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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #1
The S.h.i.t hits the Fan !!!!!!!!

Blatter accused of corruption by FIFA secretary general
ZURICH, Switzerland, May 4 (AFP)


Beleaguered FIFA president Sepp Blatter risks facing criminal charges for corruption, according to a bombshell report delivered here on Friday by FIFA's secretary general Michel Zen-Ruffinen.
In the most explosive document ever delivered to a FIFA ruling executive committee, Zen-Ruffinen outlined allegations of a trail of deception, mismanagement, illegal payments and cronyism against the 66-year-old Blatter.
And he warned that the FIFA president had one week to reply to the charges or he would hand the dossier to the Swiss authorities.
The 21-page dossier comes only four weeks before a FIFA congress in Seoul which will decide whether to reelect Blatter for another four years or give football's most powerful post to his sole challenger, Issa Hayatou, a FIFA vice-president and president of the African Football Confederation (CAF).
In the report stamped 'strictly confidential' but obtained by AFP, Zen-Ruffinen revealed a secret presidential group within football's governing world body that is answerable only to Blatter, in contravention to the FIFA statutes.
The most damning indictment against Blatter came at the end of the file where Zen-Ruffinen delivered two accusations, one which he said constituted a criminal act under the Swiss Penal Code and the second which 'may' constitute a criminal offence.
The first allegation claimed Blatter paid a European executive committee member, who was elected in 2000, two years backdated remuneration to 1998 of 100,000 US dollars.
The second charge was over a payment to former Niger referee Lucien Bouchardeau for giving evidence against CAF vice-president Farah Addo, who in March accused Blatter supporters of bribing FIFA members to vote for him in the 1998 presidential election in Paris.
"The president handed out to him in front of two FIFA employees a cheque of USD 25,000 mentioning that Bouchardeau would receive additional USD 25,000 if the information he provided would suit the purpose of the president," said Zen-Ruffinen in his report.
The secretary general also produced a damning indictment of FIFA vice-president Jack Warner of Trinidad, a staunch Blatter supporter.
"The president has constantly taken decisions which are favourable to the economical interests of Jack Warner and some of his family members, and thus are contrary to the financial interests of FIFA," said Zen-Ruffinen
Zen-Ruffinen claimed FIFA overpaid one of Warner's sons over one million US dollars for an internet project.
But more damagingly, he said Warner paid only a symbolic one dollar for the World Cup television rights in the Caribbean for 1990/94 and 1998.
The charges left executive committee members stunned, Hayatou said.
"You could hear a pin drop when he finished his report," said the CAF president.
During the meeting five of the seven FIFA vice-presidents took Blatter aside to a room once used by former FIFA president Joao Havelange and asked him to resign.
A stunned Blatter refused.
Later Blatter declined to go into details about the charges.
"It is a total misunderstanding," said Blatter, who has worked for FIFA for 27 years.
But Zen-Ruffinen warned that his report was only the start.
"More evidence will come," he said after the record breaking eight hour long executive committee meeting. "This is a strong shot into the whole body (FIFA)."
And he hinted that since he began his investigation FIFA members have been offering him more information.
A senior FIFA official said that Zen-Ruffinen would not let go.
"He has the bit between his teeth. He will go to the bitter end," said the official.
"It is time for FIFA to clean it's house. I feel very strongly about it," said Zen Ruffinen.
"This is a serious report, with serious allegations. I think I was more than clear," he added. "FIFA is in bad shape today. FIFA is disorganised, staff is dissatisfied, frustrated and the FIFA administration is governed by the president and a handful of people of his choice. The finance only seems to be in order. In fact FIFA today lives from income of the future."
And he warned that if the executive committee did not take action he would quit.
Blatter said he would answer the charges with the seven day deadline laid down by Zen Ruffinen.
Following the executive committee meeting Blatter and Zen-Ruffinen gave a surreal joint press conference, at which the bitterness between the two men was clear.
"I have made serious allegation-serious facts," said Zen-Ruffinen.
A stung Blatter quickly hit back.
"This is not the gospel," he snapped. "A sermon perhaps."
The bitter split between the two was underscored when Blatter joked that he and his general secretary were back on speaking terms.
"Singing terms, laughing terms," he added.
And when Blatter said he would reply in writing with one week Zen-Ruffinen announced; "I'm really looking forward looking at the answers."

:mute:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Blatter to respond to corruption claims within a week

May 4, 2002


ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) --

Fighting for his future as world soccer's top official, FIFA president Sepp Blatter plans to take a week to answer allegations of corruption and mismanagement made against him by his right-hand man.

Blatter said Friday he would answer the claims -- made in a 30-page report produced by the FIFA's general secretary, Michel Zen-Ruffinen -- and insisted that he did have answers.

Zen-Ruffinen's claims, which include two direct charges of corruption, were a further blow to Blatter, who is up for re-election later this month and is being pressed hard by African soccer chief Issa Hayatou of Cameroon.

``It wasn't a case of the president being bought but it was a case of the president buying,'' Zen-Ruffinen told reporters.

Yet Blatter insists he has more than enough support to be re-elected, and cheerily joked with reporters at a news conference following a record 10-hour meeting of FIFA's executive committee. Zen-Ruffinen sat grim-faced beside him.

``I think it isn't a big crisis. It is a total misunderstanding,'' Blatter said, expressing regret that the meeting had not ``spoken more of football.''

Zen-Ruffinen, who had worked side-by-side with Blatter for 16 years, last month broke his silence to denounce ``disfunctions'' in the administration of FIFA.

``I have been very, very loyal to the president, and I have many times tried to improve the situation,'' Zen-Ruffinen said. ``But unfortunately we had no real improvement, and that is why now I have to stand up.''

He said his documentation contains evidence of misleading accounting practices, conflicts of interest and actions that damaged FIFA financially.

On at least three occasions, Zen-Ruffinen's report said actions could be illegal under Swiss law and might warrant a criminal investigation.

The No. 2 international soccer official said it was time for FIFA to ``clean its house.''

FIFA vice president Chung Mong-joon, said the body was facing ``the most serious integrity problem'' of its existence and accused Blatter of trying to usurp the authority of the executive committee.

UEFA president Lennart Johansson and other executive committee allies forced Blatter to accept an internal inquiry, but Blatter then suspended the audit citing breaches of confidentiality.

The committee decided Friday to reinstate the inquiry, but said its members would not be free to meet again until after the World Cup finals -- and thus after the May 29 election.

:lala:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Soccer-Prosecutor hints at "lengthy case" for Blatter

By Timothy Collings

ZURICH (Reuters) -

Eleven members of FIFA's executive committee have begun legal proceedings against FIFA president Sepp Blatter with the Zurich First Prosecutor.

In a joint-statement five FIFA vice-presidents -- David Will, Lennart Johansson, Issa Hayatou, Dr Antonio Matarrese and Dr Mong-joon Chung -- confirmed they had started the legal process against the president.

It is an unprecedented move in FIFA's 98-year-history and comes just three weeks before Blatter is due to stand for re-election as FIFA president at the congress in Seoul on May 29. His sole opponent is Hayatou of Cameroon, the president of the African Football Confederation (CAF).

The Zurich prosecutor also confirmed he had received a formal complaint against Blatter in which the members of the world soccer body's executive council accuse him of misusing the organisation's funds.

Hansruedi Mueller, the chief prosecutor in the canton of Zurich, told Reuters he would decide on Monday how to continue with the procedure that he said was going to last a long time.

"This afternoon I received the formal complaint from eleven members of the FIFA executive board against Sepp Blatter, and it is concerning improper business conduct and misuse of funds," Mueller told Reuters.

Blatter refused to discuss the threat of any impending criminal proceedings against him after announcing that FIFA had settled all of its claims against the bankrupt estates of the ISL and ISMM sports marketing organisations.

Blatter, who has been accused of corruption during his four-year reign as FIFA president by his general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen and the 11 executive committee members, said he had no comment on the subject of his own position.

"I said at the beginning that I am not talking on this subject," said Blatter when asked about the likely proceedings against him towards the end of FIFA's presentation of the settlement with ISL/ISMM. "But I will next Tuesday when I have had more time and I can give a proper answer."

Blatter said he knew little of the impending action other than what "I have read in the press about the president who is about to be sued".

The move to action against Blatter was announced on Wednesday by UEFA president Johansson, who is also a vice-president of FIFA and a member of the executive committee.

TOUGH STATEMENT

The statement issued by the five FIFA vice-presidents did not mince words.

"We and our fellow FIFA Executive Committee members, have taken this step in light of the report of the FIFA General Secretary presented to the Executive Committee on 3rd May 2002.

"This report has shown numerous irregularities which exist within FIFA, and various non-constitutional decisions taken by the FIFA President, some of which may constitute criminal acts under the Swiss penal code.

"The refusal of the FIFA President to resign his post, despite the evidence before the Executive Committee, left us with no choice but to retain the services of a Swiss law firm.

"We have now been advised that the facts brought forward by the FIFA General Secretary most likely do constitute various criminal offences and that we are obliged to refer these to the appropriate authorities.

"We take no pleasure in proceeding in this way but as members of the controlling body of FIFA we have a legal responsibility to the FIFA member associations and a possible personal liability which requires us to act.

"We regret that a formal legal complaint is necessary but we are convinced that it is the only possible appropriate step to restore FIFA's honour and dignity.

DAMAGING REPORT

Last week Zen-Ruffinen issued a report to FIFA's executive committee in which he detailed alleged irregularities under Blatter, claiming that some may have constituted criminal acts under the Swiss penal code.

Blatter last week described the report as a "total misunderstanding". He has always vigorously denied any wrongdoing.

Among the more serious allegations were that Blatter paid an executive committee member two years salary when he was not a member of the executive and that Blatter also allegedly offered money to an African referee to make statements about one of the FIFA president's opponents.

The 21-page dossier was backed up with 300-pages of evidence.

The court case now becomes the key issue in the fierce civil war at the heart of FIFA, which is now not only involved in the worst political crisis in its history but also facing legal action by the Swiss authorities for the first time.

:lala: The Circus :jester::jester: Might by coming to it's Finalle !!!! :lala:
 

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Second Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
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Discussion Starter #4
FIFA vice president says replacing Blatter might be answer

May 13, 2002 3:09 PM (EDT)

By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN
BEIJING (AP) -

A vice president of FIFA said Monday it's "time to think about electing a new leader" and accused incumbent president Sepp Blatter of abusing his office and mismanaging finances.

Chung Mong-joon cited Swiss media reports that said the world soccer body incurred $500 million in losses during Blatter's four years as president.

"FIFA is in serious financial and political crisis. It is divided and faces a crisis in leadership," he said.

Chung called Blatter's alleged abuses a "great shock," and said the eight-member FIFA emergency committee, of which Chung is a member, bore some responsibility for not stopping them earlier.

The comments, made in a 10-page statement, were the latest in an increasingly nasty dispute between Blatter and supporters of general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen, who accused Blatter of serious financial mismanagement.

Blatter's opponents say he gave out money and favors to supporters, and bungled finances that left the organization with massive losses. Blatter has denied the charges and accused opponents of inventing them to sabotage his campaign for re-election at FIFA's May 29 meeting in Seoul on the eve of the World Cup.

"Such abuse of (Blatter's) authority and misuse of FIFA funds may require criminal investigation," Chung said.

Last Friday, 11 members of FIFA's 24-member executive committee, including Blatter opponent Issa Hayatou, lodged a formal criminal complaint in Zurich against Blatter, alleging corruption and financial mismanagement.

The action was based on a 21-page report prepared by Zen-Ruffinen.

Chung urged FIFA's Asian members to vote against Blatter to show that their votes can't be bought with favors.

"It is time to think about electing a new leader who can rectify FIFA's current financial situation and credibility," he said. "We need a leader who will play by the rules and, of course, for the good of the game.

"We, the Asian members of FIFA, should raise our voice in unity and vote with our conscience. We are all here for the future of football."

On Sunday, supporters of Blatter removed financial control of the organization from its No. 2 official, and told Zen-Ruffinen to stop speaking to the media.

Urs Linsi, FIFA's finance director, will no longer report to Zen-Ruffinen but instead to vice president Julio Grondona, an Argentine who supports Blatter.

While Chung didn't call outright for Asian federations to support Hayatou, who heads African soccer's governing body, he praised the former star from Cameroon for having a "credible and detailed" program to give better representation in the World Cup to Asia and other regions.

The plan would offer more representation for Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Caribbean while eliminating the automatic spot reserved for the defending champion.

Chung said a FIFA soccer development program - known as the GOAL Project - was being used to boost Blatter's re-election chances. He said he heard concerns that Blatter was handing out Goal programs to reward national soccer associations that support him.

"I am convinced that the current crisis has originated from lack of leadership and transparency," Chung said. FIFA needs to be more open and accountable to the national associations, he said.

According to Chung, Blatter has refused repeated requests from executive council members to disclose his FIFA salary. None of the council members have seen a copy of Blatter's contract, he said.

Chung also called for reform to the system of electing the FIFA president to prevent future abuses. FIFA presidents could be selected from different regions to serve on a rotational basis, a system that could allow for an Asian president soon, he said.


:cap::lala::cap::glasses:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Blatter rejects all charges of criminal activity

By Timothy Collings

ZURICH (Reuters) -

World soccer chief Sepp Blatter rejected on Tuesday all charges of criminal activity and said he was confident of securing a second term at FIFA's presidential election in Seoul on May 29. :dielaugh:

In a report presented to the FIFA executive committee this month, the organisation's general secretary Michel Zen-Ruffinen accused Blatter of systematically mismanaging FIFA by deception, illegal payments and cronyism.

"It saddens me more than it disappoints me," Blatter told a news conference. "These are serious charges to bring against me, especially after my 27 years of activity in a federation which I have served to the best of my ability."

Last Friday 11 members of the 24-man executive committee, including European soccer head Lennart Johansson, announced that legal proceedings had been started in the Swiss courts for alleged misuse of funds.

"I have not done these things, I have not hidden any files and to accuse me of criminal offences is absurd," Blatter said.

He gave detailed explanations for his part in giving money to former FIFA referee Lucien Bouchardeau, which he said came from his private and personal account.

Blatter also said he had not authorised the payment of 100,000 dollars to Russian Viacheslav Koloskov without the knowledge of FIFA's financial committee.

Blatter will contest the election against African Football Confederation head Issa Hayatou from Cameroon. Hayatou has accused Blatter of illegal practices.

On Monday Hayatou won the unanimous support of the English Football Association which supported Blatter against UEFA's Johansson in the election four years ago.

A FA statement expressed "high regard and admiration" for Zen-Ruffinen.

"In increasingly difficult circumstances he has continued to seek to fulfil his responsibilities," it said. "In that task he should receive the full support of the worldwide footballing community."

:lala:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Blatter back as FIFA president

:lala:


SEOUL, May 29 (AFP)

Sepp Blatter swept back to power as president of FIFA here on Wednesday with a crushing election victory after a bitter year-long struggle that left football's world governing body badly divided.
The 66-year-old Blatter won a second four-year term with a landslide win over African candidate Issa Hayatou in a vote of the FIFA congress, two days before the World Cup finals get underway.
Blatter polled 139 votes out of a total of 197 with Hayatou recording 56. The margin saw Blatter secure the two thirds majority necessary for victory in the first ballot.
"Many, many thanks. You cannot imagine what it means for me having been during months accused by a certain press of saying what a bad man I am," said a jubilant Blatter seconds after the vote was announced.
"Let's work together and let's forget what's happened in the past. We have to resore our unity and by that we will restore our credibility.
"Let's go to the World Cup!"
The vote represented a personal vindication for the former Swiss lawyer who took over as FIFA chief prior to the World Cup finals in France four years ago, but it did little to heal the wounds that his presidency has inflicted.
Blatter had been battling against wide-ranging charges of financial irregularities and vote-buying, launched by his opponents within the organisation who have also taken legal action against him in Switzerland where FIFA is based.
The FIFA president has insisted that the finances are sound and that he was the victim of a conspiracy by the international press.
Despite the furore, the only candidate to stand up against Blatter in the FIFA vote at the two-day congress had been the president of the African Football Confederation Hayatou of Cameroon.
Hayatou was backed by the powerful head of UEFA, the European Football Union, Lennart Johansson, a bitter rival of Blatter who lost out to the Swiss four years ago for the presidency.
In the event there was little drama, as the skilful Blatter had deftly manoeuvered himself into a near unbeatable position over the last few weeks travelling to the four corners of the globe in the process.
Blatter gave a nod of recognition to his critics saying that he had heard their criticism.
"I got the message, the message to me is to reinstore peace. I have to reinstore peace within this family and I will do it, I will do it," he said.
"The verdict is there and I would like to warmly congratulate Mr Blatter who has been given your vote of confidence," Hayatou said.
"He can count on my cooperation as has been the case in the past.
"But 59 votes is not insignificant so I want to say how satisified and relieved at the end of this election."
Blatter's victory spells almost certain doom for FIFA secretary general Michel Zen-Ruffinen, once upon a time Blatter's right-hand man.
It was his explosive report to the executive committee on May 3 that led to the charges being levelled against Blatter in a Zurich court.
Zen-Ruffinen had also accused Blatter of running FIFA like a dictator and keeping vital financial information from him, making it impossible for him to do his job properly.

:lala:
 

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Can't quite describe how appalled I am that this poisoned dwarf has toadied his way back in, despite losing FIFA 212 million pounds, and carring on the banana republic like political framework that has seen a steadily declining organisiation, hit rock bottom. I hope UEFA pulls out of FIFA, and goes it alone, because the longer UEFA is associated with this organisation, the longer it will be tainted by the actions and standards that are deemed acceptable in that pathetic organisation.
 
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