Following yesterday’s shocking revelations that, yes, some FIFA officials are corrupt, today comes the news that it is all the Sunday Times’ fault. Despite the fact that six bent officials were handed bans ranging between one and three years, Sepp Blatter’s organisation has now seen fit to hit out at the investigative journalism that uncovered the sorry state of affairs.
Nigerian offical Amos Adamu was banned for three years and fellow executive committee member Reynald Temarii for one year. Botswana’s Ismael Bhamjee was handed a four-year ban, Amadou Diakite of Mali and Ahongalu Fusimalohi of Tonga were suspended for three years each, and the Tunisian chair of Fifa’s dispute resolution committee, Slim Aloulou, handed a two-year ban. Four of banned officials were specifically found guilty of breaking rules relating to bribery.
Yet FIFA’s ethics committee chairman, Claudio Sulser, accused the Sunday Times of “twisting the facts”.
He said: “What I cannot tolerate is the fact that they changed the sentences, they changed the way they presented the truth. If footage is taken out of context, that’s twisting the facts. They showed footage that lasted four minutes. We have looked at audio and video footage of several hours.”
Yes, Claudio, because uploading several hours of footage to a newspaper website is the way to get the truth out there. The arrogance of that organisation never ceases to amaze.