Trump Threatens Rival World Cup Bidders


 

❝ Critics have slammed U.S. President Donald Trump’s comment as a complete violation of FIFA rules regarding political interference in the bidding process.

❝ “The US has put together a STRONG bid w/ Canada & Mexico for the 2026 World Cup,” Trump posted on Twitter on Thursday.

“It would be a shame if countries that we always support were to lobby against the U.S. bid. Why should we be supporting these countries when they don’t support us (including at the United Nations)?”

The senseless inadequate guttersnipe currently occupying a seat in the Oval Office treats sport with the ignorance, greed, and sophistry you would expect from a bully.

FBI investigation into FIFA bribes now includes FOX


What a brother act!Foto-net

A sports marketing company that was described in a sweeping indictment this month as retaining contracts because of the “support” of corrupt soccer officials has longstanding ties to the U.S. entertainment company 21st Century Fox, according to securities filings and other government documents.

The description of T&T Sports Marketing Ltd in the indictment signals that U.S. prosecutors have intensified their focus on media companies and what they might have known about any bribes…

When prosecutors announced their corruption investigation of world soccer’s governing body FIFA in May, they spoke in court papers about “an array of broadcasters and advertisers” but otherwise did not specifically address their role.

21st Century Fox listed T&T as a subsidiary last year in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Its investment in the company stretches back to 2002, government documents from the United States and Argentina showed…

T&T, which is registered in the Cayman Islands, does not have a listed telephone number and it was unclear if it has employees of its own

The Dec. 3 indictment said three executives “affiliated” with T&T bribed at least 15 high-level soccer officials to support the company’s exclusive worldwide broadcasting rights for events such as the Copa Libertadores, a major South American club tournament. The three executives were at the time with Argentine sports marketing firm Torneos y Competencias, the indictment said…

The indictment does not explain how T&T benefited from retaining the broadcasting contracts. T&T is not a broadcaster itself, but by obtaining broadcasting rights, it could resell them to major broadcasters.

21st Century Fox, which is led by media baron Rupert Murdoch, ended up with the rights to broadcast the Copa Libertadores and other tournaments…

Mere ownership in a subsidiary or affiliate involved in bribery would not be enough, however, for prosecutors to charge a major media company. There would need to be evidence the company knew or was willfully blind.

According to the indictment, T&T was owned in part by Argentina’s Torneos and in part by “a group of investors that included an affiliate of a major broadcasting company headquartered in the United States whose identity is known to the grand jury.” The description does not go beyond that.

Today, only two companies own shares in T&T. A Fox affiliate owns 75 percent and Torneos owns 25 percent, according to Torneos.

If it walks like a Rupert, quacks like a Rupert, it’s probably a Rupert.

FIFA officials arrested on corruption charges

The world governing body of football, Fifa, was plunged into an unprecedented crisis on the eve of its congress in Zurich after Swiss authorities arrested a string of officials in a dawn raid and opened criminal proceedings over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

More than a dozen plainclothed officers descended on the five-star Baur au Lac hotel on Wednesday, where officials had gathered for Fifa’s annual meeting.

The arrests were made on behalf of US authorities, after an FBI investigation that has been ongoing for at least three years. The US Department of Justice said authorities had charged 14 officials, nine of whom are current or former Fifa executives. Those arrested in Zurich face extradition to the US…

Separately, Swiss federal prosecutors said they had opened criminal proceedings in connection with the award of the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar. These decisions have been shrouded in claims of bribery and corruption ever since the vote in December 2010.

The Swiss authorities seized “electronic data and documents” in a raid on Fifa headquarters. Bank documents had earlier been collected from various Swiss financial institutions. Police will question 10 members of the Fifa executive committee who took part in the World Cup votes. The 10, all still current members of Fifa’s ExCo, include senior vice-president Issa Hayatou of Cameroon and Vitaly Mutko, Russia’s sports minister who is head of the country’s 2018 World Cup organising committee. The others are Angel Maria Villar Llona (Spain), Michel D’Hooghe (Belgium), Senes Erzik (Turkey), Worawi Makudi (Thailand), Marios Lefkaritis (Cyprus), Jacques Anouma (Ivory Coast), Rafael Salguero (Guatemala) and Hany Abo Rida (Egypt).

In a statement, the Swiss attorney general’s office said the executives were being questioned on suspicion of “criminal mismanagement” and money laundering. It said the timing of the operation was deliberately co-ordinated with the arrests on behalf of the US authorities “to avoid any possible collusion” between suspects and because a large number of those involved in the voting for the two World Cups were present in Zurich, where Fifa president Sepp Blatter was expected to be re-elected for another four-year term on Friday.

At a later press conference at Fifa headquarters, spokesman Walter de Gregorio denied Blatter was in any way involved with either investigation and said blah, blah, blah, blah.

I shan’t wander off into the scumbag details, now. RTFA. The tale is global. Corruption, bribery, payoffs, money laundering, kickbacks and profit from all of the above fill in the broad strokes of an outline of FIFA history for the last couple of decades. Money remains the most useful tool of corruption.

I am no longer shocked. Cynicism is not a necessity, it is a result. It is derivative.

I recommend following The GUARDIAN through the coming days unraveling the corruption that is FIFA. No one in the world of journalism has struggled longer and harder to bring that sporting body to a principled change.

Show the red card to FIFA bureaucrats!

Blatter style

Most people associate FIFA, the organization that oversees international soccer, with the quadrennial joy of the World Cup. But as the 2014 tournament begins next week in Brazil, FIFA is plagued by levels of corruption, graft and excess that would shame Silvio Berlusconi…

FIFA was founded in 1904 in Paris as a simple rule-making committee that aimed to regulate the guidelines for a new, rapidly expanding sport when played between nations. Because it was founded in Paris, the organization took its acronym, FIFA, from the French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association. What began as an effort to make sure that practices like punching one’s opponents would not be seen as a legitimate part of the game, morphed over time into one of the most successful and disreputable organizations in the history of sports.

Under the iron-fisted leadership of Sepp Blatter, FIFA has been steeped in rotating scandals for so long, it’s difficult even to imagine its not being immersed in one public relations crisis or another. Mr. Blatter succeeded his mentor, the similarly scandal-plagued João Havelange in 1998. Under his stewardship, FIFA officials have been accused of financial mismanagement, taking bribes and projecting a level of sexism and homophobia that seems to come from another century…

FIFA is supposed to police match-fixing, yet a New York Times investigation revealed that only six people on its staff of 350 are responsible for that enforcement. It is supposed to monitor corruption, but it’s not clear it does. There have long been allegations that bribes secured the 2022 World Cup for Qatar.

The head of FIFA’s own independent governance committee (which was recently disbanded) suggested holding a new vote for the right to host the 2022 World Cup. And the European football federation’s representatives to FIFA have threatened to protest against Mr. Blatter when he declares his intention this week to seek yet another term as FIFA’s head…

Finally, the world is seeing FIFA for what it is: a stateless conglomerate that takes bribes while acting as a battering ram for world leaders who want to use the majesty of the World Cup to push through their development agendas at great human cost.

People don’t have to be displaced and workers don’t need to die for soccer. The World Cup can be staged in countries with existing stadiums and infrastructure. Moreover, the secret bidding process for host countries must end so that soccer isn’t abused for economic and political ends.

It is past time to abolish FIFA. It is like a gangrenous limb that requires amputation before the infection spreads and the beautiful game becomes decayed beyond all possible recognition.

Soccer is worth saving. FIFA needs to take its ball and go home.

Overdue.

Brazilian hookers expand language skills for 2014 World Cup

Prostitutes in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte are signing up in droves for free language classes in order to be ready for a barrage of foreign visitors to the tropical country during the 2014 soccer World Cup.

The women join many others in Brazilian society, from politicians to construction workers, who are racing the clock to prepare 12 host cities throughout the nation for the international soccer championship.

“When all this chatter about being ready for the World Cup started last year, we decided the women needed to be prepared for it too,” Cida Vieira, president of the Minas Gerais state Association of Prostitutes, told Reuters…

The group has solicited volunteers to teach English, Spanish and even Portuguese, she said, explaining that some of the city’s sex workers are immigrants who needed to learn Brazil’s primary language.

Vieira said demand for the classes could surpass the 300 women who originally expressed interest, with calls coming in from as far away as Sao Paulo, about 509 km (316 miles) from Belo Horizonte.

“This is important for the dignity of the work, the women need to be able to negotiate a fair price and defend themselves,” she said.

Glad to see these women are organized. Ain’t exactly the safest job in the world.

Now – more important – who’s in charge of standards for the pies?

Beckenbauer admits he’s lost faith in FIFA


Beckenbauer and Sepp Blather

The man who led Germany to a World Cup win both as a player and a coach admits he has lost faith in FIFA due to the way the voting process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments was handled.

Franz Beckenbauer, a member of FIFA’s executive committee, criticized football’s governing body after the amount of votes each bidder received was made public.

Beckenbauer was one of the 22 FIFA members who voted in the process and claims he was assured that the details would remain private.

Yet soon after it was announced that Russia had won the right to host the 2018 competition, and Qatar had secured the 2022 version, media were reporting that two of the favorites, England and Australia, attracted just two votes and one vote respectively.

It led to an angry reaction from representatives of the England and Australia bid teams and Beckenbauer acknowledges his faith in FIFA has been shaken as a result.

I am disappointed with the way FIFA dealt with the result. The seven losing countries were treated disgracefully, particularly England and Australia, Beckenbauer told German newspaper Bild…

“All of us ExCo members were told ahead of the ballot that neither we nor the public would ever know the exact number of votes for each country. After each round of voting we were told only which country had been ruled out.
“Then, a few hours later, I was hearing from journalists what the exact voting had been. It’s certainly affected my confidence in FIFA.”

There are thousands of ordinary fans who lost faith in FIFA years ago – as anything other than a club for self-seeking, greedy business-turds who happen to have some cachet inside the world of sport. Their opinions, decisions, reek of gold and gravy. They deserve about as much respect and deference as the average con artist on work-release from prison.

How honest are the clowns running the FIFA circus?

Fifa is investigating allegations two of its officials offered to sell their votes in the contest to host the 2018 World Cup, ahead of December’s ballot.

Reporters from The Sunday Times posed as lobbyists for a consortium of American companies who wanted to bring the tournament to the United States. The reporters approached Amos Adamu, a Nigerian who serves as a Fifa executive committee member.

He allegedly said he wanted $800,000 to build football pitches…

The Sunday Times footage appears to show Adamu asking for money to be paid to him directly for endorsing a US bid.

In the video, he was asked whether the money for a “private project” would have an effect on the way he voted.

Adamu, who is president of the West African Football Union, replied: “Obviously, it will have an effect. Of course it will. Because certainly if you are to invest in that, that means you also want the vote.”

Reynald Temarii, president of the Oceania Football Confederation, is also alleged to have asked for a payment, in his case to finance a sports academy.

A statement from Fifa read: “Fifa and the Fifa ethics committee have closely monitored the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 Fifa World Cups and will continue to do so…”In any case, Fifa will immediately analyse the material available and only once this analysis has concluded will Fifa be able to decide on any potential next steps. In the meantime, Fifa is not in a position to provide any further comments on this matter.”

Don’t you love 3rd Party press release copouts?

I would have linked the original story, btw; but, you would have to PPV to Rupert Murdoch to read it.