You know you’re in for some good dirt when Chung Mung-joon, a former FIFA vice-prez in the running for the next presidency, hits you with bars like “To call [FIFA] a mafia is almost insulting to mafia, so blatant and arrogant is its corruption.”
Chung went on like that in a talk he gave at a conference in London, as reported at ESPN FC. Chung alleged that FIFA uses its ethics committee to silence critics and political rivals, accused Sepp Blatter of embezzlement, and deftly took the world’s most powerful bobblehead doll down a peg or two with this nice little phrase: “Mr. Blatter in short is a hypocrite and a liar.”
For the embezzlement claim, Chung says that Blatter has a secret salary he sets out for himself that is not ratified or even known by the executive committee. To Chung, this is tantamount to embezzlement, and he plans on suing the FIFA president for this to recoup the allegedly stolen money for the federation.
Chung was not surprised, then, when his long-standing predilection for bucking shots at Blatter resulted in what he claims was an old, already cleared investigation into his orchestration of his native South Korea’s bid for the 2022 World Cup getting reopened recently. The former FIFA exec is now facing a potential 19-year suspension from soccer’s governing body: 15 years for whatever ethical breaches FIFA finds/invents relating to South Korea’s 2022 bid, and another four years for critical remarks against the committee itself.
The latter aspect of the suspension relates to statements like this, from ESPN FC:
The South Korean billionaire denied any wrongdoing and accused the committee of acting as a “hit man” of current FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who Chung says is attempting to damage his candidacy.
“The true danger is that they won’t stop at sabotaging only my candidacy but also destructing FIFA’s presidential election and FIFA itself,” the former FIFA vice president said in a news conference in Seoul.
Chung supported his belief in the ethics committee’s ulterior motives in his talk in London by laying out the case of another curiously inconsistent investigation:
On Wednesday, he pointed out that Harold Mayne-Nicholls was banned for seven years by FIFA’s ethics committee after asking Qatar for placements for family members while he was in charge of the technical inspectors looking at the World Cup bids. Mayne-Nicholls said last year he wanted to run against Blatter for the presidency.
He contrasts the investigation and suspension of Mayne-Nicholls with the absence of any investigation into Michel Platini, who in the famous sit down with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the prince of Qatar (the existence of said meeting Platini has admitted to) is alleged to have agreed to vote for the Qatar bid in exchange for a number of favors, which oh-so coincidentally predated his son getting a cushy high-ranking new job with a Qatari company.
Let’s get this straight: if you demonstrate loyalty to the family and don’t challenge Blatter’s rule, you’re afforded lavish favors and (allegedly) a nice fat payoff; if you try to take on the bossman, the bossman sics his minions on you and kicks you out of the business, sometimes for life. To answer our previous question: a lot.
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