You take the blue No.6 tram from outside Zurich's magnificent Hauptbahnhof up into the hills to the terminus at Zurich Zoo, and walk down the hill past the sportsgrounds of the University of Zurich to FIFA HOUSE at Forrenweidstrasse. Not that most FIFA bigwigs would know, since they are whisked from their luxury suite at the Baur au Lac, or from the airport, in limousines.
With most of the FIFA Excos and top people in jail, suspended or waiting extradition to the USA, a PR firm called TENEO, representing American lawyers, is now effectively running the show with acting secretary general Markus Kattner. More revelations in yesterday Sunday Times -www.thesundaytimes.co.uk - and some sensational claims to be aired Monday evening on the BBC TV PANORAMA programme: FIFA, SEPP BLATTER AND ME, with brilliant investigative journalist ANDREW JENNINGS that will further damage the FIFA brand.
Loretta Lynch and the US Department of Justice seems determined to destroy FIFA in its current form, which is OK by me ! With 16 more officials indicted last week, Panorama will show that Sepp Blatter, suspended from office for 90 days, was WELL AWARE of bribes paid by the Lucerne based ISL sports marketing company to former FIFA President Joao Havelange of Brazil in power since the FIFA Congress in 1974 until 1998 when he passed over the power to his secretary general Joseph S. Blatter.
Blatter is THE ONE that US DOJ wants to indict and charge. Since Switzerland, like Russia and Brazil won't send its citizens to USA, it may be up to Swiss justice to put him away for a long time and FIFA to ban him for life. They have been plodding along, raiding FIFA and the homes of Blatter, Platini and others. According to the Swiss attorney general it is a slow process and may take upto 5 years.ISL went bust in 2001 after paying over $212 million in bribes to sports executives.
Bribes were paid to Argentinian, Brazilian and Paraguayan football officials, some of whom were at the top tier of the CONMEBOL hierarchy by marketing company TRAFFIC to get the rights to Copa America and World Cup elimination matches. Starting in 1990 JOSE HAWILLA of TRAFFIC INTERNATIONAL paid AFA the Argentinian federeration, and CBF of Brazil to make sure that the top players always appeared in the matches, to make sure the TV rights could be sold for more money.
Documents show that Nicolas Leoz the then president of CONMEBOL received more than $1 million in bribes in return for awarding the Copa America rights to Traffic. Leoz told Hawilla that Traffic would make a lot of money and he wanted a cut before he would sign a contract. According to the DOJ indictment he later demanded further and bigger payments for himself which increased over time to seven figures. Ricardo Teixeira, 68, is the former son in law of Havelange . He amassed a fortune including two houses in South Florida and one in Monaco.
NIKE, the Oregon based sportswear giant is linked to kickbacks to top Brazilian CBF officials including Teixeira, former President for far too long of CBF. US DOJ documents refer to NIKE as Company A, in indictments. After their success at FIFA World Cup 1994 in Los Angeles the two signed a lucrative-for some-agreement. Investigators claim that NIKE paid $40 million to an affiliate of the firm that brokered the deal. A large percentage of that money was alleged to have been paid in bribes and kickbacks to Teixeira. Traffic signed a 10 year deal believed to be worth $160 million for the right to be a co-sponsor of CBF.
In 1964 I found myself in the Olympic village in Tokyo after taking the Trans-Siberian railway and a 2 1/2 day ferry from Siberia to Yokahama.. In the village you could eat free 24 hours a day in 5 different ethnic restaurants. I came to meet some of my college team mates on the British track team and was able to get free Puma training shoes as GB's third string triple jumper(they only took two). Anyway at the practice track in the village I was watching some of the famous American athletes including Bob Hayes and Randy Matson. I started chatting with a US coach. He told me how he had found very inexpensive 'Onitsuka Tiger' shoes and he was going to start importing them to Oregon where he was also the coach at University of Oregon in Eugene. He gave me his business card. His name was BILL BOWERMAN.
He went back home and sold shoes out of the back of his car at track meets in the US NorthWest and with a friend Phil Knight he set up a company called Blue Ribbon Sports, later changed to NIKE and with his wife's waffle iron experimented with a waffle sole shoe.
THE REST IS HISTORY!!