Hard Man Henry Kissinger will boot out Blatter
IF THE LONDON HACKS covering the congress in Zurich last week hadn’t been so busy abusing the English and Scottish FA’s attempts to clean up FIFA they could have strolled to the nearest newsstand and bought a copy of the weekly Handelszeitung.
They might have noticed the prominent headline ‘Kickbacks: Fifa blocks release of documents’ and read the killer story. Killer for Blatter that is.
Reporter Jean-Francois Tanda revealed that FIFA had gone to court in the canton of Zug on May 24 in a desperate attempt to stop publication of the final report by Investigating Magistrate Thomas Hildbrand summing up his eight-year probe into the bribes trousered by FIFA’s top officials from the ISL marketing company. The report is sitting in the Zug prosecutor’s office. It won’t gather dust.
FIFA SUPPRESSING BRIBES REPORT
Tanda featured in our BBC Panorama programme on Monday May 23, talking about FIFA’s expensive legal war to suppress the report.
Panorama goes to UEFA’s Paris congress in March. I get alongside Blatter, ask him, ‘Why are you blocking the publication of the investigation into FIFA? Why are you blocking? Why not make it public?’ As Blatter slithers away he snaps, ‘I am not going to speak now.’
You bet he isn’t going to speak about this, ever. A year ago the Zug prosecutor announced that three anonymous parties had paid millions to halt the investigation. The deal was that they could remain anonymous in return for confessing their guilt.
As I said in the programme, FIFA – of course that’s Blatter – had to admit to investigators that they knew all about the bribes – and had done nothing about it. You might wonder why. And standing on the dock on the Zugersee, framed by some very large mountains, I disclosed that the two anonymous FIFA officials who had admitted pocketing the bribes were former FIFA president Brazil’s Joao Havelange and his former son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira, a member of FIFA’s executive committee since 1994 and in charge of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
KIDNAPPING, BURGLARY, ROBBERY.’
The BBC has joined with several Swiss media companies petitioning the Zug prosecutor for disclosure. We all want to know, who got the $100 million that passed under the table. We’ve seen some of the curious reasons The FIFA Three’s lawyers give for keeping the report secret. Their clients, would suffer ‘negative press coverage.’ Their reputations would be ‘damaged irreparably.’ They might even suffer ‘kidnapping, burglary or robbery.’
Tanda tells me that he expects the lawyers to block disclosure all the way to the Federal Court in Lausanne. The process could take a year, maybe more. But there is a crucial precedent case and the judges and lawyers have no doubt that the names will be revealed.
Coca-Cola won’t like that – so they are going to have to dispense with the services of Blatter and Teixeira, and a few more, before too long. Any squawking from The FIFA Three and the money tap will be turned off.