Tag Archives: Qatar

Hunting facts

We can go on about Greece (which is again in crises), we can look at video games (like how the QA of Arkham Knight got effed up), but for now all interesting news has been said and there are a few British political events starting, but what some of you all forgot about was FIFA. When I look into the Guardian and seek the sports page (online) I see three times the mention of FIFA, only one has a video regarding the money-laundering inquiry. The interesting part is that the term ‘bribes’ is now replaced with ‘money laundering’. In that view the following document is rather interesting https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Fraud_bribery_and_money_laundering_offences_-_Definitive_guideline.pdf.

You see, Money Laundering is a rather harsher part in all this. For that we need to take a look at a few crimes acts, specifically the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (not today though).

And as I go through it with a few giggles, it seems to me that all this is not good for Jack Warner, even though he ‘threatened’ to reveal an ‘avalanche’ of secrets, he could end up looking at his luxurious stay in Hotel Sing Sing for a lot longer, than he would if convicted for bribery, in addition the accusation of him redirecting financial aid for the Haiti victims (from several newspapers) could make matters even worse for him.

This came from the Guardian with the title ‘Jack Warner fears for his life and will reveal ‘avalanche’ of secrets‘, yet so far, no revelations of any kind, or none that ended up in the hands of the press at present. This is the interesting part, if we go by the Jamaica observer who reported only 2 days ago: “but up to Thursday, the Office of the Attorney General had not received any request for Warner to be extradited to the United States, where he is wanted on wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering charges“, is that not peculiar? Technically it is not, extradition, means the start of a trial, and as such, Jack Warner is too visible, there is no place he can run to (as I see it). In addition, setting up a trial of this magnitude will take some time. However, the initial indictment that I published in ‘Condoning corruption!‘, (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/05/29/condoning-corruption/) almost a month ago, should clearly put him at the top, as the star player in all this. In addition there is (at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/jun/10/john-oliver-trinidad-television-mock-jack-warner-fifa), where you can see the comedian telling the same things I told , but his comical approach is one that is not to be missed!

So why the long silence?

Well, that is the interesting part. There was no silence, when we look at the Guardian in Trinidad (at http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2015-06-23/warner-integrity-commission-has-tapes), we see the headline ‘Warner: Integrity Commission has tapes‘, yet, I have at times doubted the duty of many newspapers all over the place, especially when it is owned by a member of the Murdoch family. Still is it not extremely interesting how many large newspapers have not picked up this news? I would think that the news of audio tapes, FIFA members and bribery would be the stuff of legends for papers like the LA Times, the NY Times, or even the Washington Post, yet none of them had picked up the Breaking news, or should it be broken news? The Washington Post did however pick up the response to John Oliver from Jack Warner (at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/early-lead/wp/2015/06/12/composer-says-jack-warner-stole-his-music-for-video-directed-at-john-oliver/), especially as Jack Warner is also under fire from the composer, whose music he used to drown out his own voice from 1:13 to 2:20. Anyway, his response to the comedian was given on the 12th of June, the Washington Post possible regarded this as light entertainment (with Greg Dombrowski who is at present the only one who is not amused). After that the Washington Post has nothing. So was it breaking or broken news? I do not know. I have not heard the tapes, yet neither had any of the other news outlets as far as I can tell, so if Jack Warner is bringing evidence out, why ignore it? A half-baked news moment on the ‘MH370 suicide mission’ gets picked up with what was called a ‘reliable source’ by those working for the Barclay Brothers, yet no one is touching the Warner Tapes.

I am quite happy to see Jack Warner Fry for all of this, but the man is entitled to a defence, when the press steers clear to this amount, who are they actually listening to? What is the audience not getting informed on and where are the FIFA puppeteers? Let’s not forget that the full report from Michael Garcia is still being kept locked away. The entire FIFA debacle has people running for the hills and there is a decent indication that the press is aiding some of them by not illuminating the issues at play.

Yet, we must also look beyond Jack Warner, which gets us to CONMEBOL. It is forced to pay 10 million out of its own funds. When we look at http://www.espnfc.com/fifa-world-cup/story/2502646/conmebol-facing-cash-flow-crisis-due-to-fifa-bribery-scandal, we get the following facts:

  • Sponsors have been asked to pay Conmebol directly
  • Datisa had only paid Conmebol 35 out of the 80 million, which means it is all short by 4,500,000,000 centavos.

It becomes a little weirder (possibly due to missing facts), when we consider the quote by Bloomberg: “head of international business for Brazil-based sports marketing firm Traffic Group (Jochen Loesch), one of the companies that make up Datisa. Traffic founder Jose Hawilla, 71, pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He agreed to forfeit $151 million“, so if he forfeits THAT MUCH, what else did he stuff into ‘a’ matrass? By the way, I had a decent income for a few decades, yet summed up, over my whole working life, pre taxation, I will have made less than 1% of what Hawilla is forfeiting in this event; crime has become THAT rewarding!

Of course, we seem to focus on FIFA alone, yet, when we look at the Boston Globe, we see the indirect fallout, which makes the lashing the FIFA executives a lot more essential. When we read the article ‘FIFA scandal may affect Boston’s 2024 bid‘ (at https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2015/06/24/fifa-scandal-grows-could-affect-boston-bid/AasXsCJZobZTayvfb06obP/story.html). My issue is not with the article in the Boston Globe, it was with a quote in the Chicago Tribune “Because next Tuesday, if the U.S. Olympic Committee has come to its senses, its board of directors will wisely choose at a regularly scheduled meeting to pull a doomed Boston bid that has been a disaster from the start“. Two parts, one is the question, why it was doomed? That is an actual question, there is no direct answer in my view. The second is that the Olympic committee could, ‘wake up’ is the incorrect term, I do not think that the Olympic Committee is asleep, I mean that they need to refocus their current vision. What could be the problem is the location of the games. You see, no matter how all this goes, the 2024 Olympics will be 2 years AFTER Qatar, actually, due to rescheduling, less than 18 months, which means that there will be all kinds of issues all over Europe (a reeling UEFA after a drenched timeline as part of the 2022 soccer competition will be all over the place is one), the second one is French politics. At this point it is still extremely likely that National Front end up in a new location, when Marine Le Pen moves to 55, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris, with the French in a massive wave moving towards European segregation, keeping the Olympics on the US side of the Atlantic river might not be the worst idea. Although, if the American administration does not clean up its tax act, it will be bankrupt making the entire exercise slightly exotic to say the least. If there is one essential part we need to consider in all this, then I would state that the Stability of the Olympics need to be assured, apart from that having them in the US after 28 years is not a bad way to go. With all the troubles Europe is still to face, especially with Greece messing up the European economy (the makers of the Olympics of all things), both Paris and Rome could end up in such a bad state that only Hamburg and Budapest remain a realistic location, considering Boston for the games of 2024 is definitely in my books at present.

So how did I get from FIFA to the Olympics?

That we do get from the Boston Globe, where we see “While longtime FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who has said he’ll resign possibly by year’s end, has not yet been indicted, he is said to be a target of the investigation. Blatter also happens to be an IOC member, which comes with the job of heading one of the planet’s biggest sports, such as track and field, swimming, basketball, and skating“, which is generic information. The second quote has the gem: “If Blatter is indicted, he’d obviously have to resign from the IOC. The question is, will the Justice Department stop with soccer or will it broaden its inquiry to other federations where payoffs likely have been made over the years? And since at least 17 present or honorary IOC members are current or former federation heads, will they have a strong incentive not to vote for Boston for the 2024 Summer Games, lest they be taken into custody upon arrival at Logan“, you see, the quote “at least 17 present or honorary IOC members are current or former federation heads” in that same article is linked to all this. Now, there is absolutely ZERO indication that these members have done anything wrong, but a massive amount of them are Europeans and this FIFA spectacle will grow and touch (read: smear) many European nations, at which point the media, will go on a rampage like hungry rats, ripping whatever they can for the prospect of ‘circulation’, getting the 2024 Olympics out of Europe that time around might be something to seriously consider. As viewers watch matches of all Olympic events, whilst games are overshadowed by all kinds of ‘speculative revelations’ by unnamed sources in newspapers, it would be good to have the Olympic games in a time zone several hours away, so that the games can remain centre in all of this. Is that such a stretch? In addition, all those close friends of Sepp Blatter in the IOC would also benefit from a time zone isolation of what will still be reeling at that point in Europe.

So, I will happily oppose Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune regarding “a doomed Boston bid that has been a disaster from the start“, I am not convinced, moreover, defaulting the Olympics to Boston could be the best thing. I’ll be fair, Canada might have been better, but they pulled beforehand, which gives us “Toronto’s Economic development Committee voted against bidding for the 2024 games on 20 January, citing a bid would cost the city $50 to 60 million” (Source Wiki), why does a bid cost them that much? I never really looked into that part of Olympic biddings, so the costs in that are equally disturbing, but that is for another day.

Anyway, if Toronto has an issue with 50 million (which is a truckload of cash) having them in the ground of a few billion might not be a good idea. Sydney had its Olympics in 2000, which is way too recent, from that logic I state, let Boston be the default!

Back to FIFA!

We learn today, via SBS (at http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/06/25/two-argentines-sought-us-fifa-scandal-put-under-house-arrest), that the extradition proceedings are happening and they seem to be accelerating. With guilty pleas in the bag from other members, the options for Hugo and Mariano Jinkis are dwindling down fast. Federal judge Claudio Bonadio rejected their release saying they presented a flight risk given their personal wealth, adding that until last week they had both been fugitives. Their bail which was set at $1.2 million for the both of them might be regarded as a laughing matter when we consider the 151 million Jose Hawilla forfeited, so how much funds do the Jinkis have? Perhaps an electronic tag is for them a mere inconvenience should they decide to move to a nation that will not extradite to either Argentina or the US; I am just phrasing a question here!

So as we hunt facts regarding the FIFA members involved, how come the news on the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian was not picked up anywhere internationally? That is the issue we started with, a question not answered and unlikely to get answered any day soon. There is one more part to consider, it is a part every FIFA executive fears, because with Football (read soccer) is such disarray from the FIFA point, why are the nations involved not inviting UEFA to ascertain in what depth of trouble their local sport is in? Any political move to ignore this can be countered in this as unofficial knowledge of bribes and corruption went unanswered for over a decade, we only need to look at the work of investigative journalist Andrew Jennings to see that the problem is truly Titanic in size. The added fact that one person walked away with $151 million is proof further still.  It should feel pretty comfortable for Michel Platini to see UEFA in a consideration to clean up Football. In all this, there needs to be transparency and visibility. Although I was never much of a soccer fan, to me it feels important that in all this both members of the IOC and soccer members like Michel Platini, Jean-Pierre Papin, Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Alan Shearer, David Beckham and Jürgen Klinsmann to seriously sit down and see how FIFA can truly be cleaned up. I personally have zero trust in Sepp Blatter doing anything else than cover his hide at present, because when anyone sitting at the helm remaining THIS unaware of bribery and corruption for such a long time is on all fronts the wrong person to sanitise that system. I would like to add that such an investigation should be headed by three members of Royalty. Soccer is such too strong influence in Europe, to be handed to people loving the limelight for personal reasons. In this I would nominate Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, King Willem-Alexander of Orange from The Netherlands and Princess Anne from the United Kingdom. It will requires officials and renowned players with managerial knowledge to take a harsh look at all this, having this headed by three members who have lived a life beyond reproach is equally important.

So in the end, consider that in all this, when we look from a distance, you should be appalled on how an organisation so influential in national events on a global scale is given a level of leeway that even the most powerful organised crime organisation could never ever hope for is just too unsettling. And in all this, it is all preparation, the support acts have not started yet and the main event is some time away. It is time to make a massive change and the sooner such actions begin, the better for all those passionate about sports involved.

 

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More FIFA shit?

That was the very first thought I had when I found the article in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/jun/07/russia-qatar-lose-world-cups-if-bribery-found-fifa). The article ‘Russia and Qatar may lose World Cups if evidence of bribery is found‘. Domenico Scala, the independent chairman of FIFA’s audit and compliance committee decided to open his mouth. Which sounds rude, but that is what it adds up to. You see, in all this, as I see it, nearly EVERY MEMBER of FIFA seems to ignore, or sidestep the report by Michael J. Garcia. Is it not interesting that the report called for far trivialised by FIFA and now it has been silenced? Is it remotely possible that Michael J Garcia was the only uncorrupted voice?

It seems like a hard verdict and it seems crass to say so, but I have an issue with an interim manage with massive big business ties. Many of them none too pleased with either Russia or Qatar winning the ballot. With the quote “The new evidence, obtained by the BBC, appears to show how the 2008 payments from Fifa – ostensibly for a Diaspora Legacy Programme promised by South African World Cup organisers” we do take notice, especially as BBC had been on the case of Jack Warner for a long time, but how does this connect to Russia or Qatar?

The article then shows more with the quote “‘after talking with everybody … Whose votes went where? We’re all colleagues, you know. And then we found out that actually Morocco won by two votes,’ the Sunday Times reported Bhamjee as saying“, which seems to be another worry, as I see it, one of the next world cups should then be allotted to Morocco by default, which one is hard to say, 2026 perhaps?

But the article seems to go off to the side, you see the one small quote “had also alleged bribery during the 2018-22 race” is not enough. In a river of papers, documents and evidence the issue of Russia and Qatar are now set in 9 words.

So why is the Michael J. Garcia report held back, why is Michael J. Garcia not talking? It seems with Fat Cat Sepp and loads of others gone, Garcia might become untouchable, depending on that report, so why is that kept behind closed doors? That is part of the reason why I am not willing to give Domenico Scala any leeway or trust, especially with his biopharmaceutical links and his past in Nestle and Roche. These are global players with their claws all over the place. As I stated in my earlier blog regarding FIFA, ‘is it more likely than not’ that large corporations want Qatar to go because of the hundreds of millions in advertisement that are lost because of the Qatarian situation? Having the investigator who basically sleeps in the bed of these large corporations is not a mindset put at ease. The fact that Michael Garcia has vanished in a cloud of non-publications for almost 6 months does not help matter either. The fact that the press is not all over this is even more unsettling.

Then the last sentence, which is actually quite the firecracker. You see the sentence “The Sunday Times says that it supplied the evidence to Fifa five years ago but that it had not acted on it“. Of course, the fact that it is directly linked to Rupert Murdoch does not help the case. But the issue that does play is whether this interaction is in Michael Garcia’s report does matter. You see, if Garcia has it, what were his findings? If he did not have it, the question becomes, who has been regulating the mailboxes of the FIFA members. At this point it is likely to be more than just a reference to people like Jack Warden, because whoever did that (if it was done) must have been a person who is very high up the ladder of FIFA.

The one thing that puts the people (especially the Soccer lovers) at ease is the one step that FIFA is not making, now we get a new one in ‘charge’ and we see more headlines with the mention ‘if evidence of bribery is found‘. So, is my lack of trust that hard to grasp? Overall is there any faith in FIFA at present? Not by me, I do not matter, but those who are truly passionate about soccer, those who felt the reality, which they have expected so long, it still hit them like a kick in the nuts!

They are the people Domenico Scala needs to connect to, especially if FIFA is to have any future, because the news now is just news, but son we will see day after day the issues of extradition that is being fought by those allegedly corrupt, who are in fear of future for their sphincter as they enter the US courts. Then the actual courts that will take more months and more news again and again on FIFA and corruption. If Domenico Scala wants the trust of the people, the true soccer fans, than as I see it, he has no choice but to publish the report, preferably with Michael J Garcia standing next to him vocal about every part of his report. It is not the view Hans-Joachim Eckert would like, but there are questions, questions that also include the ethics committee. So as we see the quote that BBC had on December 17th 2014 “Fifa president Sepp Blatter said: “I am surprised by Mr Garcia’s decision. The work of the ethics committee will nonetheless continue”“, in light of all the arrested and one person who resigned, how did the ethics committee continue, and did it actually continue at all?

Having someone on the ethics committee does not mean that there is an ethics committee, for that reality, one need not look any further than the UK and its view on ‘justice’ via Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. The amount of my peers that have loudly voiced their view on what the Lord Chancellor regards as legal aid, which by the way is what you usually hear when a truck drives starts shouting after a traffic jam of 18 hours, it is not healthy on the ears!

In all this, many articles and several decision only seem to fuel uncertainty, especially regarding trust of FIFA that is now getting louder. Uncertainty will lead to a more grim view on what will happen to FIFA. You see in the end, the power of soccer is Europe, which means that if enough uncertainty is voiced, someone in power will voice to secede FIFA and make UEFA the one power in Europe. FIFA might laugh now, but the large soccer nations include UK, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. If three of these, agree on that action, they can pull a host of other european nations across. Let’s not forget that 70% of the power of soccer is Europe, it is not America, Asia or Africa. So whatever is left for the world cup will diminish the ‘world cup’ into a trophy of a few nations that will soon thereafter see that all the funds of soccer remains in Europe, at that point large corporations will pull out and the 6 billion Euro dream that was will be a devaluated nightmare. That nightmare will continue with every court iteration the US goes through on corruption.

That view only polarises further when we consider the quote “He has threatened to release an “avalanche” of secrets about FIFA and its embattled president Sepp Blatter, who last week announced his intended resignation“, which was in the New York Times (at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/08/sports/soccer/at-center-of-fifa-scandal-a-divisive-politician-in-jack-warner.html. This ‘threat’ is not entirely impossible as Jack Warner was previously a minister of national security and transportation. So we will soon see the ‘spook’ stories in the Telegraph I reckon.

In all this, the media will become the hyena that needs feeding, if Domenico Scala is to get any handle on this, releasing the full report of Michael Garcia would be a first step. It will not matter what that report states, you see, if it is useless, it will only reflect on Michael Garcia, if it was dynamite, it will hit resigned president Sepp Blatter, but it could also have repercussions for Justice Hans-Joachim Eckert, but that would depend on the report itself. If it does show that there were issues with both Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022, well, as I stated before, let the chips fall where they may!

So as we will get more FIFA shot for a long time to come, which has a hidden treasure (if Swiss Law helps me out here).  You see, life in Switzerland is not cheap, even though he has millions, now all that money going to him will be mapped, anyone ‘helping’ him out will soon fall under the investigative scope of the US as well, due to possibility of being an accomplice. I am not stating that those people are that, but a criminal investigation is taking place. Now he is in a land where bank secrets will not help him as he is under scrutiny of extradition, in addition, Scotland Yard (who must feel humiliated as this all happened under their noses) are now looking at him 24/7 as well (a presumption on my side). Jack Warner is under a microscope whilst his sons are talking to the FBI, naming their father as a joined co-conspirator. The fun never ends, with every claim he does not pursue (the avalanche of secrets) his position becomes weaker, whatever he reveals implies his connection and it weakens him further as his former ‘friends’ will want to stay away from that toxic environment. He still gets hit, no matter what. I would think that as a former National Security minister, he would have planned his tactics a little better, but that could just be my wrongly skewed vision. Now this comes to blows with the press, I wonder what Brigadier General Alfonso will do. Now that his former colleague is accused, will the General start an investigation into the bank accounts of the agency? I am not stating that Jack Warner stole anything, but what if he used the accounts to syphon money in more than one direction, not just to receive, but to make payment. Now we have a ballgame that is more entertaining than soccer, because if that is so, than Trinidad could be touched by the FIFA scourge. If so, Jack Warner might stop fighting extradition, just to escape the wrath of Brigadier General Alfonso.

In all this, never forget the parts that matter here, there is no evidence that Jack Warner had nothing but the highest love for his Trinidad, his need for … ‘susceptibility to gifts’ does not diminish his national love or in his view his national pride, but how is it viewed by his peers and other around him? That question touches on the quote “The prime minister of this Caribbean republic walked out of a session of Parliament on Friday, angrily chastising a fellow politician and former ally, Jack Warner, who finds himself and his two sons at the center of soccer’s widespread corruption scandal” which the NY Times article started with. You see, overall corruption is not a new thing, it happens in many places, it is just a clear fact that when it gets out in the open, those persons are usually not liked anymore. The same danger he faces all over the field, which is why some of the aspects seem so funny to me. He might throw a few parties now in Switzerland, but soon he will face the reality of legal fees and cost of living, because whatever he wants to pay with will be under none stop scrutiny.

So, we will see plenty more FIFA ‘shit’, the question I have is how UEFA will act and react, because faith in FIFA could soon be at an all-time low, more important, what is Electronic Arts (EA Sports) not willing to pay for?

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Condoning corruption!

There is no escaping the news, FIFA is currently getting smeared all over the place, but before we start painting the roses red, the question we must ask is who are we trying to appease?

Our own sense of morality perhaps?

My first writing on all this started on March 19th 2014 in ‘Any sport implies corruption!‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/03/19/any-sport-implies-corruption/), There I looked at the first allegations against Qatar. The evidence presented was highly debatable. It took me to a response Lord Denning gave in the trial Miller v. Minister of Pensions [1947] 2 All ER 372. The statement was “more probable than not”. In the end, I had reservations on whether Qatar was guilty of bribes. I finalised my view with “it is more likely than not that three people were falsely set in an illegal light so that several unnamed persons could walk away with many hundreds of millions of Euros“. My view was apparently a lot more optimistic!

Now we get to the news of the last few days.

On May 27th FIFA officials get arrested on corruption charges. (06:00)
On May 27th Criminal investigation into 2018 and 2022 World Cup awards opened (09:30)
On May 27th FIFA presidential election to go ahead, no 2018 and 2022 World Cup revotes (10:30) (source: http://www.espnfc.com.au/)

At 14:30 4 members, Chuck Blazer, Jose Hawilla, Daryan Warner and Daryll Warner plead guilty. So, even as daddy Warner proclaims his innocence, it seems that he was able to instil values of corruption in his boys. However just now in the Wall Street Journal (at http://www.wsj.com/articles/three-men-with-ties-to-former-fifa-official-aided-probe-1432859617) gives us the quote “businessmen who have been involved in ventures…including ventures involving their father”, which gives way to daddy Warner being in water a lot warmer than he might find comfortable.  But in all this, the disturbing part is not the fact that FIFA seems to be corrupt through and through, it is odd in my view that this has been going on under the watchful eye of police forces all over Europe, as well as Interpol. These events were all brought to light by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (of FBI for short). Is that not puzzling? I was not the only one thinking this. A similar thought came from Chris Bryant MP (at http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-the-papers-32925653)

When we consider certain facts.

From USA Today we get “Blazer was a member of the FIFA Executive Committee from 1996 to 2013, when he was replaced by Sunil Gulati. That same year Blazer was accused of taking over $15 million in payments from FIFA over the course of his tenure and was suspended“, so now suddenly he is regarded as a ‘Report: Former FIFA executive-turned-informant‘ and he had a $6000 apartment for his cats! So, basically he had a pussy place for that cash? Yet the part that is linked here is “CONCACAF’s offices took up the entire 17th floor, but Blazer often worked from two apartments where he lived on the 49th floor“. It seems to me that there is a lot more going on here. Is it perhaps (mere speculation) that certain meetings were to be taken in a deniable setting? More important, I get it that the FBI caught on, but why did the Police forces all over Europe remain blind to all this? In addition, this also brings the entire Michael Garcia debacle again into focus. The fact that this level of corruption had been going on, and as far as we can tell, it happened under the nose of Michael Garcia. When we consider he had been digging into the entire corruption issues for both 2018 and 2022, it seems odd that no flags were raised when we consider the lavish lifestyle of some members. The fact that his appeal to publish the entire document he worked on was overthrown, now these people will get to explain a lot as the corruption scandal spins out of control and anyone now trying to withhold information could end up painted black by the ‘corruption brush’!

It is Attorney General Loretta Lynch who says it best: “It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks”, so over two generations, decades in activities and the President Sep Blatter remains blind to it all? I am not stating whether he was involved, that is up to the FBI and they did not find anything, the fact that he should have been aware something was wrong is ample evidence that Sep Blatter is nowhere near fit to preside over FIFA. Not when something like this goes on for decades under his presidency.

If we accept the view from the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/may/28/fifa-expose-british-press-andrew-jennings-sunday-times-corruption-fa), where we see: “Andrew Jennings, 71, who has traced Sepp Blatter’s footsteps for more than a decade. Jennings worked for the Sunday Times and BBC’s Panorama. His BBC film about FIFA corruption, The Beautiful Bung, appeared as long ago as 2006“, so as we consider these facts and the fact that this happened, for a large extent under the eyes of Sep Blatter, as we see that he had made no moves since the 2006 film, which should have been an eye opener for him, Scotland Yard and Interpol, but it was the FBI in 2015 who got it done!

Is there no blame? With this level of negligence? I hardly think that is the case and as I see the presidency of Sep Blatter should be cut immediately. In addition, if FIFA wants to regain any level of credibility, it has in my view, no other option but to publish the full report by Michael Garcia. You see, what is in there will be revealing, but I feel certain that what is not in there might be worth even more. Because all this happened, because certain steps were not done and even the tail coat of Michael Garcia is very likely to get smudged. Now let me be clear, I do not believe that Michael Garcia did anything wrong, yet as he started his role in July 2012, he must have had a few thoughts on how he can remain so isolated from the entire pack, as it was devouring the better part of 150 million. Red flags should have been raised in the corner of his eyes, but that might be just me speculating!

The other part hit me when I read the article “Chuck Blazer: FIFA ‘supergrass’” (at http://www.bbc.com/news/32913599), when we consider the quote “it was at this time that Blazer signed a contract with Concacaf that entitled him to 10% commissions on all sponsorship and TV rights deals through his company Sportvertising, giving rise to his nickname of ‘Mr Ten Percent’“, so he gets 10% and still he gets on the Trans Corruption Express? In 2011 he gets the option to become the inside man, the informer. It seems to me that this person has been given a way to lavish life, with 2 repayments. The first one of 1.9 million and another one still to come. I reckon his attorney will use the ‘colon cancer card’ for maximum effect.

I reckon, the FBI did in light of the inaction by so many others, a great job!

The question on everyone’s mind will be regarding the future of FIFA, because without a complete overhaul and without a complete rewriting of the rules, there is every chance that FIFA might not be tolerated any further. There is one more matter, which was set at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/may/28/australian-police-asked-to-investigate-500000-payment-to-fifas-jack-warner. Here we see ‘Australian police asked to investigate $500,000 payment to FIFA’s Jack Warner‘. So this is another ball game. My question is in the first degree, what was the payment for? Was there a receipt? The Sydney Morning Herald had an interesting part: “The $500,000 payment by the FFA to a football association bank account controlled by Warner – a payment ostensibly made to redevelop a stadium in Trinidad and Tobago“, so why was the Football Federation Australia paying to redevelop a stadium there? The second quote “The FFA on Thursday defended its failure to report the matter to Australian or US police on the basis that FIFA – the organisation now at the centre of an international corruption storm – asked them not to” is even further troubling. Basically, FIFA officials seem to get away with it, the moment the word ‘FIFA’ and ‘request’ are mentioned together, the simple application of Common Sense went straight out of the window.

Even though there will be no resetting of 2018 and 2022, issues still need to be addressed. There is now an additional side to all this. Editors seem to forget at times what they do, but let me remind you regarding the article I wrote on November 14th 2014 called ‘Sacking the editor?‘, in there Martin Ivens is quoted by Reuters: “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”, is that not interesting? So, did the police act on any of that? Is it perhaps possible that the allegations from a newspaper actually hindered a criminal investigation? It is hard to say as the direct facts are murky (and my view on UK Criminal law is murky too), but it all gives way to a hidden stream of events under the FIFA tsunami that is now hitting the press. Has the press shouted ‘wolf’ so often that certain officials stopped acting? That is the direct question here, because the indignation that Chris Bryant MP voiced (Labour) is very real. Why did the FBI solve that what should have been squarely in the corner of Scotland Yard and Interpol. Andrew Jennings is only one of many sources that seem to have been ignored by many people and players on numerous levels.

So, are we condoning corruption? Before you say ‘no’ consider how long this issue was unattended and the fact that the FIFA president, who remained oblivious to the entire matter is at this point likely to be re-elected calls for even more questions. The last part was released half an hour ago. We must give option to refer to the Serious Fraud Office with some laughter as it is now assessing the ‘materials’ which give voice to the fact that Barclays, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank were used to transfer cash. Didn’t we see two of those banks in other ‘issues’ involving cash?

Is anyone else finally waking up?

The Original Indictment: fifa-indictment-webb-etal

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The price of soccer

This is how I see the issues as we see the mountain of ‘complaints’ in regards to Qatar 2022. The first part is seen on the BBC site (a http://www.bbc.com/news/world-31605149). Richard Scudamore is very disappointed, which is fair enough. My issue is with his statement: ‘if the integrity of a football league has to stop for 6-7 weeks‘. Is that truly the case? The integrity of a league does not diminish when they are out playing their best for their nation in a world cup. It shows that these people, with multi million pound incomes can set it all aside to play their best for their nation. That is the simple truth of it all. So is this about FIFA, UEFA? Or is it because of advertisers? You see, those 6-7 weeks advertisers will move to the world cup, they go to where THEIR visibility lies. I think that this is a side that the football managers forgot about. When they spread the visibility of Soccer, getting more and more nations, they forgot that new members are every bit as eager to promote their national side and we can safely say that the middle east has plenty of money to invest in new stadiums.

Part of me is just a little amazed that both FIFA and its members did not see this coming. It is a sports event! In a places where for all kinds of environmental reasons, the Olympics cannot be held there, is it such a surprise that they want to show off their nation by hosting the soccer World Cup event? That what followed is still to be regarded as an episode of comedy capers, for those too young to remember, see the intro here (at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjZMfRwsuOM), see the man at the back, that could be Martin Ivens, you remember the Sunday Times claiming to have seen all those ‘millions of documents‘ reported by Reuters on July 28th 2014? I mention parts of what was claimed in ‘Sacking the Editor?’ on November 14th 2014 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/11/14/sacking-the-editor/), it could be regarded as evidence on just how much a paper tiger Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) is. As mentioned before, if we go by the words of IPSO “We uphold the highest standards of journalism by monitoring and maintaining the standards set out in the Editors’ Code of Practice” than they should also be pre-emptive. Especially when allegations of corruption are being made.

Was there corruption? That question remains a valid one, but when we see “FIFA report into alleged corruption clears Qatar to host 2022 World Cup” (at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/nov/13/fifa-report-alleged-corruption-qatar-2022-world-cup), the mention by the Sunday Times give way to bring a forced publication of that evidence, or be hit for damages. None of that seems to have happened. In addition, we see this in The Star (at http://www.thestar.com/sports/soccer/2015/02/24/fifa-deserves-red-card-for-the-debacle-that-is-qatar-world-cup-arthur.html) “FIFA judge Hans-Joachim Eckert, who sits on FIFA’s ethics committee, reviewed the report and released a 42-page summary to the public that stated the report cleared FIFA in the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively“.

I am not denying the facts that are, but no one seems to show evidence, which is crucial. You see, as stated before, I think this is for the larger part about something else. If we go back to the statement ‘if the integrity of a football league has to stop for 6 – 7 weeks’, is that so? How about taking a 7 week break and prolonging the season that one time? I think that these soccer players, who are making tens of thousands a week, can work an extra 8 weeks that one time. If it is about the advertisers, than it is just bad luck. You see, many people have had enough of ‘enabling’ advertisers to the max, and if this costs them a little extra this once, than live with it. It is NOT about the advertisers, it is about the sport and everyone is very adamant not to mention that ‘A’ word, or ‘sponsors’ for that matter. Is it all an inconvenience? Yes, I reckon that is the case and this is also the consequence of broadening the membership list of soccer playing nations, there is a consequence at some point. So, yes, I do agree that Qatar was never the best place, but guess what, they did the dance, they went through the motions and they got the gig! Now all others will have to program around this for once, I think that the fact, that this had been running since 1888, implies that the sport could use a little exception and a little flexibility.

This does not take away the issues that play at FIFA, there are a few issues with the Russian part, especially the ‘the Russians claimed that all e-mails relating to their bid had been wiped from the computers they used, which were rented’, I mentioned that in a previous blog too, because such levels of incompetence should not be allowed anywhere. Yet, the full report of Garcia was never given to the public at large, which gives us a few extra issues, but then, the Sunday Times under Martin Ivens blowed a lot of hot air, but then did not release any evidence of in any shape, size or form. It seems to me that this is not a good thing either.

If we accept the star with their quote “But FIFA is so powerful, so unaccountable, that the inartfulness of the lies doesn’t matter” as well as “FIFA pushes slush piles of money to federations all over the world in the form of development grants, and that secures the necessary votes to keep Blatter in power“, that we have a massive problem. You see, I have been (to some extent) on the side of Qatar, because there were allegations from many, but NO ONE presented actual evidence and all these events played like this was all about big business not getting their way. I have an issue with that! In my view, if you love soccer and it is your life, that that is fine, but when we see these pushes whilst an average soccer player gets per week what most people get per quarter, that we can agree that those people get to suck it up a little and not whinge or whine like little bitches when they suddenly get an ‘adjusted’ calendar once per 4 years, the fact that this now happens for the first time ever, they can just shut up and take it, so this once they get to experience what most workers endure on a yearly basis.

On the other side, if there is a level of unaccountability from FIFA, that it makes equal sense for ALL members of FIFA to break with FIFA and create something new, to which ALL members of FIFA are to be excluded for a few decades. See how that solves issues. The reality is that Qatar 2022 might be the only deviant event (compared to all other world cups) as a lesson for future FIFA events, in that case FIFA will have learned a lesson, but perhaps we learn another lesson too. Perhaps that environment will only fuel a global desire for soccer and in that light, premiere leagues of all nations will have to consider that once every four years there could be a different light in how that year the league is played. It might be refreshing in so many ways that it will, for some, rekindle the true love for soccer. Let’s not forget in those 6-7 weeks those players do not represent their team, they represent their nation, is that not a great thing? It should be!

In that light we should also see the response BBC sport had “The former Manchester United and Everton defender added that he would be “licking my lips” if he was England boss Roy Hodgson because “we’ll have the freshest ever national team going to a World Cup”” (at http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/31610300), you see, it is not all bad, I reckon that soon we will see similar responses from coaches and players in The Netherlands, Germany and Sweden.

Now consider the following quotes from the links used earlier: “The 2026 World Cup television rights in North America were awarded without a bid to Fox and Telemundo, who had complained about the Qatar schedule change, for which they hold the broadcast rights“, “Six European federations demanded Fifa clean up its act. Three top commercial backers, Coca-Cola, Adidas and McDonald’s, did so too” and “Of the 11 men who voted on 2018 and 2022 World Cups who are no longer on Fifa’s executive committee, only five provided answers to Garcia’s inquiry. Two could not be located at all“, it is clear that there are issues, especially when considering the part, ‘two could not be located at all’, is this for real? What, did that person go on a $600K cruise and there is no phone where these people are at (just one of a few options)? There is no question that there are issues on several sides, but there is still the matter of evidence, evidence that is either concealed or never found. The fact that the report was never released is also cause for concern, I do admit to that, but in law when we apply ‘is it more likely than not‘ can be just as easily applied to the large sponsors who see their return on invested revenue lessen to a small extent, taking into consideration that 2022 will be the first time (possibly the last time) that this happens brings for the question ‘why enable big business to this extent?‘ is a matter that is not and likely will not ever be answered, which is why, I currently remain on the side of Qatar. Sport is about the sport, whether it is local or nations playing, it is about the sport, not about the visibility of the sponsors. They get visibility because of sport, not the other way around. It is time big business learns that no matter what game they play, the sport itself remains untouchable, which also means that sometimes the game needs to be slightly more flexible. That part is also shown in regards to Fox and Telemundo, who complained about schedule change. Really? Complain now about an event 6 years away? If it is such an inconvenience, than give the 2022 rights to one of the free TV channels. I wonder how that channel will suddenly benefit from sponsors. If anything, this event shows me how corporate greed has been maximised within sports, an upsetting issue.

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Allegiance!

This story took some time; I had to rewrite it after going all misogynistic on Lisa Wilkinson’s ass (almost literally). You see, in hindsight (pun intended), it is all entirely my own fault. I got emotional about emotions, which is pretty fatal at times. I made the number one error, I took at face value what I should not have, we all do this in time, we will all remain to make that mistake, it makes us human. You see, I considered Lisa to be her own brand of Journalist as we see the aftermath of the Martin Place events, which was the biggest error of all. She might have been a journalist at some point, but now she is an entertainer, her reading the news does not make her a journalist, she is reading events on the morning show. So when my stomach turned on her over-emotional dragging event of interviews of the relative of victims, I took out my own dictionary and the initial (never published) article was the result. And in that light, let’s be clear that Karl Stefanovic is not innocent either, he might not have said the words, but sitting next to her, we get that what hits both goose and gander.

Yet, like some, I was able to rectify my views before the damage was done, but it is important to mention the events none the less, because it should affect you the reader too.

You see, we all have an allegiance, and we forget that the Channel Nine Morning Show only has allegiance to the ratings and the advertisers, no matter how they pour that batter, it is all about the money, which takes, as I see it, journalism out of the equation.

So what was this about?

Well, there was a hostage situation in Sydney, which is now taken out of proportions by pretty much any party who gets a say in the word. There is a dangerous precedent here and as I see it, the jo0urtnalistical branch is not standing up to give fair and balanced information. That is weirdly enough done by Russel Brand in ‘Russell Brand The Trews (E212)‘ (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ8ZYAvWTxo). When we start relying on comedians to give us actual news, you know that we are all in trouble!

The only issue that Russel got wrong is the response that Rupert Murdoch had, you see, I saw the disgust all over the net, but THIS is the cost of doing business, this is the face of revenue. In addition we see the headlined from the Daily Telegraph and other papers. Headlines are all about the masses who do not read. Now we see issues on bail laws and on hate sheikh. Yet, these places of publication are no longer about true journalism, this is about product that is for sale and it is a lot easier to sell it to an emotional mass, then to a level headed person.

Now, we see how emotions can be used for good, if you doubt that then look at the sea of flowers in Martin Place. People feeling for the victims, it is clean, it is pure, but it needs there, the press is pushing this into new directions. The interview of the partner of the victim was simple exploitation, it might work out for the victim’s partner, and that is fine by me, but I doubt whether he has any personal agenda here, he is getting over a shocking event and within 2 days the press was all over him for a story, which was all presented in the ‘awwwww’ voice of Lisa Wilkinson and that truly got my emotions rolling in a very negative way.

Yet, it does not stop there; there is a lot more, which is why Russel’s video news is such a gem to see. Around 1:50 we see a summary, the man was instable, other decent sources state that he was a self-styled Muslim Cleric, we see the Australian stating ‘he claimed he converted from Shia to Sunni Islam‘, in light of the news, I find any newspaper to be less reliable, but there is a clear issue, why was he painted ‘a terrorist’? It seems Russel had the same question marks I have, but I will take that road further down this story, where I will present the views and you can happily agree or disagree.

You see, here we get the first issue of allegiance. For this we need to look at ‘The silent minutes of the Lindt Cafe siege that beg many questions‘ (at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/the-silent-minutes-of-the-lindt-cafe-siege-that-beg-many-questions/story-fnl2dlu7-1227161245948). You see, there are many question, but we are asking them in the wrong direction, which links to another article on 10 ‘failures’, which begs many issues to question, mostly the values of the reporter. The first one I have an issue with is ‘FAILED: SAVED FROM EXTRADITION‘, Iran has been seen as a place of inhumanity for a long time and Australia was not sending a person back on the alleged crime of Fraud, into the hands of the Iranian justice system, which has been regarded in more than one instance of being pretty non-existent, but now suddenly it is good enough to extradite a person for? It seems a little double standard to me. ‘FAILED: DROPPED OFF WATCH LIST‘ is the second one. The events in Martin Place were not a terrorist action, not by the standard we need to ‘hold’ terrorism, a hostage situation is an act of terror for the victims, but it is about the agenda of the transgressor. In that light there are two actual groups; Man Haron Monis is part of neither, as I see it.

Let’s take a look at these two groups for the clarity of it all. There is the aligned lone wolf and the non-aligned lone wolf. Now, here is the dangerous quote, by considering, a terrorist to be sane and balanced. They are seen as sane and balanced, as he/she is regarded by the people around them in their day to day dealing with them. They might not be noticed at all, until the penny drops and they go all out and all radical, often these people will have a decent degree, they are educated, but they will not conform to any ‘set standard of life’. In that regard Horst Mahler might be the most famous one of the lot, a man with legal degrees, Social democrat, socialist, he went from extreme left to extreme right, from Rote Armee Fraktion, he changed lanes towards the teachings of Mao towards the NPD. One could argue that it was his need to be in the spotlight, I believe that as his view on the world changed, so did his alignment. It is not clear whether his view in regards to the holocaust denial is anti-Semite in its foundations, or whether this view has other foundations, this article is not about that part and it would take a long time to go over the alleged evidence. In all this, we get a tainted picture form the press at large, in those days, the RAF called the press at large unreliable, what they attacked and what was ‘denounced’ as any truth in regards to the attacks on the Axel Springer press empire, is now to the larger extent known to be an absolute truth, a view that is only enforced by the acts of Rupert Murdoch and his empire of revenue building proclamations of events for profit.

So this non-aligned lone wolf could group with others, but as a singular person he/she is often a lot harder to track and even harder to stop. Even today, the intelligence branch is lacking options to find that person, the issues on data collection that is now being stopped to some extent will only make it near impossible for people to be protected from these attacks.

The second group is the aligned lone wolf. Now we can look at lone wolfs of ISIL, ISIS, Al Qaeda, but also Aryan, KKK and even the IRA. In some cases events by a single person, who idolised a larger group acted out. Even though we see those people as part of that organisation, it is not always a truthful link. Yet as I see it, they ‘believe’ that the view of such a group is the righteous one and as such they act out. This group is easier to spot, but it still requires access to large amounts of data to see whether these people are indeed lone wolves. The additional problem is the lack of data, these people tend to keep a lower profile and as such there is less direct data linking them, most data will be ‘indirect’.

Man Haron Monis is not part of either. He has been seen as self-proclaimed, should be seen as attention seeker that is acting out. The fact that he is painted as a terrorist only makes matters worse. If we paint any person with serious mental health issues with the T-word, we will not get anything done and whatever budget we think we need, will be regarded to be short by 1000% and still not yield resolutions, interestingly enough, I am now seeing a SMH article confirming this view (at http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sydney-siege-man-haron-monis-humanitarian-and-terrorist-20141219-12ajn5.html). So the second claim ‘FAILED: DROPPED OFF WATCH LIST‘ was more than correct ASIO has other fish to fry, this was a police matter to some extent and until he did something wrong, there was nothing to hold against him.

So back to the list, I am not going to go over all ten, some are too ludicrous to voice, yet this one ‘FAILED: GIVEN LEGAL AID‘ is an issue, You see, in Australia we have legal aid, which is there for all of us, which included him and tax payers pay that bill, for all who need legal aid, so get over it already. By the way, the press at large have been hammering on too little legal aid for a long time, which makes this ‘failure’ valued at the going price of ‘a sizeable giggle’.

The one that really matters is the one they left for the last ‘FAILED: INFORMATION NOT SHARED‘, it is not an issue! Some data is not to be shared and it is safe to say that the press is the least reputable source to claim what needs to be shared (reason to follow shortly).

ASIO and ASIS will have data they do not share, it puts people at risk and it puts operations at risk. We only need to look at the case of Phillip Arantz to see the operational need of not sharing data, which goes into two directions, data that could end up being suppressed and data that could end up being exploited, both would be disastrous for both ASIO and ASIS. In light of Philip Arantz, was Police Medical Officer, Dr A. A. Vane ever held to account by law or by the press? Seems that the press was visibly absent, one could argue that additional investigations would be valid regarding the Crown Employees Appeal Board, there too, a lack of press visibility. At his death the SMH placed 533 words regarding his life, now compare that to the tens of thousands of words a loon with a gun in a coffee shop got, so information should not be shared, as we cannot trust where that information ends up (or not ends up).

As we move back into allegiance, we need to see that the hardest part is that exploitation works two ways, it gets power from events we see as good, like #illridewithyou where the people are acting out to protect the Muslim community form being unjustly attacked and the interviews we see on how sorry we all feel, yet in that second instance we see that there is almost no news given regarding the 132 Muslim children slaughtered by the Taliban in a real terrorist act. How interesting that this news was hardly reported on. Yet, allegiance goes a lot further and is not just about terrorism. You see, allegiance is more and more about big business and advertising.

Whether the story is painted in light of ethicality as we see in FIFA, we must question why certain events are brought forward to such an extent. Consider the updated article ‘FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia resigns in relation to World Cup bidding process report‘ (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-18/fifa-ethics-investigator-michael-garcia-resigns-in-relation-to-/5974852). I wrote about it a few times, when it all started ‘Sacking the editor?‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/11/14/sacking-the-editor/) and  ‘Any sport implies corruption!‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2014/03/19/any-sport-implies-corruption/), now we see that the ABC reports on the following parts “Garcia says he lost confidence in the independence of the ethics committee’s adjudicatory chamber following a statement issued by Eckert, based on Garcia’s still-secret report, in November” and “Garcia, who formerly served as chief federal prosecutor in Manhattan, had appealed against Eckert’s statement, saying it contained misrepresentations, but that appeal was ruled inadmissible by FIFA on Tuesday“, so we get intentional misrepresentation as stated by one person. The fact that this report is kept a secret is also a problem, especially in light of the claims by the Sunday Times, who still needs to be held accountable for their statements. We see all matters of allegiance, but allegiance to whom, or to what. Not unlike many, we want to know what is done to us. In a video statement by Joseph “Sepp” Blatter (at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/dec/19/fifa-agrees-publish-michael-garcia-report-world-cup-bid-qatar-russia), we see at 1:54, where we hear ‘football is still the game of the world‘. Is it? It seems more and more that football is big business because many watch it. That has been at the centre of all this and as we see statements of misrepresentation by FIFA and the press at large, we must ask ourselves, what games are they playing? That light becomes a lot brighter when we consider the independent article (at http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/first-coca-cola-now-sony-as-sponsors-turn-their-backs-on-fifa-is-it-finally-game-over-for-the-qatar-world-cup-9882688.html), it seems that the issue (as I reported in my previous blog), diluted return per advertisement as the world cup would be held in Winter, because of temperatures, we see a shift on how some ‘threaten’ to walk away. You see, the stance of Sony is quite nice, but when they are confronted with the danger that FIFA 17 and onwards not getting released on PlayStation as EA could be confronted with Microsoft demanding exclusivity for FIFA games, should they start sponsoring, how many soccer fans would bail on their PlayStation? Let me be frank, there is no evidence that this will happen at all, but is that risk so far-fetched? FIFA games have been going strong since before 1998 on many systems, if PlayStation becomes the one ‘leave one out‘, their advantage will be truly gone and they currently do not have that much advantage left.

So here we see the picture of allegiance, that what we perceive to be (journalists towards their audience) and what it actually is (journalists adhering to the need of big business), yet in that same light we are a slave to the allegiance of our own emotions, that what we fear it is (the ISIS flag in a coffee shop with people under threat of death) and what is actually shown (a black flag with letters we cannot read).

News_GoogleSearch

 

 

When we see that articles are used, and changed (as we see the Google search), then to read the text not to include that part, we see, as I see it, an intent to misinform the public. The press deciding to rely on the push-button called fear to change public opinion, whilst any proper journalist would have correctly reported on the fact that a Shahada flag (the one that was used, apparently comes in two versions, black with white letters and white with black letters, a simple view of contrast. The text is “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God“, a simple religious expression, a very Muslim expression. Most of us Christians have so many flags, is it that far-fetched that the Muslims would have a flag? And as we misuse our flags, is it not conceivable that one deranged Muslim would misuse the Shahada? Why was this not clearly mentioned in so many articles?

As I see it, allegiances are here, to some extent they should be here, but the one the press seems to invoke is a dangerous one, especially as they are not held to any account for the proclamations they make in light of ‘the people have a right to know‘, to some extent they do, yet they also have ‘a right to not be misinformed‘, a part that many players remain silent on.

Where do you stand, and what is your allegiance?

 

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Sacking the editor?

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?

 

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The Sanctimonious pretender

I saw a smaller headline this morning. It was not a text, but a video from the Guardian. The headline read ‘Why is the United Arab Emirates secretly bombing Libya?’ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/aug/29/why-is-the-united-arab-emirates-secretly-bombing-libya-video). The text below the video is “The United Arab Emirates, a small wealthy Gulf state, has been secretly bombing targets in Libya, from bases in Egypt without the knowledge of the US. We explain how the raids reflect new rivalries in the region and are likely to trigger new strains between the west and its increasingly assertive Arab allies“.

There are several sides to this, but let’s start with the obvious ones “without the knowledge of the US“. Since when do we need to tell the US everything? If allies share all information, then can Washington please be so kind to send a 100% backup of their collected NSA data? You see, when we look at the word ally, the Oxford dictionary gives us “A state formally cooperating with another for a military or other purpose“, but the one that is perhaps more apt is “A person or organization that cooperates with or helps another in a particular activity“. So helps or cooperates in a particular activity, not all activities.

There are two questions linked to all this. The first is “how much of an ally is America?” I do not mean this in a negative light. The reality is that as it stands, USA is no longer a super power. They are limited in their actions and as the Democratic administration has given away nearly all power to banks and debt holders, in addition, there is an increasing visibility on just how dependent USA is on their need for oil. The article shapes another side that might have been unintended. It states “they were once united in their fear of Iran“, the fact that USA has been trying to get a dialogue with Iran is unsettling to many. In addition their slow response to the threat ISIS is also seen in a more negative light. The Iranian change has left the impression that USA will talk with all, this left an uneasy taste in the mouths of the conservative gulf monarchies. For if America is willing to take the ‘easy’ path to their oil, as well as the implied move of America to move away more and more out of the middle east is showing them the question, who should be THEIR ally? This could be the economic prosperous situation that the Commonwealth needs, yet would it be prosperous and moreover, how much of an ally will the Commonwealth nations need to become?

This is part of the view that I have had in other areas as well. Big Business seems to regard any nation with a monarchy as a non-positive area. Big Business is all about their powerbase which allows for a more secure hold on any location where politicians are the powerbase for their profit needs, it allows for changes and settings that are beneficial to large corporations. It seems to me that they cannot get the power foundation they so desire. Although phrased in opposition, KPMG made notion (at http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2012/10/big_firms_consider_leaving_the.php) of this. They stated in the headline ‘Big firms consider leaving the Netherlands, says KPMG report‘, the quote “Some of the Netherlands’ biggest companies are considering leaving the country because of the worsening climate for entrepreneurs, according to a new report by consultants group KPMG“. It is my view that this is not the actual ‘truth’. As I see it, it should read “Some of the Netherlands’ biggest companies are considering leaving the country because of the required freedom of exploitation that is denied to them“. This is of course my personal view, but considering the tax responsibilities firms have and for now, the pressures on both companies and people for tax accountability in the Netherlands. A board of directors have no national allegiance, just an allegiance for profit. I feel that honest values of accountability have for the most been the best preserved in monarchical states. Which includes the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, and of course the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar. So is there another factor why there is growing uneasy between these states? It seems to me that both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have absolutely nothing to gain in the long term to support ISIS, so where are these accusations as well as the implied evidence coming from that they seem to support these Islamic fighters?

The fact that Turkey and Qatar are stated to support Islamic movements is a call for more scrutinies investigations, as that implies that Turkey is now in opposition to its allies US and UK, so what quality evidence is there?

This is in the back of my mind when we look at the evidence. Is it truly the nations, or the larger players in these nations? If large corporations are indeed fuelling political needs of change by giving access to Islamic change, then we have an entirely new game in play. If we consider parts of ‘The Mobilization of Political Islam in Turkey‘ by Banu Eligür, we see another supporting side. It is the endorsing view by Jack Goldstone from George Mason University that gives us “Eligur shows how Islamists took advantage of the military’s obsession with the left and thus the military’s willingness to ally with them against leftist parties, the growth of a Saudi-supported Islamic business elite, and rapid urbanization, to create expanded networks and opportunities for electoral gains“. This is the side that is only one part. We tend to consider the side of on how Saudi Arabia and Qatar are involved, but we forgot the ‘western part’ in all this. Who exactly are the Saudi-supported Islamic business elite? These people, are they members of the house of Saud or are they exactly the opposite, Islamic members preparing to overthrow the house of Saud and turn a monarchy into whatever comes next. If that ever happens, then we get an entirely new situation. You see, whomever is in charge next can decide on who is allowed into Mecca, I have absolutely no idea what the consequence will be to that city, however I guarantee you that it might be the one spark to set a massive new strain of wars into motion, a destabilisation ISIS has been aiming for, for some time now.

Even though Jordan states to be ready to counter the radical threat, we see a view of widening support for ISIS among Jordanian Islamist fundamentalists inspired by its recent advances in countries neighbouring Jordan, which is a view that many are for now ignoring (likely until it is too late). This would force a massive military change for Israel and Israeli support as it will then be in a worse situation then it was in 1973, almost exactly 41 years ago.

The question becomes, how are they connected? They are not directly connected as events, yet the destabilisation will give a massive boost to the needs of ISIS as the younger population acts and reacts out, not in favour of ISIS, but against Israel due to a multi generation lecture of hatred (read non-acceptance), of the state of Israel. This might become the act tipping the scales in both Saudi Arabia and Oman. For ISIS it would be a win-win premise, if these two nations act out against Israel to appease its population, ISIS would claim to be the Islamic leader against Israel, if these nations hold off, they would create additional discord within the populations of both Saudi Arabia and Oman, which would only push the ISIS agenda forward more strongly.

So who is the Sanctimonious pretender?

As far as I can tell, they are the members of the boards of directors, in several cases just the man at the top who is pushing through support for certain extreme agenda’s so that a long term profit game can be played. The question would become would ISIS keep their word, or will they divide and exterminate this ‘infidel’ based support later on, for if we regard the meaning of infidel as ‘those who doubt or reject the central tenets of one’s own religion‘, are these people not digging their own graves?

Here is an Islamic view on greed: “Watch out for greed because the people before you perished from it. Greed led them to be miserly so they became misers. Greed led them to break the ties (of kinship) so they broke it. Greed led them to sins so they committed sins. (Abu Dawud)“, a view that was created almost a century before Christians went on the Crusades. Even then, Islamic view opposed the utter destruction that greed embraces.

If we do not start acting (read more than planning) for any solution that stops extremism, we might be left without options and the only oil America gets is whatever they can buy from Venezuela, Canada or Russia, which might make for a very uncomfortable oil price and a future we should all enthusiastically avoid.

 

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