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The Empire Strikes Back: The latest developments in the Fifa corruption saga

What the hell is happening in the dark heart of football’s governing body since last week’s high-profile election fiasco? Quite a lot.

Blatter has come under increased pressure of late to investigate allegations of bribery surrounding Qatar's successful World Cup bid.
Blatter has come under increased pressure of late to investigate allegations of bribery surrounding Qatar's successful World Cup bid.

SINCE OUR LAST piece on the FIFA controversy, quite a lot has happened.

Here’s everything you need to know in case you need to make conversation with Sepp Blatter at a party or in a lift this week.

  • The Guardian reports that FIFA have asked members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) to attend a three-day tribunal, after allegations that they were offered bribes by ex-FIFA presidential candidate and Asian football president Mohamed Bin Hammam. Sky News are reporting that they have access to the document, which was sent by secretary of Fifa’s ethics committee, Marc Cavaliero, to members of the CFU.
  • The same report also states that Caribbean officials are unhappy with the fact that Louis Freeh, the ex-FBI director, is leading the investigation. They claim that the investigation is biased towards the US, who put in a failed World Cup bid, as a result of Freeh’s involvement. Meanwhile Chuck Blazer, USA’s FIFA member, has dismissed these claims, stating: ”The only things that were American in all this were the $100 bills.”
  • Meanwhile, Sepp Blatter has again promised to do his utmost to restore the organisation’s image and has sought help from an unlikely source in the form of Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo. Domingo joins Henry Kissinger and  Johann Cruyff among Blatter’s eclectic group of advisors.
  • An official investigation into Qatar’s successful World Cup bid looks increasingly likely after it emerged that a former member of the bid made accusations that Qatari officials paid $1.5 million in bribes to secure their hosting of the tournament. FIFA said they originally refused to interview the whistle-blower after he asked for unreasonable demands in order to open talks. Qatari officials responded by discrediting the allegations, saying the whistleblower was “an embittered ex-employee”.
  • The financial-services company Visa is reportedly happy to stick with Blatter and his compatriots, despite publicly expressing concern about the organisation amid the recent scandals.
  • Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona has unsurprisingly added his thoughts to the recent controversies, calling Blatter and his associates “dinosaurs” and suggesting Blatter was unfit for the role of president, as he has “never kicked a ball in his life”.

The same report adds that Fifa will be launching an investigation, after the Argentinian football team were surprisingly beaten 4-1 by Nigeria in conjunction with suspicious betting patterns.

Read more from TheScore on FIFA | Join us tonight for minute-by-minute coverage of Ireland v Italy

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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