FIFA starts to redeem itself

The Herald reports:

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini were each banned for eight years by the ethics committee last night in a stunning removal of world soccer’s most powerful leaders.

FIFA President Blatter and his one-time protege Platini were kicked out of the sport for conflict of interest and disloyalty to FIFA in a $2 million payment deal that is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland.

Good. This starts to restore a modicum of faith in FIFA.

FIFA’s ethics judges decided that Blatter and Platini broke ethics rules on conflicts of interest, breach of loyalty and offering or receiving gifts.

Platini took $2 million of FIFA money in 2011 approved by Blatter as uncontracted salary for work as a presidential adviser from 1999-2002.

Another story gives the context:

A state of denial is a virulent affliction for football’s lake-dwellers – and Platini has a bad case of it. He cannot see how accepting $2 million from Blatter shortly before he (Platini) agreed not to challenge Blatter for the Fifa presidency might offend the sensibilities of those who think transparency and accountability are vital attributes of governing bodies.

if it looks like a bribe, sounds like a bribe and smells like a bribe, it probably is a bribe.

The suggestion it was for work done 10 years earlier is almost laughable. A few issues with that:

  • Who would wait ten years to be paid?
  • $500,000 a year for a part-time advisory role is ludicrous
  • There was no contract
  • The debt was never shown in the books
  • Any payment to an “insider” is a potential conflict of interest and should be approved independently and recorded

We all knew Blatter was corrupt, but sad that Platini has been found to also be corrupt. He was seen as one of the white knights, but it seems all their knights are just shades of grey,

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