Author: Mark

FIFA’s Week: Integrity Checking

They like an oxymoron, do Fifa. Weeks of headlines about their “Ethics” Committee. Weeks of bluster by their in-house “Independent” Reform Committee. And last week their Ad-Hoc Election Committee embarked on a ten-day “integrity check” on the presidential hopefuls whose five or more nominations from among world football’s 209 member associations were accepted by the October 26th deadline. It will surprise no-one that finding integrity, never mind checking it, has proved problematic. Indeed, the nominations process itself is undergoing an integrity check of sorts after the elimination from the race of Trinidad and Tobago’s David Nakhid. Nakhid, a former...

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FIFA – The Interviews

The American political satirist and comedian Jon Stewart gave some sound advice to his many viewers during his last edition as host of Comedy Central’s fake news programme “The Daily Show.” At the end of a monologue cutely entitled “The war on bullshit” he asked them to be aware of said substance when listening to politicians or other public figures and “if you smell something, say something.” This week, three Fifa people, two hopefully of its past and one hopefully not of its future, demonstrated a sort of opposite…that if they say something, you smell something. …. Blatter’s Tass...

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FIFA’s Week: Here Come The Candidates

Brought to you by the man who didn’t give a fcuk what ‘Back to the Future 2’ got right. As Fifa’s list of suspensions catches Lee Cattermole’s, there can be few surprises left. Maybe only Fifa’s Ethics Committee (EthCo) suspending Sir Bobby Charlton would raise eyebrows among increasingly world-wearied observers. After all, former Fifa translator Scott Burnett tweeted on Friday that “I wrote the minutes of the Fifa Executive Committee (ExCo) meetings from 2001 to 2010. I was instructed several times to misrepresent discussions” and more people slated him for waiting so long to confess (“nine years on the...

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FIFA Books: When Andrew Jennings Cried “Foul”

History has been very kind indeed to Foul, investigative journalist Andrew Jennings’ first literary foray into what the book’s sub-title calls The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, vote-rigging and ticket scandals. Jennings is still on his worldwide “I told you so” tour, nine years after he first told us “so” in Foul’s pages. Time, then, for revisit to a book as fascinating and shocking as FIFA’s sorry tale of malfeasance and corruption. Foul’s stars are now football household names. Presidents Joao Havelange and Sepp Blatter, the repugnant Jack Warner and his ticket-touting family, Blatter fixer-in-chief Mohamed Bin Hammam, recently...

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FIFA’s Week – Part One In A Series Of…

The first of what you’ll not be surprised to learn will be a weekly series commenting on dramatic plot developments at football’s world governing body, which are currently running at Australian soap opera levels of frequency and implausibility…I’m told by someone who watches Australian soaps. Because I don’t. Oh no. In August, American-based British satirist John Oliver called Fifa “an international crime syndicate that occasionally organises soccer matches.” Oliver has not yet, to my knowledge, been taken to legal task for this statement. Possibly because his weekly HBO show Last Week Tonight is not a regular watch at Fifa’s...

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