Blatter’s defence lacks substance

December 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

Fifa chief Sepp Blatter says “To be honest, I was surprised by all the English complaining after the defeat“. Perhaps he wasn’t aware of the BBC’s Panorama programme “FIFA’s Dirty Secrets” or of the Sunday Times investigation into corruption at Fifa, both of which happened before the vote. Perhaps he should have spoken to his vice-president Jack Warner; Warner has good reason to remember the Panorama programme – he was featured on it looked rather shifty while ignoring Andrew Jennings’ questions about corruption. And if Warner is to be believed (a big if admittedly) then a large proportion of FIFA’s voting committee must have been aware of the allegation if as Warner claims it was the British media that cost England the 2018 World Cup bid.

If Warner’s tactic to the corruption question is to doge it then  Blatter’s is to resort to the increasingly familiar tactic of the unsupported assertion. Why back up your claims with facts – especially if the facts aren’t on your side.

What about the suggestion that Fifa officials might be tempted to cash in? Blatter’s assertion: “Nobody can  come along and simply hold out their hand. There are no rotten eggs.” No facts are offered in support of his claim. Unfortunately for him the fact is that six senior Fifa officials were suspended following the Sunday Times expose.

Another Blatter assertion: “There is no systematic corruption in Fifa. That is nonsense. We are financially clean and clear.” Again, no facts are offered in support of his claim.

With a long list of bribery allegations in the Panorama programme amounting to some $100m over a 10 year period it might seem bizarre that Blatter singled out one allegation for the relatively paltry amount of $25,000.

But at least Blatter does offer up a fact in support of his claim. He asserts that Issa Hayatou (the president of African football’s governing body) “had done nothing wrong”? And what, you might wonder, is the one solitary fact he offers?  Blatter says: “I can tell you: Hayatou is the son of a sultan”.

So there you have it allegations of 10 years of bribes totalling $100 million and Blatter’s defence: one of the accused is the son of a sultan.

more effective giving

November 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

The public are very generous when responding to emergencies. One way that British taxpayers can make the most of their charitable donations is to take advantage of Gift Aid where possible.

When disaster strikes many aid agencies will encourage you to give. One very effective and simpe way of doing to is to give via the DEC website. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is an umbrella organisation for 13 humanitarian aid agencies. You have the option to make your donation gift aid enabled, allowing DEC can claim back income or capital gains tax that you have paid which currently stands at 28p in the pound.

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