Posted: 9/22/2014


Last week in Zurich the World Summit on Ethics in Sport revealed that all the heads of the 32 World Cup finalists at a pre World Cup FIFA Congress in Brazil were presented with a 'GOODIE BAG' full of....goodies, and so were 28 members of the FIFA ExCo committee, and 5 other members of South American associations. Each bag included a PARMIGIANI wrist watch independently valued at 16,500.00.

It has also been revealed that FIFA itself handed out 750 LONGINES WATCHES, valued at 90,000 at its Congress in June. FIFA Director General JEROME VALCKE also intended to give a further TWO watches from sponsors to each FIFA ExCo members, but was persuaded not to.

I am not sure about all customs laws world wide, but anything valued at over 280.00 has to be declared ON ARRIVAL at a U.K. Airport, along with certain amounts of alcohol and large amounts of cash-maybe 5,000.00 or more. You MUST go through the RED rather than the GREEN channel, declare what you have brought in and pay the customs & excise duty on the spot.

in 1989, a year prior to ITALIA '90 I flew to Rome as the guest of the Italian World Cup organizing committee and was taken, along with about 3 dozen other invited guests on a special train to Naples and from there by luxury ferry to The Isle of Capri for a week of meetings, dinners and fun. Each afternoon I found a bunch of gifts on my bed in my suite up the hill in ANACAPRI. One was a watch with the Italia' 90 logo. It was plastic and not worth very much. Slippers, dressing gown, T shirts, flags, mini ball, pens, stickers etc. but nothing of real value.

FIFA ethics (YES the actually have them) state that only gifts of nominal value can be given and accepted these days, such as pennants, T shirts, signed photos of Sepp Bladder.... Among Brits receiving such watches were F.A. Chairman GREG DYKE and Northern Ireland's FIFA vice-president JIM BOYCE. Dyke claimed the bag is lying in his office and he intended to give the contents to charity, while Boyce says it is still in his garage. Both say that they will comply with a FIFA ruling from last week and return to the CBF at their Rio de Janeiro headquarters.

"I had no idea of its value,claimed Dyke. I have never paid more than 200.00 for a watch myself. Since I became chairman in 2013 I have been given SIX watches, and I haven't used any of them. I don't like the culture of gift giving in football.."

Dyke is paid to work 2 days a week at the F.A. He used to be Director General of the BBC and is also Director of the British Film Institute and of the Ambassador Theatre, and Chancellor of The University of York, his alma mater. He was on the board at Manchester United and at Brentford FC where he was chairman.