Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
• Platini integrity check on hold until investigation concluded
• German police raid German FA headquarters
FIFA’s Electoral Committee will reportedly not carry out an integrity check on FIFA Presidential candidate Michel Platini until after their investigation into allegations that Platinit received a £1.35 million payment from Blatter in 2011. According to the news agency PA Sport, FIFA is set to announce that it will carry out integrity checks for six out of the seven FIFA Presidential candidates, but not on Platini until the investigation is completed.
It is understood that an integrity check will only be carried out on Platini if he is cleared of any wrongdoing. Under Article 15 of the Electoral Regulations for the FIFA Presidency, the Ethics Committee is required to carry out an integrity check, which must be passed by candidates in order for them to be recommended as a Presidential candidate by FIFA’s Ad-Hoc Electoral Committee. As reported by the Sports Integrity Initiative, Platini is currently serving a 90-day ban alongside incumbent President Sepp Blatter, which is due to expire on 9 January 2016. However the bans can be extended for an additional period not exceeding 45 days, which would take them to 20 February, six days ahead of the 26 February elections for FIFA’s new President.
German police have raided the headquarters of the German Football Association (DFB) over allegations of tax evasion linked to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Earlier in October, the DFB issued a press release in which its President, Wolfgang Niersbach, denied allegations in a German newspaper that there had been a ‘slush fund’ and vote buying in relation to the award of the 2006 World Cup.
However it is now being reported that Niersbach’s home, as well as those of his predecessor Theo Zwanziger, and former DFB Secretary General Horst Schmid, have been searched by police as part of the raid. In a statement on its website on Tuesday, the DFB said that it ‘fully supports the investigation conducted by the Frankfurt Prosecutor’s Office on suspicion of tax evasion.’ The governing body confirmed that on Tuesday morning, officials from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Police visited their headquarters, adding that the DFB itself was not under investigation.
According to the BBC, the Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement saying that it had ‘opened a probe into claims of serious tax evasion linked to the awarding of the World Cup to Germany in 2006.’ Niersbach has now been forced to deny the allegations of a slush fund on two separate occasions, while his predecessor, Zwanzinger, told German newspaper Der Spiegel that ‘it was clear that there was a slush fund.’
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