Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The European Parliament today passed a Resolution calling for ‘in depth structural reforms’ at FIFA, including asking FIFA to select an interim leader to replace Blatter. The Resolution also supported a previous declaration by the Chairman of FIFA’s independent Audit and Compliance Committee, Domenico Scala, that the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar would be invalid if corruption is proven. The Resolution was passed a day after Swiss police seized computers from FIFA’s offices in Zurich, understood to include FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter’s office.
The Resolution also called on FIFA to implement ‘a review of its statutes, structure, code and operational policies. The federation should improve its transparency and accountability, in particular with regard to the decision-making process and the remuneration of its executive and senior management. It should also establish term limits and independent due diligence for members of FIFA’s Executive Committee, the text underlines. MEPs urge FIFA to implement strict ethical standards and a code of conduct for its management and Executive Committee, to be supervised by an independent monitoring body.’ The full adopted text of the Resolution should be available here later today.
FIFA’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs Walter De Gregorio resigned today, a day after the Swiss police raid. It is unknown if the two events are related, however De Gregorio insisted that Blatter was not involved and would not be stepping down, after Swiss authorities arrested seven soccer officials as part of a Department of Justice (DoJ) investigation into alleged corruption in football on 27 May.
Blatter has since announced that he will be stepping down, and according to the BBC, it appears that computers from his offices have been seized. ABC News has reported that ‘sources’ have revealed that Blatter is under direct investigation by US authorities. However, it is understood that the computers have been seized as part of the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) investigation into alleged corruption surrounding the appointment of Russia and Qatar as hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively, not as part of the DoJ investigation. The OAG has confirmed that it is not investigating Blatter.
• The Swiss Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) has confirmed that one of the seven officials arrested on 27 May has lodged an appeal against extradition to the US. A statement from the FOJ, which did not name the official, said that the appeal had been lodged in the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona.
• The New York Daily News is reporting that International Sports Marketing (ISM) is one of the sports marketing companies named in the DoJ’s indictment against football officials it alleges were involved in organised corruption. The company was involved in marketing events such as the Copa Libertadores in the 1990s.
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