Wednesday 26 October 2016

Valcke is forced to defend his position

Jerome Valcke
Jerome Valcke

FIFA has postponed the announcement of the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup due to the corruption crisis that has engulfed the organisation as Swiss authorities removed computer data from the global soccer body that a source said included records from the office of its President Sepp Blatter.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke attended a Russia 2018 World Cup organising committee board meeting in Samara, in Russia's Volga region, where he confirmed details on the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup - which was due to be announced this week - had been postponed.

He also defended FIFA's handling of the 10million US dollar payment to a Caribbean Football Union account controlled by Jack Warner, the former FIFA vice-president whose deputy Chuck Blazer has pleaded guilty in court of taking some of the money as a bribe to vote for South Africa to host the 2010 World Cup.

The payment followed a 2008 letter from the South African Football Association (SAFA) to Valcke asking for the money to be deducted for the World Cup budget and sent as a legacy programme to be administered by Warner.


Valcke told a news conference in Samara: "I don't understand what's the problem and why I am such a target in this question.

"You [the media] have decided that after Blatter I am the head to be cut, fine, but don't say it is because of this 10million dollars."

Meanwhile, over here, FAI CEO John Delaney will not be grilled by an Oireachtas committee about the five million euro pay-off from FIFA for the Thierry Henry handball which cost Ireland a World Cup place.

The Oireachtas Transport and Sport committee yesterday voted against the move despite strong protests from a cohort of young Fine Gael TDs.

Fine Gael Deputy John O'Mahony, chairman of the committee, said that they had received procedural advice that the matter was outside its remit.

It has been reported that Delaney personally contacted members of the committee before the vote. Delaney is said to have told some politicians that calling him before a committee would do more harm than good to the team's prospects of Euro 2016 qualification, although the FAI chief did not comment on these reports.

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