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Sport

Who's who in the FIFA crisis

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-05-30

Three powerful men are at the heart of the unfolding FIFA scandal - in which allegations of bribery over future World Cup hosting rights and in support for presidential bids - have sullied the reputation of world football’s governing body.

FIFA is facing a growing crisis, with accusations of corruption on a grand scale in relation to World Cup bids. FRANCE 24 looks at the three men at the centre of the ongoing scandal.

Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter

Sepp Blatter has been FIFA president since 1998. The 75-year-old, who decided to run for a fourth and final term, was angered by the announcement in March that Mohamed bin Hammam, head of the Asian Football Confederation, would run against him, after the latter had apparently promised that he would not.

Blatter has come out on top after a tumultuous weekend. Implicated in a series of frauds, he was cleared on Sunday by the FIFA ethics committee. The same day he learned that bin Hammam was withdrawing his candidacy, all but assuring Blatter’s re-election bid (he is now unopposed).

Even if he is re-elected, Blatter faces an uphill task restoring FIFA’s battered image.

Mohamed Bin Hammam

Mohamed bin Hammam

If Blatter has come out the big winner, 62-year-old Qatari businessman Mohamed bin Hammam is the big loser. Overnight Saturday May 28, the president of the Asian Football Confederation announced the surprise withdrawal of his candidature for FIFA president.

Hours later, both he and Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) President Jack Warner were barred by the FIFA ethics committee from all FIFA business pending a full inquiry into allegations Caribbean football leaders were paid 40,000 dollars each to back bin Hammam’s now-defunct presidential bid.

On Monday, bin Hammam said he would appeal his suspension, saying he had been "punished before I am found guilty.”

Jack Warner

Jack Warner

FIFA Vice President Jack Warner is a senior politician in Trinidad and Tobago. He is also head of CONCACAF.

Warner predicted a "tsunami" if he was investigated by FIFA for bribery. Immediately after his suspension on Sunday, he accused Blatter of having given CONCACAF a “gift” of one million dollars to spend “as it deemed fit” in early May.

He also released an email from FIFA secretary General Jerome Valcke claiming that Qatar had “bought” the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

Valcke subsequently backtracked, saying that he was only referring to the size of the Gulf nation's campaign budget.

He clarified: “When I refer to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in that email, what I wanted to say is that the winning bid used their financial strength to lobby for support.”

In early May 2011, the UK’s Lord David Triesman, former head of the English Football Association as well as the leader of England’s unsuccessful bid to host the 2018 World Cup, told a parliamentary commission in Westminster that Warner had asked him for 2.5 million pounds to build schools in Trinidad.

 

Date created : 2011-05-30

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