That is the question that is currently on my mind. What to do about Martin Ivens, should he be sacked, should he be allowed vindication, should he be prosecuted? You see, it is time that the editors are held responsible for what they do, that they are being held up into the light for what was said, exploited and then forgotten, just so that these people can prostitute events for circulation. What do you think?
Why Martin Ivens? That is of course the question that needs answering. It all started with the news on March 19th when I wrote ‘Any sport implies corruption! In this I looked at the events when the Guardian (one of several papers) reported on allegations against Qatar. As stated before it is about evidence and ‘more likely than not’, I also personally speculated on the chance that it was more likely that several advertisement players wanted change as Qatar was just inconvenient. And let’s face it, the press catering to advertisement dollars is not that far-fetched, if you doubt that, then consider the Sony events from November 2013.
The big issue becomes July 28th when we see the issues explode a little further when even Reuters stated “Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper reported that some of the “millions of documents” it had seen linked payments by former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam to officials to win backing for Qatar’s World Cup bid“, so here we have it. I think that if Martin Ivens wants to keep his job, he needs to publish these ‘millions of documents‘, if he cannot, or does not, then we should consider prosecuting Martin Ivens for slander and he should be held accountable for serious breaches of journalistic integrity, which should be done by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), but in light of what we have seen, they will not be up to the task, unwilling to do anything and in the end, they will become the joke that Hacked-off proclaimed them to be from day one.
Yet, can we attack Martin Ivens like that? Yes, we can! However, Martin Ivens has every right to vindicate himself by publishing the data (millions of records) that they saw. What are the chances that we get just a lame excuse? Time will tell, but as we have looked at the events in the last two years, it is extremely unlikely that anyone will be held to account.
But should it be Martin Ivens? If we see the CNN article that I used in the July article, we see “Sarah Baxter, deputy editor of the Sunday Times, told CNN in an interview. Qatar commits to labour reforms the impact of changing World Cup dates ‘We’ve seen millions of documents that prove without a shadow of doubt that corruption was involved. There is clear evidence linking payments to people who have influence over the decision of who hosted the World Cup’“, in my mind it should be both, but in the end, as Martin Ivens did not go against this, it seems to make him an accessory to the event, guilty by omission. In the end this all might remain academic if IPSO does not act, because a complaint needs to be filed, yet consider how soccer is dragged through the mud here, without the evidence that the Sunday Times claims to have, the scope of events regarding FIFA will change to the larger degree.
This is however not the end, there are additional issues with the investigation as we saw delay upon delay and now the ‘verdict’ also calls issues into question. A more reliable source (at http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30044791), asks some of these question: “But Garcia’s statement, issued less than four hours after the report was published, has reopened the debate about the validity of the bidding process for both the 2018 and 2022 competitions“, a second statement “‘Fifa has no choice but to publish Michael Garcia’s report in full if it expects anyone to believe their claims that there has been no cover-up over allegations of corruption in the World Cup bidding process,’ said British MP Clive Efford, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Sport.”
That part is spot on in my mind, let’s not forget that in my mind, the jobs of both Martin Ivens and Sarah Baxter are on the line as I see it, especially in a time when the bulk of all journalism is regarded by many to have no integrity left.
The final statement that opens the barn is: “In view of the fact Michael Garcia has now stated he is not happy with the findings and is to appeal, I await with interest to see what further disclosures will be made,” said Boyce“, which beckons a few more issues. Why report on something that is not satisfactory? What findings? Which evidence? It seems interesting that the 430 page report is set into a 42 page summary, when we see the Guardian we see the implied event that someone else wrote the summary. Why? Why did both reports not come from Michael Garcia (at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/nov/13/farce-fifa-michael-garcia-erroneous-ethics-report), why do we see the following quote “Garcia’s dramatic intervention came just hours after Eckert had confirmed the Guardian’s revelation that Russia and Qatar would be cleared of substantive wrongdoing and would not be stripped of the tournaments despite a whirlwind of speculation“, so are some people now spinning in regards to possible advertisers missing out on big business dollars for media? Because, as I see it, the issues remains, was all this about inconvenience or actual corruption, and if the second, why does the summary not bear out the full report if corruption has been proven? Yet overall there are valid questions too, when I see the quote “Russian bid executives claimed that all their emails were wiped from their rented computers. Alexei Sorokin, who runs Russia’s 2018 organising committee, denied a deliberate cover-up“, I do wonder how such incompetence is even allowed in such a prestigious environment. Where were the back-ups? Would the achievement of success not warrant back-ups for a job well done and these documents would have been kept as evidence that a job was well done? Would these documents not show the value of Alexei Sorokin to his government?
So even as the guilt is not proven, the ‘claim‘ of ‘millions of documents‘ still requires scrutiny, because if this is not adhered to, we are confronted with more than one level of corruption, possible corruption of ethics by the press, possible corruption of standards by FIFA and possible corruption from bidders unproven due to incompetence.
I hope that the true investigators will speak out on evidence, for the simple consequence of inaction could be the beginning of a wave of mistrust into sports. The one place where acts of corruption could have a long term effect, who wants to watch a sport series, where a foundation of trust can no longer be relied upon, if that happens what would we end up watching?