FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s inability to fight corruption in the world soccer governing body which has culminated in the arrest of 13 officials in Zurich on corruption charges is a scandal, says football administrator Simataa Simataa.
Simaata said he was however sure that if Blatter was an African the entire Western world could have called for his resignation.
“But now that he is one of their own, they are silent,” said Simaata.
Simataa in an interview said FIFA should have itself to blame for the development and Blatter should not claim that he didn’t know.
“The fact that he didn’t know, that is reason enough for him to resign because he is head of that institution. FIFA has sufficient rules and could have cleaned up the mess before the FBI came in. What make it sad is that most western countries are silent about it. We have seen many African officials being suspended based on rumours of engaging in corruption. But he will still contest, which would not have been the case if he were African. An African could have already received condemnation from the western, “he said.
He said the resurfacing of the corruption issue has shown which nations were powerful with Africa underdogs.
“No African country can stand up and raid their offices. Each time African governments raise issues about football, they are silenced by risking being banned from football for some years, “he said.
Meanwhile, Simataa said he will not be shocked if Zambia was named among those countries that benefitted from the bribes for backing the hosting of the World Cup in Qatar.
Last year FAZ president Kalusha Bwalya was named as having received received $80,000 from FIFA which he claimed was a loan to be repaid. About 30 current and former FA presidents in the CAF zone are alleged to have benefitted from a $5 million slush fund to help Qatar win its eventually successful bid for the 2022 World Cup.
On Wednesday, Swiss authorities arrested FIFA officials on corruption charges and opened criminal proceedings over the awarding of the Russia 2018 and Qatar 2022 World Cups.
According to the Guardian newspaper of UK nine FIFA officials and four executives of sports management companies were arrested on suspicion of receiving bribes totalling $100m (£65m), quoting the US Department of Justice. However Blatter is not among the accused. FIFA spokesman Walter de Gregorio told the Associated Press: “He is not involved at all.”
The officials are accused of taking in excess of $150m in bribes stretching back 24 years.
United States prosecutors said the officials conspired with sports marketing executives to “shut out competitors and keep highly lucrative contracts for themselves through the systematic payment of bribes and kickbacks”.
And in the words of acting US attorney Currie at today’s press conference in New York: “It’s only just beginning.” “ The resurfacing of the corruptions case puts Zambia at risky. I hope that doesn’t happen because it will be an embarrassment for Zambia to the outside world, “he said.
According to the allegations contained in an investigative report published in the Sunday Times paper
of London state that Kalusha and disgraced former FIFA vice president and top Qatar football official Mohammad Bin Hammam exchanged emails over payment of money.
“As per our conversation, please Mr President if you could assist me with about 50 thousand Dollars for my Football association and personal expenditures.
I hope to repay you in the near future, as the burden is little bit too hard for me at this moment,” Kalusha is alleged to have stated in part in his email to Bin Hammam in 2009.
The Sunday Times said there is no evidence the alleged loan was ever paid back and added that a further $30,000 was wired to Kalusha’s personal account in 2011 after the FAZ president was said to be “a little thin on resources.”
But Kalusha was cleared of the allegations charge by FIFA while trhe Anti-Corruption Commission in Lusaka said they were pursuing the matter