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Sepp Blatter Officially Named in Bribery Email, and Other Bad News for FIFA
When FIFA president and universally reviled scumbag Sepp Blatter announced his resignation on June 2, a lot of people with knowledge of the ongoing FIFA corruption scandal speculated that it might have something to do with the investigation of Blatter’s right-hand man, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke.
Today it’s looking like those speculations were correct.
It was reported last week that Valcke was the “high-ranking FIFA official” accused by the U.S. Department of Justice of facilitating a $10 million payment from South African officials to ex-FIFA VP Jack Warner.
On Sunday, South Africa’s Sunday Times reported that a 2007 email from Valcke to South African government officials specifically asks when FIFA could expect to receive the $10 million “donation” that was “based on discussions between FIFA and the South African government, and also between our President [Blatter] and President Thabo Mbeki.” (That’s Blatter and Mbeki pictured together above.) If true, this is the first concrete link between Sepp Blatter and illegal bribes.
Of course, the email doesn’t call the $10 million payment a bribe, so Blatter will insist that he really was just negotiating a $10 million charitable donation for soccer development in the Caribbean region. But if you believe Blatter had no idea everyone around him was taking bribes in exchange for World Cup bids, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you.
That’s not the only bad news for FIFA today, either. On Sunday, the head of FIFA’s auditing and compliance committee said Russia and Qatar could very well lose the 2018 and 2022 World Cups if it’s determined that the bidding processes were corrupt. Meanwhile, England’s Sunday Times reportedly has a recording of FIFA exec Ismail Bhamjee saying Morocco actually won the vote for the 2010 World Cup, but that the ballots were deliberately miscounted in favor of South Africa.
When it rains it pours.