Scandals hit five of six confederation presidents

[FIFA] For all the attention to corruption scandals at the FIFA level, the real action is at the confederation level.

Of soccer's six confederations, five have had their presidents banned or quit or be reprimanded in the wake of corruption charges in the last three years.

The latest: Paraguayan Nicolas Leoz, the Conmebol president who quit on Tuesday, citing health reasons.

Nov. 18, 2010. Tahitian Reynald Temarii, the president of Oceania's confederation, was suspended for one year for breaching FIFA's loyalty and confidentiality rules when he was secretly filmed in a sting by undercover reporters from the Sunday Times who posed as American lobbyists trying to buy votes for the 2022 World Cup bid.

Temarii, who asked for $2.3 million to fund a soccer academy in New Zealand, was replaced as Oceania president by David Chung of Papua New Guinea

June 20, 2011. Jack Warner, a member of the FIFA executive committee since 1983 and Concacaf president since 1990, quit after FIFA's ethics committee began proceedings against him on at least three separate corruption and bribery charges.

The charges related to a meeting of Caribbean Football Union members he organized in Trinidad for them to meet Mohamed bin Hammam, the president of the Asian Football Confederation who was running for FIFA president against Sepp Blatter. It was revealed brown envelopes containing $40,000 were offered to the CFU members.

One Friday, Concacaf released the results of its investigation into Warner and former Concacaf general secretary Chuck Blazer, who blew the whistle on Warner and bin Hammam. The investigation revealed Warner had defrauded Concacaf of millions of dollars.

July 23, 2011. Bin Hammam was banned for life from all soccer activities by the FIFA ethics committee that investigated the CFU scandal.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the ban in 2012, but Bin Hammam was provisionally suspended over allegations of financial mismanagement while serving AFC president. Bin Hammam later quit all soccer activities and was banned for life by FIFA.

Dec. 8, 2011. African confederation president Issa Hayatou was reprimanded by the International Olympic Committee, of which he is a member, for receiving payments from FIFA's former marketing agency, ISL. The BBC Panorama in November 2010 had accused Hayatou of receiving 100,000 Swiss francs ($106,000) in cash for ISL in 1995.

Hayatou remains CAF president, having successfully extended his 26-year reign by getting passed a rule change that allowed only "current or former members" of the CAF executive committee to run for president. Opposition candidate Jacques Anouma of Ivory Coast was effectively barred from running because his seat on the FIFA executive committee gives him only non-voting board status within CAF.

The irony is Hayatou and Anouma were together accused by a whistle-blower, a former Qatar 2022 bid committee employee, of taking $1.5 million each to vote of Qatar in its successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, but she later recanted her statement.

April 23, 2013. The 84-year-old Leoz said heart problems made it impossible for him to travel and fulfill his FIFA duties and those as president of Conmebol, a post he has held since 1986.

Leoz was implicated in the same ISL bribery scandal involving Hayatou, former FIFA president Joao Havelange and Havelange's former son-in-law, Brazilian Ricardo Teixeira, who quit last year as a member of the FIFA executive committee and is now in exile in South Florida.

FIFA prosecutor Michael Garcia has prepared a 4,000-page report set to be made public. It is expected to include findings in the ISL bribery scandal against Leoz.

A Leoz aide famously proposed to the England 2018 World Cup bid team that the FA Cup should be renamed in Leoz's honor in return for him agreeing to visit England, and former FA chairman Lord Triesman alleged that Leoz had asked for a knighthood in return for supporting England's bid.

The sixth confederation president is former French great Michel Platini, the UEFA boss.

Platini has a reputation of being generally clean, though the Paris weekly France Football suggested earlier this year in its "Qatargate" report that Platini voted for Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid after attending a dinner hosted by then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy and also attended by Sarkozy's close friend, the Emir of Qatar -- a dinner at which Qatari investment in French soccer was supposedly discussed.

Platini has insisted he voted for Qatar 2022 on his own -- though he has since suggested that the tournament must be moved to the winter.

6 comments about "Scandals hit five of six confederation presidents".
  1. Brent Crossland, April 24, 2013 at 8:04 a.m.

    No surprises. I've always thought that FIFA is one of the most morally & financially corrupt organizations in the world. Huge amounts of money, no transparency into executive level actions, no oversight, and the ability to 'punish' any member country that rocks the boat. Its a perfect storm if you want to pad your own pockets.

  2. Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan, April 24, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

    After BANKRUPTING GLOBAL-FOOTBALL these bastards are now CORRUPTING THE HEALTH WORLD to try and escape justice. PUT THEIR FAMILIES ON NOTICE; THEY WILL BE BANKRUPTED HOWEVER LONG THEY OPT NOT TO COMMIT SUICIDE. BASTARDS! The day of reckoning for Joseph Sepp Blatter & Co has arrived

  3. Allan Lindh, April 25, 2013 at 3:15 a.m.

    Time for UEFA to announce an alternate World Cup, and invite nations to leave FIFA and join them. I suspect US, Canada, Australia, NZ, Mexico? would join them in a heartbeat. Followed by the best of the South American and African nations, maybe Japan and Korea. FIFA's corruption is massive weight around the neck of the Beautiful Game, all of the support money would quickly shift to a new, honestly led and organized Federation.

  4. Ron R, April 25, 2013 at 8:11 a.m.

    I'm all for a new World Football Organization but because of the intrinsic money and power associated with the world's most popular sport, it would become corrupt at the first assignment of their equivalent to the WC. The players in the organization would change and the Blatter's of the world could be banned but the influence peddlers that got to Blatter over time would still get to the new leaders. What I think FIFA needs is real oversight and criminal prosecution because we are talking billions of dollars in criminal acts just like the financial giants in America and Europe have committed. The start would have to be that membership in FIFA would require that the country accepts criminal responsibility for their country's representative and establish a world court with actual authority to prosecute. I don't want to put this on par with war crimes but the purchase of the WC in 2018 and 2022 is a multibillion dollar crime for which no one will be punished. Qatar 2022? If that vote were taken by secret ballot, it would have received 2 votes. Russia 2018? The most corrupt government in the world to host the WC? What could go wrong? People are people and the ones without a purchase price are rare indeed so the only recourse is to know they will be punished criminally for criminal acts, not just suspended.

  5. Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan, April 29, 2013 at 7:43 a.m.

    Just shows us HOW CORRUPT FIFA, Joseph Sepp Blatter and company are AND HOW INEFFECTUAL the 'media' and 'law' in our Country's is.


  6. Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan, April 29, 2013 at 7:48 a.m.

    Leoz was implicated in the same ISL bribery scandal involving Hayatou, former FIFA president Joao Havelange and Havelange's former son-in-law, Brazilian Ricardo Teixeira, who quit last year as a member of the FIFA executive committee and is now in exile in South Florida / Does the United States of America not have LAWS against the entry and exit of CRIMINALS?

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