Valcke backs Blazer - But for how much longer?
By Andrew Jennings
Sunday September 4, 2011
The well-rewarded Chuck Blazer can be certain – for a few more days at least – of support from Sepp Blatter and his functionary Jérôme Valcke. Fifa’s general secretary took only 24 hours to reject a request from fans’ group ChangeFIFA to refer Mr Blazer’s ‘unorthodox’ football money deals to the ethics committee.
Valcke’s response is that as he doesn’t choose to forward the complaint – it hasn’t and won’t be referred. That’s it. Goodbye. Don’t bother us again. What Blazer does with Fifa’s money is none of your business. We need him. He got rid of Warner. He got rid of Bin Hammam. We love him . . . for now.
Valcke explains that he hasn’t been sent any ‘sufficiently’ corroborating evidence of Blazer moving Fifa money around the Caribbean. General Secretary Valcke must be sitting in the dark, his arms folded, his screen switched off and – to make sure – his eyes closed, behind an airline sleeping mask.
Posted on this blog on July 17 is a letter from Jack Warner dated March 31 this year, authorising the payment of US$250,000 to Chuck Blazer from the funds of the Caribbean Football Union. Chuck says it’s repaying a personal loan. A personal loan? It looks like the CFU has been a private honeypot for these two Fifa officials. Isn’t that enough to start an investigation?
You never call, you never write
I wrote that I had more documents. I have named banks and offshore companies, I have payment orders, cancelled cheques – what more do you need?
I sit here at my desk, dearest Jérôme, but you never call, you never write. Why do you not want to see these documents? If you are embarrassed asking me – the only reporter ever banned by Blatter – you could contact the Special Agents at the FBI’s Organised Crime Squad in New York. They have them.
(I was banned from Blatter’s press conferences back in April 2003 after I documented in a London newspaper that Blatter pays himself a vast secret bonus every year. Fifa.com announced my story was ‘a lie’ and announced that I was to be sued in London. Eight years later he still hasn’t sued.)
Valcke’s response to ChangeFIFA was so hurried, so dismissive that Transparency in Sport asked a friendly sports lawyer for their opinion. Their analysis (see left) makes clear that Valcke is breaking Fifa’s rules by not taking up the complaint. If Valcke really wanted to investigate this international football scandal, the rules of both the ethics and disciplinary committees give him all opportunities he needs.
As Jérôme Valcke shows no interest in combating Fifa corruption Transparency in Sport asked his deputy, Markus Kattner two questions (see left). Would he investigate what had happened to Fifa’s money – and as Head of Finance, would he temporarily halt the flow of funds to Concacaf? We await his reply.
MEANWHILE . . . One of the nastier aspects of Blatter’s Fifa is his denying individuals the right to use the civil courts. He says, ‘We solve problems within the family of football.’ Of course he does nothing of the kind. Disputes are terminated by his sycophants on committees or in his bureaucracy.
Anybody who dares go to the civil courts risks immediate suspension from all football activities, as has been the case with Concacaf’s Lisle Austin from Barbados. I have known Mr Austin for 10 years and have never heard a whisper of impropriety, not a word about him involved in corruption. On the contrary he has served Fifa honourably at their Referees’ committee.
Jailed and fined
When Jack Warner resigned hurriedly as president of Concacaf the senior vice-president Lisle Austin stepped up to take the position as acting president. General Secretary Chuck Blazer barred the door so Mr Austin went to court in the Bahamas where Concacaf is registered. Mr Justice Stephen Isaacs backed him.
The judge warned Concacaf – and Fifa - that if they tried to prevent Mr Austin taking his rightful place at the head of Concacaf, they would be in contempt of his court and might be jailed and fined. The Blazer faction ignored Judge Isaacs and suspended Austin from all regional football activity. Then they got Blatter’s boy at Fifa’s Disciplinary Committee, Swiss lawyer Marcel Mathier, to smash Austin down with a global ban. His offence? Taking a Fifa body to court. Corruption in Blatter’s world is fine. Doing something about it isn’t.
Continued . . .