Critics demand FIFA reform


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30-05-2011 08:18 AM


ABC Canberra 666

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ABC Canberra 666


30-05-2011 08:18 AM



30-05-2011 08:59 AM

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2011-05-30 08:18:52

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CAVE, Peter




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Critics demand FIFA reform

Simon Santow reported this story on Monday, May 30, 2011 08:18:00

PETER CAVE: The high farce that is the battle for the top job in world soccer is getting higher and
according to some, smellier. If he's re-elected it will be the 75-year-old Swiss national's fourth
four-year term.

Simon Santow spoke to one of the loudest and, some say, the most informed critics, British
investigative journalist Andrew Jennings.

ANDREW JENNINGS: I've never noticed any fair play at the leadership if FIFA. It has been a dirty
little cabal for years. I have been investigating it for enough years, come out with enough
evidence, but you have a power play now. What has actually happened is that Jack Warner is a
continual embarrassment to FIFA because if nobody has ever heard of anybody at FIFA, they have
heard of Jack Warner because he is so dirty with his industrial scale ticket rackets.

They want Warner out because he makes noise and journalists see what he is doing. Chuck Blazer from
New York is keen to get Jack out so he can get control of CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central
American and Caribbean Association Football). Mohamed bin Hammam we all knew how he was going to
fight the election and a few people warned him to be more careful but he got caught.

SIMON SANTOW: Well, what about FIFA's standing and the reputation of the sport's governing body? I
mean how does it emerge from all of this?

ANDREW JENNINGS: I did a lot of work on the International Olympic Committee years ago and when I
was looking at them during the Samaranch era, heavily institutionalised corruption at the IOC and
it took pressure from the sponsors and the sports ministers of the world back in 1999 to force the
IOC to reform and by and large they have done.

Then I moved to FIFA and I was shocked because the corruption is, and I realise now why people talk
of them as the mafia because if you've ever looked at the boxes you have to tick to be a crime
family, they tick it all. Powerful leader devoted to making money and greasing, lubricating the
system all the way down, in their case with untested grants, unaudited grants and World Cup

The whole thing from the top all the way down is pretty corrupt and even in countries like
Australia where I don't think your FFA (Football Federation Australia) is corrupt is any sense at
all, or in New Zealand, there is still this got to support Sepp Blatter. They are welded into this
family of football and they pay most service to the people who love the game.

SIMON SANTOW: Well, now as it seems that Sepp Blatter is going to be elected unopposed and he gets
another four years in charge. Do you think that his grip on FIFA is as strong as ever or even
indeed stronger?

ANDREW JENNINGS: Well, no. I mean lame duck presidents and prime ministers, and we've all
encountered them, running towards the end of their term, if they run out of power, the young Turks
come out to play. So he is going to be weakened but there is more to it.

Much bigger in a way than the noise that has been made over the last few days at FIFA about Warner
and bin Hammam is, those of you who had a chance to see it, will have seen the last BBC Panorama I
did Monday last week where we then went back into the detail of $US 100 million that went in bribes
to FIFA's leaders and we named Blatter, his predecessor Havelange and Havelange's son-in-law
Ricardo Teixeira in charge of the next World Cup.

SIMON SANTOW: Many Australians are still smarting from losing the battle to host the 2022 World
Cup. Is there any chance do you think that out of all of this those contests, including the 2018,
one will be reopened?

ANDREW JENNINGS: There is a possibility but the only possibility is going to come from outside
interference. Mark Arbib has got to be advised to just reach out, say the moral things for the sake
of sport and that may bring a re-run. He shouldn't do it as the price of Australia's commitment to
morality, but you're not that kind of people. You say you put morality first, call for kicking
Blatter out, inter-governmental sports ministers conference, talk about a new constitution, talk
about new forms of electing, and then when they have done that job, they come back out and leave it
to a new generation of sports officials.

PETER CAVE: British investigative journalist and FIFA critic, Andrew Jennings, speaking to Simon