Meanwhile, centre stage the all-conquering Blatter said he would learn from the ”public anger” and would lead FIFA out of their current predicament: ”We have been hit and I personally have been slapped. We have made mistakes and we will learn from this. I can say to a certain extent that this is a good warning, not just to look into our problems and I am willing to face the public anger in order to serve football.”

While England’s football team can only dream of one day re-living the glories of 1966, off the pitch the English FA are even less effective. Embarrassed with total rejection in the vote to stage the 2018 World Cup, this was another day when our influence on the world game was once again exposed as being as low as it can get.

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WHY DOES DICTATOR BLATTER THINK HE IS GOOD FOR THE GAME? IT IS TIME TO BOOT HIM OUT

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Crisis? What crisis? asks Sepp Blatter

Crisis? What crisis? asks Sepp Blatter

BY JOHN GUBBA

What a staggering show of defiance by FIFA President Sepp Blatter who has shrugged off the crisis surrounding his governing body at a remarkable press conference in Zurich.

And how sad that this FIFA farce should take the spotlight away from the Champions League Final that represented everything good about The Beautiful Game.

Blatter has dismissed all allegations of corruption from all quarters including his own vice President Jack Warner who says “Blatter must be stopped”

Like all dictators Blatter refuses to accept criticism. He insists his organisation is “not in crisis just facing difficulties” and dismisses all allegations of corruption

Despite growing calls for him to resign and corruption allegations over the vote that awarded Qatar the 2022 World Cup, Blatter is determined he will be reappointed FIFA President for another four years on Wednesday (June 1).

It will take a revolution within FIFA to stop Blatter extending his 14 years in power. And sadly that is unlikely to happen despite Warner’s opposition.

Blatter says he is good for the game. But ask anyone outside FIFA and you would struggle to fill a small room who agree with him.

The truth is the FIFA President has brought The Beautiful Game into disrepute. And the time has come for Blatter and his chronies to step aside or for a new governing body to take control of the world game.

THE REAL WORLD CUP SCANDAL      

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FIFA FARCE! IS THIS THE END OF THE ODIOUS SEPP BLATTER WHO MUST DEFEND HIMSELF AGAINST CORRUPTION CHARGES?

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President Blatter facing corruption charges

President Blatter facing corruption charges

BY JOHN GUBBAHow ironic that after years of covering up alleged corruption at FIFA, the dictatorial leader of the governing body of world football is facing the humiliation of having to defend himself against allegations of corruption. The farce engulfing FIFA scaled new heights with the news that president Sepp Blatter will face the body’s ethics committee on Sunday (May 29) to answer charges that he knew about alleged bribes made by other senior figures in the organisation, who were trying to topple him. He will join Mohamed Bin Hammam, his rival in the forthcoming presidential election, and controversial FIFA vice-president Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago at the hearing where they will all face claims of corruption and bribery.

Jack Warner accused of offering bribes to Caribbean delegates in return for votes at Wednesday’s FIFA presidential election.

Jack Warner accused of offering bribes to Caribbean delegates in return for votes at Wednesday’s FIFA presidential election.

Absurdly, it means that the three most powerful men in world football must appear before the ethics committee three days before the organisation must pick one of them as its president.

Bin Hammam and Jack Warner, a Fifa vice-president, have been accused of offering bribes to Caribbean delegates in return for votes at Wednesday’s FIFA presidential election. But Bin Hammam has responded by demanding that an investigation into the matter be extended to include Blatter.
Bin Hammam’s statement came hours after Blatter had dismissed claims that he had orchestrated a smear campaign against both his rival and Warner, who has long been considered the kingmaker in the presidential election, with his control of the 40 Concacaf votes the key to either candidate’s success.
Blatter dismissed the accusation as “ludicruous” and “completely reprehensible” but a spokesman for Bin Hammam said: “As the recent accusations also mention incumbent Fifa president Joseph Blatter, Mohammed Bin Hammam has requested that the investigation be extended to include Mr Blatter.” Surely FIFA must immediately postpone their presidential election. And the world of football must think long and hard about whether or not FIFA retains the authority to run the world’s biggest sport.

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Who do you trust? Rivals Mohamed Bin Hammam and Sepp Blatter

Who do you trust? Rivals Mohamed Bin Hammam and Sepp Blatter

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THE REAL WORLD CUP SCANDAL IS WHY ON EARTH DID FIFA CHOOSE QATAR TO BE 2022 HOSTS?

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Qatar have promised to build nine stadiums with solar-powered, carbon-neutral air-conditioning to combat typical 115-degree summer heat.

Qatar have promised to build nine stadiums with solar-powered, carbon-neutral air-conditioning to combat typical 115-degree summer heat.

BY JOHN GUBBA

Whatever the fall out over the FIFA corruption claims do not be fooled into thinking England has any right to stage the 2018 World Cup – Russia deserved to win the vote and our team got it hopelessly wrong.

For former FA and England 2018 chairman Lord Triesman to allege that four FIFA executive members asked for favours in exchange for World Cup votes – including one who wanted a knighthood – is just sour grapes. Remember we only got two votes anyway.

The real issue is why on earth did FIFA award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar? Now that is a questionable decision on so many levels that really does stink of corruption.

Qatar is a tiny country with no recognisable soccer history. Mega-rich. But ill-equipped to stage a World Cup. It’s one existing international airport will need to triple in size. Nine stadiums need to be built, and the proposed host city of Lusail doesn’t even exist yet.

Then there’s that whole concept of solar-powered, carbon-neutral air-conditioning system for the stadiums to combat the 115-degree heat during a typical Qatari summer afternoon.

Not to mention the fact that visitors carrying an Israeli passport are not currently allowed in Qatar, homosexuality is illegal, single women under the age of 35 are typically required to have a male escort to enter the country and all women are forbidden to wear shorts and skirts.

As one tweeter observed when the controversial decision was made: “If FIFA really wanted to change the world through soccer, they would have awarded Qatar the Women’s World Cup.”

FIFA president Sepp Blatter insists that a first World Cup in the Middle East will continue the organization’s commitment to “open this game to everybody and open it to all cultures.” Yes that is an admirable philosophy.

But it is hardly surprising to learn that Qatar’s controversial success in taking the 2022 World Cup to the desert was propelled by millions of dollars in bribes, according to previously unpublished conversations key figures connected with FIFA held with undercover reporters.

David Beckham and Prince William led England's unsuccessful bid for the 2018 World Cup

David Beckham and Prince William led England

In evidence published on Tuesday under parliamentary privilege by the select committee on football governance, the Sunday Times alleges that Michel Zen-Ruffinen, a former secretary general of FIFA, introduced the reporters to Amadou Diallo, a member of the Confederatio of African Football. Zen-Ruffinen is said to have claimed that Qatar was “using Diallo to arrange financial deals with the African [Fifa executive committee] members in exchange for World Cup votes”.

On Tuesday night the Qatar Football Association issued a statement in which they said they “categorically deny” the allegations. But this is not the last we will hear on this subject.

UPDATE: 27 May 2011 – FIFA has opened ethics proceedings against its president, Sepp Blatter

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