FIFA voting scandal evidence full of errors
Fri 12th Nov 2010 | FIFA
FIFA’s Ethics Committee meet in Zurich on the 15th November to decide the future of two of its Executive Committee members who were suspended pending allegations of corruption, an action precipitated by a feature in The Sunday Times.
Since publication of the alleged ‘money for votes’ scandal, it’s understood that The Sunday Times based the entire report condemning Dr Amos Adamu on less than 2 minutes video / audio footage, ignoring nearly an hour of exonerating evidence.
The transcript it subsequently provided to FIFA apparently included a number of errors, all of which would have damaged Dr Adamu’s case had they gone undetected.
Backers of Dr Adamu agree with British media observers who have long lambasted any activities citing ‘public interest’ when ‘an interested public’ – hence increased circulation - is what is actually meant.
But whilst the British appetite for scandal is undeniable there is now wide concern that the FIFA ‘money for votes’ story may not only be erroneous, it could have seriously damaged England’s World Cup bid hopes.
England’s bid took a huge knock when the article was first published with a senior official saying; "This has significantly damaged England's bid because the FIFA executive committee feel they are being targeted by the English media."
FIFA’s Ethics Committee will also decide on the fate of Reynauld Temani of Tahiti who was also alleged to be will to trade his vote for substantial amounts of money.
Mohamed Bin Hammam, one of the 24-man executive committee, condemned the Sunday Times investigation as "unethical"
In a statement on his website Bin Hammam said; "Forging identity, fabricating evidence and setting traps are unethical behaviour in my point of view. One thing about Middle East media, these are rare happenings there."
There are now calls for British law makers see sense on the fairness and professionalism of making entrapment illegal, a practice already illegal in Switzerland where the sting took place.
Other examples of mischievous reporting include
- Former World Champion snooker player, John Higgins, was exonerated by his governing body having been falsely accused of match fixing by the News of the World; its reporter secretly taped a meeting with Higgins and used the recording as the basis of the story. Despite his innocence, Higgins was landed with a fine of £75,000 and a six month ban for bringing the sport into disrepute
- Max Mosley successfully sued the News of the World which falsely suggested his sexual activity had racist overtones. The collective media, public and F1-industry outrage at the allegations caused him to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights with his QC saying ‘“Nothing can undo what has been done… (this) brings shame on British journalism.”
- Six-time Champion Jockey, Kieren Fallon also fell foul of The News of the World when it was alleged he was guilty of match fixing in 2006; the subsequent trial at the Old Bailey threw the case out for lack of evidence but not until Fallon had been unable to race in the UK for nearly 12 months and the UK tax payer had footed an estimated legal bill of £10 million
- The Mail on Sunday targeted sports leaders Lord Triesman (The FA and 2018 Bid Committee member) and Lord Coe (Head of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympics Games) were both victims of ‘kiss and tell’ stories – and in both cases the stories ran at crucial times in the Host City bid process
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