He never had a chance but just getting on to the ballot was enough. Zelkifili Ngoufonja (the candidate known as Zul) was beaten 54 votes to 4 by Egypt FA president Hany Abu Rida for the last position on FIFA’s Council. But if there ever was a victory that showed up the deep flaws of FIFA’s easily corruptible and barely governed election system (and the Confederation of African Football’s in particular) then this was it.
The battle for political control of the Caribbean is entering a crucial phase, and it has nothing to do with football and everything to do with controlling the votes, the agenda and the money. At the centre of the power play is the CONCACAF-driven attempts to remove Caribbean Football Union (CFU) president Gordon Derrick from office and split the CFU membership.
Within an hour of our story being published about the discussion of a CFU breakaway from CONCACAF there was talk on Twitter of how many places the Caribbean could have for the World Cup – anything from 1.5 to 3.5, and why not?
Are we really to believe that the indiscretions of FIFA’s finance director Markus Kattner have only been discovered in the past few days? Do they really think that their member federations, the watching press and the rest of the football world are that stupid and will lap it up unquestioningly?
The Panama Papers will very likely change the world of offshore finance forever. That football, its rights holders and its marketing agents have been using the same corporate and financial tools to avoid tax (sometimes legally) is no surprise. But what should be a surprise is that FIFA’s shiny new president has been so quickly dragged into the scandal.
Reflecting on the way FIFA history is being rewritten with its new reform championing president, one wonders if two weeks ago football (we’ll soon be calling it soccer) had its WMD moment.
CONCACAF has had its three past presidents banned, indicted, charged or convicted.
Auguste Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’, also displayed in this week’s cartoon (or, at least a variation of it), best qualifies the goings-on in FIFA, where the top floor stays lit up, even late at night these days.
Ever since the Korean Grandee, Chung Mong-joon (lovingly called MJ by his friends) announced his candidacy for the post of FIFA President, he has been doing what he has done best in the past: throw stuff at people. Whilst “my enemy’s enemy is my friend” was his motto in May of 2009 when he supported Sheikh Salman of Bahrain against Mohamed Bin Hammam, his target, this time, have been broadsides against his former ally and ExCo candidate of 2009 whom he then fervently supported.
For those who like to think before they foam at their keyboard, the editorial reprinted here from the Trinidad Daily Express raises some important, generally forgotten, issues. Jack Warner may be a crook, he may be a bad man but this editorial points out where much of the media have been going wrong. It suggests a lot of physicians in and around the world of football need to start with healing themselves, or at least a health check.
While FIFA continue to battle with snitches that cut deals to save their own backsides (literally yet metastatically, one hears), and after the movie-style orchestrated group-arrests have slowly lost their Zurich lustre, a New FIFA future is nowhere to be detected – as yet.
News that FIFA president Sepp ‘despot’ Blatter and Jerome ‘not me’ Valcke have lawyered up in the US with a couple of the most aggressive rottweilers available comes as no real surprise. Or does it? And does the fact that this is actually news tell us a bit more than perhaps the news leaker had intended.
If only the crooked bankers, as the criminal individuals they are, had caused so much excitement in the corridors of the EU.
When CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb addressed his constituent federations for the first time at the confederation’s annual congress in the Bahamas last week, his speech was all about business, reflection on their progress to date, and setting goals for the next four year cycle. It was about setting the agenda and outlining the challenges. Three hours later, having been elected unopposed for a second term as president, he gave quite a different speech.
On Monday Insideworldfootball ran a story titled ‘Whistle blown on FIFA whistleblower fraudster Mersiades’. The story was a pick-up from German public broadcaster ZDF’s interview with discredited Australian whistleblower Bonita Mersiades.
To re-cap the important part of the story: Mersiades, one of the FIFA whistleblowers in the FIFA World Cup bid investigation, has Australian court convictions for defrauding an Australian government department that employed her.