Sepp Blatter's re-election to a third term as president of FIFA on Thursday was overshadowed by remarks by Scotsman John McBeth critical of corruption within FIFA countries that resulted in his being replaced by Geoff Thompson, chairman of the English FA, as Britain's vice-president on FIFA's executive committee.
McBeth won his place in a vote of the four British associations earlier
this year, but remarks about African and Caribbean nations to Scottish
reporters last week sparked a swift reaction within FIFA.
Scotland on Sunday quoted McBeth as saying of Blatter: "He's a
customer but I suppose anyone in that position has to be because you
are dealing with people who, to put it mildly, have a totally different
code of ethics."
McBeth added: "By and large, the four British countries know what fair
play is and we
know when we're stepping out of line ... but as soon as you hit Africa
it's a slightly different kettle of fish. They're poor nations and they
want to grab what they can. I presume
the Caribbean is much the same."
Two men on the FIFA executive committee were accused of ticket scalping
at the 2006 World Cup: Ismail Bhamjee,
the Botswana representative, and CONCACAF president Jack Warner from Trinidad &
Bhamjee is no longer on the executive committee. Warner and his son, Daryan,
were accused of the massive resale of tickets at Germany 2006. Though
FIFA's disciplinary committee cleared Jack Warner, Daryan, who ran the
Simpaul travel agency,
was ordered to pay FIFA $1 million -- the estimated profit on the deals
-- for SOS Children's Villages. Jack Warner had previously been accused
of conflict of interest in a number of activities.
McBeth, the successor to countryman David Will on the FIFA executive
committee, was told he was not welcome at the FIFA Congress in Zurich
and his remarks will be investigated by FIFA's Ethics Committee under
chairman Sebastian Coe, the
former track star.
Jack Warner, meanwhile, suggested that it was time to rethink Britain's
automatic place on the FIFA executive committee.
"It's an anachronism," he said. "They [the four British federations]
play in Europe, they must be integrated into Europe."