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Rogues' gallery of confederation presidents
by Paul Kennedy, May 31st, 2011 10:09PM

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[FIFA IN CRISIS] Assume for a moment -- let's dream -- FIFA cleans up its act and adopts a new governance structure that rids it of the conflicts that plague it, there is still the matter of cleaning up its six confederations. Three confederation presidents have been suspended in the last six months on corruption charges, two others have been accused of taking bribes going back more than two decades and the sixth, the clean one in the bunch, is believed to have cast his vote for Qatar 2022, on orders from his country's president.

REYNALD TEMARII (Oceania). Banned for one year and fined 5,000 Swiss francs ($5,887) in November 2010 for breaches of the FIFA ethics code. He was caught in a sting by London Sunday Times reporters discussing money needed to build an Oceania "sports academy."

JACK WARNER (Concacaf). Provisionally suspended on Sunday on charges that he conspired with Asian Football Confederation President Mohamed bin Hammam to bribe Caribbean Football Union (CFU) members to vote for bin Hammam's since-aborted FIFA presidential bid. Warner was previously reprimanded by FIFA and fined around $1 million after allegedly selling tickets to 2006 World Cup games on the black market. FIFA dropped an English FA investigation into the Trinidadian's dealings with the FA during its World Cup 2018 bid campaign.

MOHAMED BIN HAMMAM (Asia). Also provisionally suspended on Sunday pending a full investigation into a scheme with Warner to buy the votes of the 25 CFU FIFA members at $40,000 apiece. On Saturday, bin Hammam abandoned his presidential bid. (Many believe it was part of a deal between FIFA and Qatar 2022 to put a damper on the mounting pressure to pull the World Cup from the Gulf state.)

ISSA HAYATOU (Africa). Accused by a whistle-blower in a Sunday Times report submitted to the British Parliament of taking $1.5 million to vote for Qatar 2022. (The whistle-blower has since been unable to reach an agreement to meet with FIFA officials about the charges against Hayatou and Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast.) The IOC, of which Hayatou is also a member, also asked that evidence of wrong-doing be passed along to its ethics committee. The IOC has been investigating the Cameroonian in relation to a BBC report last November in which he was accused of receiving kickbacks of about $20,000 via secret Liechtenstein bank accounts from FIFA's then-marketing partner ISL.

NICOLAS LEOZ (South America). FIFA also dropped the English FA investigation into Leoz's dealings with the FA during its World Cup 2018 bid campaign. It found no evidence that the 83-year-old Paraguayan sought to be knighted. The report did cite evidence that Leoz advisers asked about -- if you can believe this -- having the FA Cup named after him. Like Hayatou and Brazilian Ricardo Teixeira, he was named in a BBC report last November in which he was accused of receiving secret payments totaling $730,000 from ISL.

MICHEL PLATINI (Europe). The former French superstar is considered the soccer voice of international soccer politics, insisting this week he is "incorruptible." He is believed to have voted for Qatar for 2022 World Cup, though, on orders of the French government because of the deep ties between the Qatari government and French business interests. (French President Nicolas Sarkozy is very close with Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.) Once Qatar was awarded the World Cup, Platini came out against its plans to host the 2022 tournament in the summer.



0 comments
  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: June 1, 2011 at 8:46 a.m.
    Paul: I don't think you should include Platini is this gallery. There is a big difference between Looking for you own interest or your coutnry's interest. I bet you Gulati would listen to what Obama has to say if the US's interst is to be considered.

  1. Ian Plenderleith
    commented on: June 1, 2011 at 9:06 a.m.
    Just to accurately document Warner's contraventions of the FIFA ethics code: the black market allegations were from the 2010 World Cup. In 2006 he was found guilty of breaching the FIFA ethics code on three counts after he sold on Trinidad & Tobago's entire allocation of World Cup tickets to the family travel firm, Simpaul. Tickets were then only available to T&T fans as part of an expensive package deal from the Warner family firm. The FIFA punishment? A slap on the wrists for Warner, and a $1 million fine for Warner's son, Daryan, Simpaul's managing director (Warner had sold his shares in the firm by the time of the investigation). That amount was deemed by FIFA's auditors, Ernst & Young, to be the profit Simpaul made from the packages, so in effect it was no fine at all, and it's unclear whether it was ever actually paid to FIFA in full. Warner should have been banned from soccer activities for life for this incident alone. After that same World Cup he tried to defraud the T&T players by reneging on a pre-tournament deal whereby the players would receive half the profits that the T&T FA made from Germany 2006. He offered the players $1000 each, saying that was all that was left over from the $3 million profit. The T&T government later declared the FA had made no less than $28 million profit. A mere oversight on Jack's part, for $25 million is easily mislaid. Warner swiftly went to arbitration after that, and the exact terms of the subsequent deal were not, I believe, ever released.

  1. Ernest Irelan
    commented on: June 1, 2011 at 9:17 a.m.
    I am not surprised that unethical "deals" have occured at the highest level of soccer's ruling bodies, after all, it occurs all the time at the lowest levels starting with local youth soccer organizations in vairous states thruout the USA..why not in other countries? Politics, big money, people with influence, all can have an impact on the outcome of big decisions on soccer. I really do not know how one can control it, the good ole boy system seems to be everwhere, even in our local high school sports. I am not privy to the information what is going on with FIFA an confederations except what I read, I am in the know on local org. influential people an how they affect soccer players an the sport.I am reminded of a pro baseball player who told me that because of the politics in MLB, the best players were not always on the team...I see it in youth soccer, why not in Pro soccer? I really have not a clue as to how to control it except to have RESPONSIBLE reporting of such activity. Thank you Paul for your article, it stimulates the mind.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: June 1, 2011 at 12:10 p.m.
    @Ernest: I concur with you 100% having seen some of the circumstances in youth soccer that you have described.


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