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Context of 'November 16, 2011: FIFA President Blatter Makes Controversial Comments on Racism'

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Farah Addo, vice president of the Confederation of African Football and president of the Somali Football Federation, alleges that the election of Sepp Blatter as FIFA president in 1998 was marred by bribery. Addo tells the Daily Mail that he was offered $100,000 for his vote. He refused, but “18 African voters accepted bribes to vote for Blatter.” Addo adds that he believes that some people in Blatter’s campaign were involved in the offers, although Blatter himself was not. According to Addo, all 51 African countries initially decided to vote for Blatter’s rival, Lennart Johansson. However: “Then I received a phone call from Somalia’s ambassador to one of the Gulf states. He said: ‘I have a friend who you know who wants to offer you $100,000 to switch your vote. Half in cash and the rest in sports equipment.’ They would send the cash to me or I could go to the Gulf to collect it.” Addo further alleges: “The night before the election people were lining up in Le Meridien Hotel [in Paris] to receive money. Some told me they got $5,000 before the vote and the same the next day, after Blatter won. I made my own private investigation and found that 18 African voters accepted bribes to vote for Blatter.” Mohiadin Hassan Ali, vice president of the Somalian association, confirms the story, saying, “We accepted money to vote on behalf of Somalia FA for J.S. Blatter in the FIFA presidential election in Paris.” [CNN, 2/28/2002]

Entity Tags: Joseph S. Blatter, Confederation of African Football, International Federation of Association Football, Mohiadin Hassan Ali, Somali Football Federation, Farah Addo

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

The English Football Association says it will abstain from voting for one of the two candidates, Sepp Blatter and Mohamed bin Hammam, running for the position of president of FIFA. The decision is made because of allegations of corruption made against both men in recent months. “There are a well-reported range of issues both recent and current which, in the view of the FA board, make it difficult to support either candidate,” says the FA in a statement. “The FA values its relationships with its international partners very highly. We are determined to play an active and influential role through our representation within both UEFA and FIFA. We will continue to work hard to bring about any changes we think would benefit all of international football.” [BBC, 5/19/2011]

Entity Tags: Football Association, International Federation of Association Football, Joseph S. Blatter, Mohamed bin Hammam

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA president Sepp Blatter makes some controversial comments about racism in response to a question asked by CNN World Sport. “I would deny it. There is no racism,” says Blatter. “There is maybe one of the players towards another—he has a word or a gesture which is not the correct one. But the one who is affected by that, he should say: ‘This is a game. We are in a game, and at the end of the game, we shake hands.’ And this can happen, because we have worked so hard against racism and discrimination.” [BBC, 11/16/2011] Blatter will soon issue an apology for the comments (see November 16, 2011).

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Joseph S. Blatter

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

FIFA president Sepp Blatter issues a clarification of remarks he made earlier in the day about racism in football; in an interview with CNN he had appeared to suggest that a player who was the target of racist abuse from an opponent should shake the opponent’s hand after the game and forget about it (see November 16, 2011). “My comments have been misunderstood,” says Blatter in a FIFA press release. “What I wanted to express is that, as football players, during a match, you have ‘battles’ with your opponents, and sometimes things are done which are wrong. But, normally, at the end of the match, you apologise to your opponent if you had a confrontation during the match, you shake hands, and when the game is over, it is over. Anyone who has played a football match, or a match in any sport, knows that this is the case. Having said that, I want to stress again that I do not want to diminish the dimension of the problem of racism in society and in sport. I am committed to fighting this plague and kicking it out of football.” [FIFA, 11/16/2011]

Entity Tags: International Federation of Association Football, Joseph S. Blatter

Timeline Tags: Football Business and Politics

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