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News, June 2015
Israeli Hegemony and Cold War Politics:
After Decades of Tolerated Corruption, FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, Forced to Resign as a Result of FBI Investigation
June 3, 2015
Despite the fact that the FIFA corruption was known for decades, it was tolerated by governments of the world because football (soccer), like other sports, is a very effective way to distract people away from the corruption and incompetence of the world rulers.
Why is the corrupt organization of managing the world football competitions and its corrupt president targeted now?
Is it because FIFA was going to vote on the removal of Israel from the World Competition and Sepp Blatter was a strong supporter of that for many years?
Is it an attempt to cancel the Russian hosting of the 2018 World Football Cup, part of the new cold war, which started by the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian President and the Russian reaction of annexing Crimea?
It seems that the Israeli hegemony on world affairs and the new Cold War against Russia provide a logical explanation.
FIFA was going to kikc the Apartheid State of Israel out of the World soccer competition.
Hamas MP calls for Rajoub to resign after dropping FIFA bid
June 3, 2015 3:32 P.M.
(AFP) GAZA CITY (Ma'an) --
Deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Ahmad Bahar, on Wednesday called for Palestinian football chief Jibril Rajoub to resign after an11th-hour decision to withdraw a bid to have Israel suspended from FIFA.
Rajoub, who is head of Palestinian Football Association, wasted an opportunity on behalf of the Palestinian people to "isolate and corner the Israeli occupation" in the sphere of sports, Bahar said during a PLC session in Gaza City.
The Palestinian football chief should be "discharged from his position and tried by the people," he added.
Rajoub on Tuesday said he took full responsibility for the decision to withdraw a bid to have FIFA suspend Israel from the world footballing body.
The surprise decision was announced by Rajoub on Friday at the annual FIFA congress in Zurich minutes before the vote, reportedly sparking jubilation in Israel but deep-rooted frustration among the Palestinians, some of whom have demanded his resignation as head of Palestinian Football Association (PFA).
The PFA had threatened to table a resolution calling on FIFA to suspend Israel over its restrictions on the movement of Palestinian players. It had also opposed the participation in the Israeli championships of five clubs located in illegal Jewish-only West Bank settlements.
The football governing body voted instead on an amendment proposing the formation of a committee to monitor the movement of Palestinian football players, Israeli racism, as well as the status of Israeli league teams based in settlements.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called Rajoub's decision an "outrageous deviation" from Palestinian efforts to expose Israel's rights violations, with many members calling for his resignation.
Blatter to quit as FIFA president, calls special congress to elect successor
Russia TV, June 02, 2015 16:49
Sepp Blatter has said he will resign as president of football’s governing body, FIFA, at an extraordinary congress of the organization. The sensational announcement comes just four days after Blatter was reelected as FIFA boss for a fifth term.
Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, who gave in to Blatter during the vote last Friday, will run in the new FIFA election for president.
“As for new elections, Prince Ali is ready,” Sala Sabra, vice-president of the Jordanian football federation which the prince heads up, told AFP. “Prince Ali is ready to take over as FIFA head at any moment, should they ask him.”
Blatter, who took charge of world football in 1998, said he would be carrying out the duties of FIFA president until the extraordinary congress.
"I cherish FIFA most of all and always try to do the best for football and the organization,” Blatter said at a press conference in Switzerland. “I decided that I should keep running in elections. The election now is over, but the challenges remain. FIFA needs restructuring, the FIFA delegates have given me the mandate. But it is not supported by other members of FIFA, fans, clubs. Those who inspire FIFA like we do.Therefore, I ask to convene an extraordinary congress as soon as possible to elect my successor.”
The new congress will take place between December 2015 and March 2016, the chairman of FIFA's audit and compliance committee, Domenico Scala, has said. He has taken the floor after Blatter.
The fact that he won’t be running in the election will allow him to “focus on driving far-reaching, fundamental reforms that transcend our previous efforts,” Blatter said.
He said that his team had been trying to implement administrative reforms in FIFA “for years,” adding that he has now come to realization that those efforts weren’t enough.
According to the outgoing FIFA boss, deep structural changes are needed in the organization as FIFA has no control overthe representatives from the various confederations on its Executive Committee, while at the same time it is held responsible for the actions of those people.
Blatter urged that integrity checks be performed by FIFA on all Executive Committee members. He also proposed that they be subject to term limits, as the president already is.
On Friday, 79-year-old Blatter won his fifth presidential term at FIFA after his opponent, Jordan’s Prince Ali bin al-Hussein, withdrew before the voting went into a second round.
The Swiss official was elected amid a massive corruption scandal at FIFA, which was prompted by a wave of accusations against senior FIFA figures just days before the vote.
Fourteen FIFA-linked officials and businessmen have been accused by the US of bribery, fraud and money laundering. Several were arrested in a Zurich hotel where they had gathered ahead of the organization’s general meeting.
Swiss prosecutors are also investigating the awarding of the World Cups 2018 and 2022 to Russia and Qatar, respectively, to ascertain whether the votes were clean and legal.
Meanwhile, Switzerland’s office of attorney general (OAG) said that it is not investigating Blatter in connection with the FIFA corruption probe.
“Joseph S. Blatter is not under investigation by the OAG. His announced resignation will have no influence on the ongoing criminal proceedings," the attorney general is cited as saying by Reuters.
FIFA’s chief ethics investigator, Cornel Borbley, said “the (investigatory) chamber will continue” working as world soccer's governing body “along with the adjudicatory chamber of the Ethics Committee of consistently ensuring compliance with FIFA's Code of Ethics” regardless of who takes the president’s seat.
“The body's independence from the president, regardless of who is exercising this function, is a key part of good corporate governance,” he added.
Blatter’s resignation quickly became a trend on Twitter, razing a wave of comments from all over the world.
The vast majority of users confessed to being shocked following the announcement and welcomed changes in FIFA.
Blatter rocks world soccer by quitting FIFA amid scandal
ZURICH/NEW YORK | By Brian Homewood
Sepp Blatter rocked the world of soccer on Tuesday by unexpectedly saying he would step down as FIFA president in the wake of a corruption investigation that reportedly may include the embattled chief himself.
Citing sources familiar with the case, The New York Times and ABC News reported on Tuesday that Blatter was being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. prosecutors. Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the report. Blatter has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Blatter, 79, announced his decision to step down at a hastily arranged news conference in Zurich, six days after police raided a hotel in the city and arrested several FIFA officials, and four days after he was re-elected to a fifth term as FIFA president.
Blatter said an election to choose a new president would be held as soon as possible, though a FIFA official said it would probably not take place until at least December.
"FIFA needs profound restructuring," said Blatter, a Swiss national who has been a dominant presence at FIFA for decades.
"I decided to stand again to be elected because I was convinced it was the best option for football.
"Although the members of FIFA gave me a new mandate, this mandate does not seem to be supported by everyone in the world."
Blatter's decision to step down as the growing scandal plunges FIFA further into the worst crisis in its history was welcomed by his most prominent critics.
European football federation chief Michel Platini, a French former international player and favorite to succeed Blatter as FIFA president, said,: "It was a difficult decision, a brave decision, and the right decision."
The second favorite on the list, Jordan's Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, who stood against Blatter but withdrew after gaining 73 votes to Blatter's 133 in the first round of last Friday's vote, stopped short of confirming that he would run again.
Asked if there should be a fresh start at FIFA, he told Britain's Channel 4 News, "I'm willing to help."
Greg Dyke, chairman of the English Football Association and one of Blatter's most outspoken critics, said it was "good news for world football" but then questioned Blatter's motive. "Who got him? Who shot him?" he asked.
"I don't believe he went for any sort of moral basis so something has happened between then and now which means he has to resign."
FIFA, which Blatter had led since 1998, was shocked last week by the announcement of a U.S. investigation into alleged widespread financial wrongdoing stretching back more than two decades.
Swiss authorities also mounted their own criminal probe into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Blatter's decision to step down was "courageous" and would help prevent a split in FIFA.
While Blatter was not mentioned in the U.S. or Swiss investigations, there had been widespread calls for him to quit, mostly from Western nations. Some major sponsors also expressed misgivings about the impact of the scandal.
Two sponsors, Coca-Cola Co and Adidas, welcomed Blatter's resignation.
"Today's news marks a step in the right direction on FIFA's path to establish and follow transparent compliance standards in everything they do," Adidas said.
The U.S. Justice Department, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office had no immediate comment.
The office of the Swiss Attorney General, which is investigating alleged criminal mismanagement and money laundering at FIFA, said Blatter's resignation would have no effect on its proceedings. It said Blatter himself was not subject to investigation.
Blatter is only the eighth man to hold the office of president since FIFA was formed 111 years ago. Besides Platini and Prince Ali, several other candidates may emerge in the election for a new president, including Domenico Scala, independent chairman of the audit and compliance committee of FIFA.
European sports officials said it was an important move but that FIFA needed deeper changes. French Sports State Secretary Thierry Braillard called it a first step to restore confidence. "Beyond the people, structural reforms must be undertaken."
Blatter had initially attempted to bat away the furore, relying on his extensive network of friends to hold on to power at FIFA.
Football associations in Africa and Asia had stood by him despite the scandal, saying they welcomed the FIFA funds he channeled to them for the development of the game in impoverished parts of the world.
Kalusha Bwalya, Football Association of Zambia president and former African Footballer of the Year, said he was shocked. "The man has done a lot for FIFA," he said. "For Africa he was always there, he was always caring."
The investigation closed in on Blatter on Tuesday, when FIFA denied that his right-hand man, Secretary-General Jerome Valcke, was implicated in a $10 million payment relating to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa that is at the heart of the U.S. case.
At the same time, a letter addressed to Valcke from the South African Football Association was published outlining the transaction.
Hours later FIFA called the emergency news conference and Blatter, who became FIFA secretary general in 1981 and president 17 years later, announced his decision.
During his FIFA career he survived a series of scandals including widespread accusations that Qatar bought the right to stage the 2022 World Cup in a country with little football history and where summer temperatures regularly top 40 degrees Celsius (104 F). Qatar has always denied any wrongdoing.
After what was described as the worst day in FIFA's history last Wednesday, Blatter told the conference: "Football needs a strong and experienced leader. One that knows all the ins and outs and can work with our partners".
Overcoming opposition from European soccer's governing body UEFA, which threatened at one point to boycott the Congress, he was elected for another four years. He was just days into his fifth term before deciding to step down.
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