Caborn, Fifa bribery and the self-righteousness of the sports lobby

November 30, 2010 at 10:16 pm (BBC, Jim D, labour party, sport, twat)

The BBC’s Panorama documentary presented what appeared to be pretty damning evidence of corruption within Fifa, the world football governing body.

According to Panorama, Nicolas Leoz, Issa Hayatou and Ricardo Teixeira accepted bribes from a marketing firm, International Sport and Leisure (ISL) between 1989 and 1999. The company went bust in 2001.

Panorma‘s evidence would appear to be pretty conclusive.

What struck me was the reaction of most of the British sports “establishment” and some politicians (including Cameron): bleating about the “timing” of Panorama’s revalations (damaging to Britain’s World Cup bid), and complaining that this is “old news” (“old” in the sense that Fifa is so corrupt that it’s been known about for years and nothing has been done).

For Chrissakes! Even politicians have to answer to charges of corruption! The idea that sports people are somehow above such investigation, or (worse) that Britain’s  hosting of the 2018 tournament is more important than the exposure of corruption in Fifa, is truly appalling. Who do these self-righteous, self-important sports bosses and gravy-train-jumpers think they are? Above the law? Above the normal rules that apply to the rest of us – including, even, politicians?

Sports Minister Richard Caborn
Caborn is siding with the corrupt Fifa 

One of the worst of these sports-dissemblers is Labours Richard Caborn, a truly wretched apologist who keeps turning up on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme denouncing Panorama‘s exposure of Fifa corruption. I have no idea why the miserable right-wing Labourite Caborn feels so upset by the exposure of corruption, and continually appears in the media defending Fifa and denouncing Panorama. But Ed Miliband really aught to think about reining in a senior Labour figure who regularly appears in the media excusing corruption.


  1. BenSix said,

    It surprises me that there aren’t more stories of corruption within football. If even ‘umble cricket can be subverted by profiteering punks it’d be odd if a sport as cash-bloated as soccer could stay clean behind its ears.

  2. Martin Ohr said,

    It’s hard to know even where to start with all the nonsense in the media around this at present. So many of us involved in football at grassroots do so for the love of the sport rather than renumeration, we expect the paid officials of the FA and FIFA to represent us in a similar manner; similarly we expect journalists to tell us when this is not the case.

    Personally my dealings with the FA are overwhelmingly positive, but if I put my mind to it I could draft a full manifesto for reform.

    Typically the popular media has this all about face though. England were always rank outsiders to be hosts in 2018- for sports journalists they are pretty poor judging the reality of what is happening. FIFA have as part of their duty to develop football across the world and part of that means placing the world cup competitions in places that either develop facilities or bring football to a new audience. It was obvious all along that Russia and Qatar would be hosts. Politically the Russian bid team were also much more astute -promising to invest in african football as part of the legacy was always going to be a vote winner -especially compared to current Tory government cutting sports funding to schools. Any country bidding which promises to build a dozen new stadiums and training centres was always going to trump england which promised almost nothing.

    The bid team whose public faces were three of the biggest aresholes in england was always likely to be a mistake. Cameron/Beckham/Windsor hardly have an international reputation as sports administrators, or even football fans for that matter. When I put my name to supporting the england bid, I didn’t expect those wankers to be involved.

    The only silver lining for those of us who supported the england bid is to see the smile wiped of the smug faces of wills, becks and cameron

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