It’s been six months since Sepp Blatter left FIFA, the world football’s governing body in disgrace. He was the public face of a corruption network that extended across the world. And despite a changing of the guard, the organization can’t quite draw a line under his legacy.
CCTV’s Owen Fairclough reports.
FIFA corruption inquiry: Football\'s disgraced old guard re-emergeIt’s been six months since Sepp Blatter left FIFA, the world football’s governing body in disgrace. He was the public face of a corruption network that extended across the world. And despite a changing of the guard, the organization can’t quite draw a line under his legacy. CCTV’s Owen Fairclough reports.
Out of FIFA but still very much in the public eye, Former FIFA President Sepp Blatter is appealing to sport’s international arbitration tribunal against a six-year ban from all football related activities.
“We are in football and in football there is a referee on the field, there is a match between two players. One of them says “I’ve done nothing”, the other also says “I’ve done nothing”. The referee has to choose. And this is what is happening here,” Blatter said.
Blatter made a secret $2,000,000 payment to former head of European football Michel Platini who received the same ban.
They insisted it was an above board payment for consulting work.
“I told the truth again, I hope that this time they will listen to us,” Platini said.
For many it was part and parcel of corruption at the heart of world football exposed by U.S. and Swiss authorities.
Investigators found dozens of executives and agents paying and receiving bribes for staging World Cup tournaments as well as the lucrative marketing and broadcasting deals that go with them.
Blatter always maintained he didn’t know about it. But the man who replaced him six-months ago promised to clean up.
“We will restore the image of FIFA and the respect of FIFA and everyone in the world will applaud us,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.
But just a few months later, Infantino was himself investigated and later cleared of breaching FIFA ethics standards for flights he’d taken on a private jet.
And although the heads of football in the Americas and Caribbean have been replaced, they seem more circumspect about what they can achieve.
“We started cleaning CONCACAF with these reforms, but we know this cleansing will not occur in one or two days,” CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani said.
And much of that that cleansing on a judicial level is happening here in the U.S. where many of the suspects are alleged to have laundered their bribes through the banking system.
They include executives from football federations in Brazil, Costa Rica and the Cayman Islands
They’re due to stand trial in New York in September or October next year.
Andrew Jennings on FIFA’s future and legacy
For more on FIFA’s future and legacy, CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo interviewed Andrew Jennings, the Author of “The Dirty Game – Uncovering the Scandal at FIFA”.