Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
Interpol today suspended its relationship with FIFA due to investigations into corruption, and has frozen US$20 million received in funds from FIFA designed to create a 10-year ‘Integrity in Sport’ programme. Interpol took the decision at a three-day meeting of its General Secretariat at its Lyon headquarters (pictured), which ended on 12 June. ‘The agreement with FIFA includes a clause which states that “the Funding Party declares notably that its activities are compatible with the principles, aims and activities of Interpol”, read a statement.
“In light of the current context surrounding FIFA, while Interpol is still committed to developing our Integrity in Sport programme, I have decided to suspend the agreement”, said Interpol Secretary General, Jürgen Stock, in the statement. On 3 June, Interpol issued Red Notices – or international wanted persons alerts – in connection to two former FIFA officials and four corporate executives at the request of the US Department of Justice (DoJ). Swiss authorities arrested seven football officials as part of the DoJ investigation on 27 May.
Interpol’s action comes a day after the European Parliament adopted a Resolution calling on FIFA to implement reform. The full text of the Resolution is available here. A statement from FIFA said that it was ‘disappointed’ by Interpol’s decision.
• It is reported that US District Court judge Raymond J. Dearie has ordered that the plea bargain between the US government and former CONCACAF President Charles ‘Chuck’ Blazer be unsealed, following requests from US media organisations. It is understood that the order has been stayed until Monday, to allow time for any appeal against the order.
• A joke made on Swiss TV may have been the final straw that led to Communications Director Walter De Gregorio ‘relinquishing his position’ with FIFA yesterday. “The FIFA President, Secretary General and Communications Director are all travelling in a car”, De Gregorio told chat show Schawinski, reports the BBC. “Who’s driving? The police.”
• Former FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner has responded after comedian John Oliver bought airtime on Trinidad & Tobago’s TV6 to air a parody of Warner’s ‘The Gloves Are Off’ statement, entitled ‘The Mittens of Disapproval Are On’. You can watch Warner’s response here.
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