FIFA SG Samoura sends out early warning to the Football Associations on the bidding process for the 2026 World Cup!

FIFA under the new Secretary General Fatma Samoura are trying a new approach considering the start of the process, when getting the host nation for the FIFA Football World Cup 2026 after the biggest frauds and kickbacks of late concerning South Africa, Qatar and Russia. Now, the organization after the case against itself in United States and the fall of Sepp Blatter. Surely the new FIFA President Gianni Infantino wants a change too! They are trying to swiftly change the organization, that is why Samoura has sent a letter to all Member Associations, to follow the 5th Principal in the Bid Rules of Conduct. Where it says:

“(i) conducting their own activities in relation to the Bidding Procedure in accordance with basic ethical principles such as integrity, responsibility, trustworthiness and fairness; (ii) rejecting any attempt to be influenced in relation to their function and obligations in relation to the Bidding Procedure; (iii) rejecting any gifts offered by any Candidate Host Associations, any of their bid consultants and/or nominees, unless such gift: a) only has symbolic or trivial value; b) excludes any influence for the execution or omission of an act that is related to their official activities or falls within their discretion; c) is not contrary to their duties; d) does not create any undue pecuniary or other advantage; and e) does not create a conflict of interest;” (2026 FWC Bidding Regulation).

In the letter from the Secretary General Samoura, it states very clearly to all:

“Notwithstanding the clarifications below, in order to ensure a fair and transparent bidding process, all football officials shall always conduct all of their own activities in relation to the bidding process in accordance with basic ethical principles such as integrity, responsibility, trustworthiness and fairness. Therefore, irrespective of the clarifications below, it must be understood that the Ethics Committee, as an independent judicial body, may, on its own initiative and at its full and independent discretion, decide to investigate whether any activities in connection with the bidding process are of an unethical nature by, for instance, creating an undue influence on the bidding process in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics and further specific rules contained in the Bid Rules of Conduct pursuant to article 5 of the Bidding Regulations” (Fatma Samoura – ‘Further guidance on the Bid Rules of Conduct for the process to select the host(s) of the 2026 FIFA World Cup™’ 19.02.2018).

The FIFA Secretariat and Central Governing body is sending out a warning as the process is starting. Since they don’t want to have knowledge of or knowingly have people acting in bad faith or trying to corrupt fellow members. Even if that is the history of FIFA and the leadership of Joao Havelange and Sepp Blatter. They have done it with fineness and used time to fix the associations in their way, so they could find ways of using sport to get wealthy. That is well-known. Surely, Samoura want to change that paradigm and therefore write this letter to secure the process.

And you know that FIFA is afraid of getting corruption scandals, when Samoura has to type this:

“Accordingly, if a confederation, a regional association, a grouping of member associations or any individual member association is approached by a bidder offering a presentation of its bid, it is in principle fine to accept such an offer as long as the principles of fairness and transparency are respected. Therefore, in such an event, please notify FIFA in writing about any such offer from a bidder, but please also accept the offer of a presentation by the competitive bidder, offering both bidders the same format and attendance” ((Fatma Samoura – ‘Further guidance on the Bid Rules of Conduct for the process to select the host(s) of the 2026 FIFA World Cup™’ 19.02.2018).

So now if let’s say the United Kingdom wants to have the bid in Europe and the want to present it to France and Germany, than they have to notify FIFA and also allow the same delegation to travel to another bidder. Not make it exclusive, to make sure the process isn’t paid off as in the past. This will make the bidding process more hectic, but hopefully more transparent. Since it has been filled with PR Stunts and sudden pay-offs in the past, but not shown in public what is happening behind the scenes.

We can hope that FIFA is trying to change and not using words flamboyantly, to trigger the press and associations, that the process will be transparent and fair. However, their history is known of paying of minor or poor organizations to get the needed votes, also to make sure the confederates of several regions are getting a slice. To make sure the bidding nation get the swinging votes. We have to see if this can be altered, if the corrupt machinery can be stopped. That would be interesting, even if you take the head, the body is still the same. We just have to wait and see, if some skeletons comes out of the closet or not. Peace.

Questionable use of FIFA Development Funds in the Nigerian Football Federation in the FY 2015!

Picture from the Iran – Nigera match FIFA World Cup 2014

On the 5th October 2016 FIFA had a “Central Review 2015 – Key Findings Report of the Nigeria Football Federation”. Where the International governing body are looking into the Finances of the Nigerian Football Federation. The report are describing the findings in Nigeria and the report are expressing of the use of the funds coming from FIFA to NFF. FIFA used the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to have the central review of the FIFA funds.

The report found out that there were 9 cases where there was no documentation of the use. These funds that were not reported was amounted to the USD $ 801,929. These funds were coming from the FIFA Development Funds. Those funds was not used aligned to the FIFA and to the prescribed purposes. The NFF could not to the PwC tell if the funds was used for fraudulent use. The PwC and FIFA had recommended because of this, that the NFF retained evidence of all payments made using the FIFA Development Funds, that the NFF should find supporting documents that hasn’t found adequate documentation. Also advised to the NFF were reduce cash payments to the minimum.

In the report NFF are saying that the planning and administration is the problem of the exchange rate, because of the parallel market crash and there is different in the sums reported. Second is that the NFF Youth Football there, is that the USD $ 92,375, which wasn’t in the budget for the Financial Year of 2015. Also, the infrastructure of NFF had contracts and tenders that wasn’t serviced as the awarding, and wasn’t as promised between the contractors. This is the issue with invoices from these has also been issues for the PwC Switzerland. The one reporting from the NFF was the Emmanuel E. Ikpeme, the Deputy General Secretary of NFF.

The report was interesting, but short. NFF central review was a limited scope. As the FIFA and the ordered review didn’t look into tax, financial statements, compliance with local laws, how FIFA decided grants for development funds, the IT Audit and other procedures during an audit. Therefore, the central review isn’t deep, but shows problems inside the use of development funds from FIFA. Peace.

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