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Jennings: The fish rots from the head

November 1st, 2007 by Rasmus Wilhardt & Troels Kaltoft · 3 Comments

If the authorities can find the evidence, very prominent people within FIFA could be thrown in jail. That’s the opinion of Andrew Jennings, investigative reporter and author of the book Foul! on corruption within FIFA.

During his presentation at the Play the Game conference on wednesday, he compared Fifas alleged corruption problems with the Festina scandal in 1998 which has had an enormous impact on the fight against doping in professional cycling since then. Andrew Jennings stated that things start to happen ”when the coppers come in and start grabbing people by the collar”.

- It’s down to the public authorities just as the public authorities in mainland Europe have gone after the cycling dopers and terrified them, have done the job that policemen and prosecuters should do. And they’re doing it very well. If this is the conclusion in Switzerland, it’s going to cut the top of FIFA. The fish rots from the head. Warner would go, Blatter would go, Grondona would go. It wouldn’t be wonderful but the whole generation of deeply corrupt behind their wall of secrecy would be gone.

Who should be taken by the collar, who should be thrown in jail?
- Well, lets see what Hildebrand does. He’s getting the documents, he’s investigating, clearly the most senior people at FIFA have been behaving improperly in a manner which concerns the public authorities, let’s wait and see who they get the evidence against.

Do you believe Sepp Blatter is a big enough part of corruption to be thrown in jail?
- If the evidence is there and the court is convinced, yeah, he should go to jail. That’s for the traditional authorities to decide. But we shouldn’t need them, the national associations should be saying: ”I can smell corruption”. It’s not a great big secret anymore.

Watch the entire interview right here:

Tags: Theme: Anti-doping

3 responses so far ↓

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