Jennings Speech 2010

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    Monograph 169 73

    4How FIFA corruptionempowers global capital

    Andrew Jennings

    I am disappointed with FIFA. From where I am, it seems that todays

    FIFA is not the same FIFA that you joined so many years ago. Where were

    the ethics, morals, honesty? As a child I wanted to become part o FIFA

    because o FIFAs golden values. Unortunately, today it seems that that

    hope is ading ast.1

    Is this a cry o pain rom a lone idealist, wearied by FIFAs institutionalised

    corruption?

    Not at all. Its a contrived letter to a venal senior FIFA ocial rom his venal

    son, asking Daddy to demolish a roadblock on the route to FIFAs golden trea-

    sury in Zurich.

    Father and son and another son were engaging in an industrial-scale

    shakedown o a FIFA tournament. Tey had taken control o most o the lucra-

    tive contracts, but bureaucrats in FIFA were obstructing one worth $2 million

    and the son stood to oreit his commission. So this quaint letter rom the son

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    74 Institute for Security Studies

    Player and Referee: Conflicting interests and the 2010 FIFA World Cuptm

    to the ather (they live under the same roo so it may have been handed across

    the table at breakast) was designed to increase the pressure to loosen FIFAs

    purse-strings.

    Te ather, one o FIFAs eight vice-presidents, has gorged himsel and hisamily or the last quarter o a century at the expense o ootball. Well never

    know how much has been diverted to them because o the absence o transpar-

    ency at Sepp Blatters FIFA but we may note that the ather has risen rom

    being a poorly paid teacher to become a multi-millionaire, almost all derived

    rom his involvement with FIFA.

    Tis chapter seeks to demonstrate that FIFAs embedded corruption, or-

    ganised to enrich a handul o ocials and keep them in perpetual power, has

    lurched ar beyond the sum o its parts. Te unaccountable structure theyve

    installed is honed to deliver the game to the needs o global capitalism with

    no checks or restraints. Just cheques.

    coMMercIal INTeresTs shape fooTballs ageNda

    Lets start with a detailed examination o the activities o one senior individual.

    Te toleration and protection he receives rom the ootball amily exempliesthe moral rottenness at FIFA. Amoral at home, FIFA, while demanding inde-

    pendence rom governments, recognises no problem allowing international

    commercial interests to intervene and shape the sports image and agenda.

    FIFAs leaders have created an organisation that goes out o its way to avoid

    nancial scrutiny. Indeed the ather, above, is deputy chair o FIFAs nance

    committee and, unless you have been leaked condential documents, you

    wouldnt know that this man, when in Zurich, rubberstamps his own requests

    or money. Its the perect circle o corruption.Teres no register o senior ocials interests. Staggeringly, FIFA presi-

    dent Blatter gets away with reusing to reveal his earnings, bonuses, expenses

    and other perks. We are told that disclosure would be against custom and

    practice in Switzerland.2 None o the 23 men who are Blatters Executive

    Committee (ExCo) seem troubled. Nor do the ocials o the 200-plus national

    associations.

    Over the last decade Ive investigated as much o FIFA as I can. Ive been

    banned rom their premises, events and press conerences since the spring o

    2003 ollowing my disclosure o a huge secret bonus that Blatter pays himsel.3

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    Monograph 169 75

    Andrew Jennings

    Because the availability o documentation is haphazard limited to what

    sources can pass on without being ngered it is impossible to know all the ar-

    rangements FIFAs leaders make with each other and the circle o little-known

    businessmen with whom they make covert deals. But the activities o one seniorocial the vice president mentioned above are so outrageous that consider-

    able quantities o inormation about his nancial dealings have been leaked to

    me.4

    MeeT fIfa vIce-presIdeNT Jack warNer

    Te vice-president is Jack Warner, rom rinidad. Warner displays lots o gold

    jewellery and will be aged 67 when the 2010 World Cup commences. An ex-

    amination o Warners money-making enterprises opens a window onto how

    Blatter survives as president. Warner controls 35 o the 207 votes at every con-

    gress mostly rom statelets in the Caribbean and so is avoured with a gro-

    tesque licence to deraud FIFA, yawn at its ethics code and constantly, through

    his infammatory outbursts, bring the organisation into disrepute. He appears

    to be the original untouchable, accountable to no one.

    Warners shameless exploitation o FIFA demolishes any possibility o himsucceeding to the presidency, but he compensates by chairing the FIFA commit-

    tees that award and supervise the Under-17 and Under-20 World Championships.

    Tis brings him prizes like the milking o 2001, when he steered the Under-17

    tournament to his homeland, rinidad. He appointed himsel chair o the local

    organising committee, created a budget which he approved when it came beore

    FIFAs nance committee, appointed a compliant CEO and set about distribut-

    ing the contracts mostly to himsel and his sons businesses.5

    Te ast ood and beverage contract or all ve stadiums went to the restau-rant business run by Warners son, Daryan. FIFAs travel oce would normally

    have been expected to supply the tickets or the 500 or so players, ocials and

    support sta or the 15 visiting teams. Not this time. A FIFA circular to all the

    teams stated:

    In accordance with the wishes o Jack Warner, and aer agreement with

    the FIFA president, the travel arrangements or the U17-our will be or-

    ganised by a local organising committee travel agency called Simpauls

    ravel service (a amily owned travel agency).6

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    76 Institute for Security Studies

    Player and Referee: Conflicting interests and the 2010 FIFA World Cuptm

    Te unnamed amily is, o course, the Warners, with Daryan at the helm.

    What o Warners other son, Daryll, who so cherished FIFAs golden values?

    Warner senior launched an email war against FIFA in Zurich; I have seen

    mortals o less loyalty and service as well as their o-spring enjoy benets romFIFA, he complained. (Sadly, he did not name names) He rambled on, Te FIFA

    amily can only survive and remain intact i its children genuinely believe that

    there is a place in the House o FIFA or them.7 As Darylls demands increased,

    his ather emailed him, Daryll pls advise me specically what you wish o FIFA

    Marketing or any other agency or person and I shall use my oce to assist.8 He

    did, it worked and Daryll got his $2 million contract or computer soware.9

    Te teams went home and Warner emailed Blatter:

    Te accounts do show a decit. On receipt o the same and, in view o

    the presently orchestrated antagonisms against me through the local and

    oreign media, including but not limited to Andrew Jennings, I trust that

    the accounts, when submitted, will remain the business o FIFA only.10

    How much more money did Warner want? I have since checked and rechecked

    my submission to FIFA and the (decit) is US$1,529,723, he told Blatter. Ishould thereore be grateul i the error could be corrected and we can bring

    some closure to this matter or which I do thank you in advance.11

    FIFAs nance committee (o which Warner himsel was vice chairman)

    agreed and sent him more money.

    The TIckeT rackeTs

    FIFAs trade in World Cup tickets is a clandestine industry, a labyrinth o illicittransactions between touts, middlemen, ocials at many levels and corpora-

    tions. FIFA has a monopoly over these scarce resources and when individuals

    have this level o discretion, corruption is inevitable. Warners ticketing activi-

    ties are a direct route into FIFAs heart o darkness.

    Warner has two decades o experience touting tickets. His rst recorded

    ticket racket was in 1989 when the USA visited rinidad or a crucial World

    Cup qualiying match. Te stadium would only hold 29 000 ans but Warner

    printed and sold 45 000 tickets. He got away with that.12

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    Monograph 169 77

    Andrew Jennings

    In 2006 Warner was in ticket trouble again. A local paper revealed that he

    had diverted the majority o World Cup tickets issued to the rinidad & obago

    Federation to his Simpaul travel company and, breaching FIFAs rules, was

    selling them in travel packages.13Tat expos had him up beore FIFAs earlier version o an ethics commit-

    tee where, to everybodys surprise, he was roundly admonished or abusing his

    FIFA position and ailing to act with integrity, and was sent or penalty to the

    ruling ExCo. Tat was in February 2006.

    (Later in 2006 Blatter abolished this airly toothless committee and replaced

    it with an even weaker one.)

    Warner hurriedly removed himsel and his wie rom ownership o Simpaul,

    transerring it to two women with no apparent experience in the travel trade.

    One was a housewie, the other an animal doctor. When I went to call they

    drew the curtains and wouldnt answer the door.

    When he met the ExCo, Warner said there was no case to answer because he

    didnt own the company anymore. Tey agreed. Warner neglected to tell them

    that his close associate, Pat Modeste, remained company secretar