The Reporters Toolbox: A guide to writing about FIFA.
Reasons why Sepp Blatter dare not sue . . . and the list keeps growing.
In recent years FIFA president Sepp Blatter has threatened to drag reporters, authors and filmmakers through the courts. He says their corruption allegations are untruthful, libellous and defamatory and will be punished. He throws FIFA’s money at Switzerland’s highest-price lawyers.
But Blatter’s threats are bluff. He never sues.
Because if he went to court he’d have to face tough questions about corruption at FIFA.
If he failed to answer, he would suffer the humiliation of losing. And if he lied, he could be charged with criminal perjury and go to jail.
Blatter was shocked by the probing questions he had to endure when deposed on oath by MasterCard’s lawyers in the 2006 case that cost FIFA $90 million to settle. He would never risk such an ordeal again.
The Questions Blatter most fears
# Why did you mislead criminal investigators from Zug, probing the collapse of the ISL company and the kickbacks to FIFA officials?
# The Zug judges ordered you to pay a £57,000 penalty to the court. What have you done to deserve this punishment?
# FIFA Executive Committee member Nicolas Leoz was named in court in Zug in March 2008 for taking bribes from ISL. Why has Leoz not been expelled from the committee and from world football?
# In June 1998 you met in Paris with Swiss lawyer Guido Renggli – the man who supervised the payment of nearly 6 million Swiss Francs in cash bribes from the Sicuretta account to unnamed sports officials. What did you say to him? Was it ‘Thank you’?
# It has been reported in Switzerland that one of the companies used to launder bribes from ISL is owned by Executive Committee member Ricardo Teixeira. Have you investigated?
# A lawyer for one of the ISL defendants told the Zug court in April 2008 that certain FIFA officials had used ISL as ‘their own private bank.’ Apart from the bribes, what other financial demands were made on ISL? Who else were they asked to pay off?
# What documents and materials did the Zug fraud squad seize when they raided your office in November 2005?
# In 2006 the BBC reported that former FIFA president Joao Havelange had taken a massive bribe from ISL? Why haven’t you referred the allegation to FIFA’s Ethics Committee?
# It is alleged that this bribe was mistakenly addressed to FIFA’s offices. Is it correct that you ordered the bribe to be re-directed to Havelange’s account?
# Will you make public the report in 2002 from the Zurich Investigating Magistrate that concluded that you were not innocent of corruption allegations – only that there was insufficient evidence to charge you?