Well, where do we start today. Nothing in FIFA or IAAF goings on compare with the horrors in Paris, The City of Light, A couple of suicide bombers blowing themselves up outside Gate 9 at the Stade de France was the least of the tragedies on Friday evening. APPLAUSE for France going ahead and willing to visit Wembley Stadium on Tuesday for a friendly match with England. I hope that LA MARSEILLAIS will be sung with gusto by all the fans and players of both sides.
I never did understand why Franz Beckenbauer thought it appropriate as leader of FIFA World Cup 2006 to fly in a helicopter to a majority of the marches scattered from Hamburg to Munich to Berlin to Stuttgart, and more importnant why he was featured in TV advertising evey day for adidas, for a beer company and for a car maker. He has well and truly been caught up in the controversy of the awarding of the tournament with his signature on an agreement with CONCAF's Jack Warner and others to agree to ridiculous friendly matches that courted votes prior to the decision to bring the cup to Germany rather than South Africa.
The well thought of DFB President Wolfgang Neirsbach decided that the honourable thing to do was to resign from office. I first met him at a pre World Cup friendly in Gelsenkirchen when West Germany hosted Denmark just prior to ITALIA '90 when he was press office,r and the last time in the VIP box at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff at a Wales v Germany World Cup qualifier about 7 years ago. He still keeps his seat at both UEFA and FIFA as an Exco for the rime being.
The DFB offices in Frankfurt were raided by authorities and so was Neirsbach's home as well asthat of his predecessor, but Der Kaiser escaped such a home search since he lives on a farm over the Austrian border close to Salzburg.
Just before the Paris horrors IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe announced that the Russian Athletics Federation had been suspended by a vote of 22-1 after an international phone meeting of th IAAF Executive after the lengthy WADA investigation led by IOC member Dick Pound of Canada. It mesns that ALL Russian track and field athletes will miss the Rio Summer Olympics unless they put their house in order. Also two events scheduled for March and July in Russia will not take place and will be moved to other countries.
Former IAAF President Lamine Diack of Senegal was charged by French Prosecutors of taking bribes from the Russians to cover up doping and he was had his Honourary Presidency of the IOC taken away from him. His son Papa Massata Diack was also part of a system of corruption seeking bribes and the blackmailing of athletes while employed by IAAF as its Marketing Director. Also under investigation is IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhichev.
Sebastion Coe, a double 1500 metre gold medallisat at Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984 is still in the pay of NIKE to the tune of $100,000 a year or more, plus other lucrative consultancies. He had been VP of IAAF under Diack for 7 years and many think that he must have known about the corruption. Thw Presidency is an unpaid position yet the Diacks led lavish life styles. Coe was very busy with the organization of the very successful London 2012 Summer Olympic Games and was not based in Monte Carlo. Now is time to make it a paid psosition, such is the work and the daily challenges that go with the job.
As well as the call to suspend at least half a dozen Russian atletes, coaches an doctors FOR LIFE, there is a need to put more money into independent drug testing labs world wide and t invesrigate other Track & Field federations such as Jamaica, Kenya, Ethiopia, Greece, Turkey and more.
There was rumour that Russia might boycott Rio with ALL its sports teams but there has been a more conciliatory tone from Presdident Vladimir Putin. Sixty five nations boycotted the Moscow Summer Olympics in 1980 after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan while 14 Eastern Block nations boycotted Los Angeles 1984. There is no stomach for such a boycott these days and Russia has VERY FEW allies that would take part. IT WOULD BE A RUSSIAN OWN GOAL !
Apologies for the delay in sending out the previous blog due to techical difficulties and the long interuption in service.