Thursday, 28 May 2015

FIFA Nostra

The FIFA Football Family...
... or, as they call it in Italy, mafia.                                                       

If I were Sepp Blatter, I'd be ordering breakfast at 05:30 over the coming weeks as Swiss authorities have stated that the eventual questioning of Bonaparte Blatter will begin in this window.

Although FIFA is gross and an abuse of the global game, the 'good guys' aren't exactly outside the black market themselves (see below and

This article focuses on the Machiavellian contortions of the football sector, sports media and financial industries in the UK and at the systemic structures of mafia entities.

There are a lot of stenches around FIFAGATE:

* The football being the only object placed on the table during yesterday's Zurich press conference to remind Walter de Gregorio that the body he represents should be about football and not racketeering.

* The invisibility of Blatter when the going gets tough - all psychopaths are cowards at heart (many sociopaths are also challenged in the height department).

* Visa, McDonalds, Adidas, Nike and Coca Cola finally taking the moral high ground after years of marketing acquiescence in favour of proprietary profits.

* The first continental governing body to offer unequivocal support to Blatter being the Asian Football Confederation, as the other major impact of Blatter's time in charge has been the takeover of the integrity of the game by betting markets (particularly but not exclusively SE Asian ones).

* The duplicitous nature of the English mainstream media and the FA with regard to FIFAGATE and their historical acceptance of FIFA's ways of doing business.

English Duplicity

Andrew Jennings, the investigative journalist who should have been all over British tv screens when FIFAGATE broke yesterday reckons that there isn't one trustworthy mainstream media sports journalist in Britain since retirement of Patrick Collins.
Not one.
When David Conn and Paul Kelso were waxing lyrical via word and question for the Guardian and Sky Sports, their refusal to confront the matchfixing in English football was the elephant dung in the rooms - this corruption is also "rampant, systemic, deep-rooted". They both also carefully avoided the lack of ethics in England's World Cup 2018 bid (see below) - doesn't fit with the fake narrative, doesn't pay the mortgage.
Neither are fit for purpose.
Meanwhile Channel 4 News bizarrely chose to interview David Ginola as a paragon of virtue - the man who pocketed £250,000 from Paddy Power to front a bid to unseat Blatter.

Then there is Greg Dyke, the chairman of the FA, who happily received a £16,000 Parmigiani watch from CBF president José Maria Marin (a man complicit in the murder of ex-BBC journalist Vladimir Herzog)
And there he was yesterday, smarming away in a sea of viscous self-righteousness.
What on earth was Dyke thinking in accepting such a bribe?
Initially, Mr Dyke refused to return the 'gift' but with the threat of sanctions and being in breach of the FIFA code of ethics (sic) he eventually did so.

During the bidding processes for FIFA World Cup 2018 and 2022, the English bid team had the mighty marketing team of a monarch, an old Etonian and a male model.
At a meal attended by senior members of the England 2018 bid team on January 11th 2010, the chief executive Andy Anson was asked about rumours of corruption among the FIFA executive committee who would decide England's fate.
Patrick Collins: "We expected him to mumble evasive platitudes and were unprepared for his devastating candour. He said that he and his team had given the matter much thought and they had concluded that, of the 24 voting members, 'at least 13 are buyable'.
"His colleagues coughed loudly and fixed him with incinerating glares. Somebody explained that the notion of 'buying' delegates had never crossed English minds."
So the self-righteous English bid team were willing to consider buying votes themselves (which is heavy luggage to drag up onto the moral high ground!)
Then, when the Sunday Times disclosed that two voting members could be bought, the English bid team wrote a wretchedly humiliating letter to FIFA, in which they distanced themselves from the revelations and referred to the two members (now suspended) as 'our friends'.
Then, when the BBC produced the infamous Panorama programme which the English bidding team feared as a truth-telling exercise. Anson declared that the BBC had 'embarrassed themselves'. He condemned the organisation for being 'sensationalist' and 'unpatriotic' before even seeing the programme.
The whole make-up of the English bid team was tainted - conman Peter Hargitay, lobbying partner Marcus Siegler, bid chief and FIFA vice-president Geoffrey Thompson, the pompous Chief of Staff Simon Greenberg and the EPL's Sir Dave Richards, described by Andrew Jennings as "a man of miniscule talent, thinly spread. Is there another country which would tolerate somebody so utterly unsuited to high office?"
And we bet Prince William is regretting granting a private 'audience' to Jack Warner too.

Then, there are the matchfixing events at FIFA World Cup Finals.
At the Brazil World Cup last year, one leading British bookmaker was in control of the global market on the match between France and Honduras and exercised this control by defensive pricing and limited volume offered internally while trading the match rapaciously elsewhere.
Nearly £5 million was traded at Betfair on France victory in the hour leading up to kick off including one bet of £630,000 (the highest matched bet on football at the market maker in 4 years) and two others over £200K.
Given market structure and control together with the events that unfolded on the pitch, it is surprising that this game wasn't reported to matchfixing authorities.
The bookmakers of England and its offshore centres are than happy to piggy back onto FIFA corruption templates and take advantage of 'market opportunities' as they arise.

Then, there is Barclays (the sponsors of the Premier League) and HSBC. The millions of pounds in this racketeering scandal did not flow around the world in suitcases and wallets. Why didn't these (and other) banks carry out the necessary checks relating to money laundering? And, of course, the primary three Offshore Financial Centres behind the racketeering operation are all UK offshore tax havens - Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands and the Caymans.

Then. there is the BBC, Sky and ITV telling sponsors, players, FAs etc what to do about FIFA without any offer of refusing to show future World Cups tournaments themselves.

Then, there is Al Jazeera who managed in their 'Inside Story' programme on FIFAGATE not to mention Qatar at all and who employed as a talking head Jonny Gould, a man whose idiocy is only exceeded by those who employ him.

Then, there is John Whittingdale and the UK government.
Colin Lovelace "Government agencies travel the world bribing foreign government officials – and produce arms contracts that help kill and maim millions every day. I haven’t heard of the FBI raiding Whitehall offices at six in the morning. Let western governments clean up their own ethics before huffing and puffing about FIFA."

The 4th Estate is broken and corrupt.
Money matters relating to the particular loci produce imbalance in all news presentation turning journalism into nothing more than propaganda and public relations.
The insitutions and the entities that leech onto football are similarly not fit for purpose.
It is a sham and the football fans of Britain and the world deserve better...
...much much better.

Mafia Matrices

To undermine mafiosi structures, there are two components - firstly, one needs whistleblowers and/or investigative journalists willing to confront power and, secondly, one needs a deep insider with either a grudge to bear or, as is the case with Chuck Blazer, someone willing to co-operate to receive a reduced sentence themselves.
The only inputs that cut across these structures are those of sousveillance and surveillance. 
Once the hierarchy is split open, the beans tend to spill.

This applies with FIFAGATE. It also applies in MOBGATE And it applies in Sicily, Napoli and southern Italy.

Take Bernardo Provenzano who was imprisoned for life in 2006. He was head of the Corleonesi branch of Cosa Nostra and capo di tutti capi prior to arrest. 46 mafia suspects were arrested on January 25th 2005 and two months later another 80 were taken into custody leading to the arrests of Provenzano and 'Shorty' Riina.

Mafia groups can be family-based, institutional or cultural but the ties that bind the leading members together are fragile as trust is in short supply while paranoia tends to peak in times of crisis. And then there is the cowardice - the one common thread underpinning psychopathic personality disorder is fear. There is no trust between fearful sociopaths when the shit hits the fans.

Mafia entities also seek anonymity. Roberto Saviano (Italian anti-mafia journalist): "Their [the mafia's] worst fear is to be under the spotlight."

Racketeering operations also tend to use the same tactics over and over and over again as strategic intelligence is never a core competency.
So, Blazer was involved in bribes relating to location of FIFA World Cup Finals going back to the early nineties and used the same template of wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and income tax and banking offences.
Attorney General Lynch: "They [FIFA elite] did this over and over, year after year, tournament after tournament."

Sepp Blatter hasn't travelled to or through the US since 2011 and stated just last week that "everybody knows that in the US there is an investigation".
The templates outlined above suggest that his days are numbered - Blazer, Webb, Marin and Warner, in particular, surely will reduce their own 'inconveniences' at the expense of the little man from Visp.

All mafia (apart from state mafia) crumble eventually as greed, thuggery and stupidity eventually align in an eclipsing conjunction. Hopefully, proceedings will move quickly enough for jail terms to be handed out before the mortal coil intercedes - Blatter is 79, Marin is 83, Blazer 70 and Warner 72.
Manga de viejos hijos de puta!

Football has sold its soul to the likes of FIFA, the Premier League, bookmakers, agents, dopers, mafia, money launderers and matchfixing operations.
The two quotes below refer to FIFAGATE but equally apply to MOBGATE.

Diego Maradona: "They hate soccer. They hate transparency. Enough shady dealings. Enough lying to the people."

Chilean journalist Juan Cristóbal Guarello: "Interpol has arrested them for doing what they always did without reproach: behaving as a bigwig in the world of professional football. All the allegations that they face (fraud and money laundering) are everyday elements of their activity. That is to say they are an essential part of football for rent."

Meanwhile, away from the media glare, the medieval fiefdom of Qatar refused to allow Nepalese immigrant workers to return home to attend funerals in the aftermath of the recent devastating earthquakes in the country.

A Man From Visp...
... And A Nest Of Vipers.

And Uncle Jack...

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