FIFA head Sepp Blatter intends to take a hard stand against corruption in world football.
“I am not alone. I am not a dictator as has been said,” Blatter said. “There will be zero tolerance for everybody, on the pitch and off it. Not only for my neighbour, my friends, my colleagues, my opponents, referees, but also for presidents of associations.
“Not only are we working against corruption, but also against doping and discrimination. All this work has started. We now have work against illegal betting. You have seen the incredible number of federations implicated in fixed matches.”
The ongoing scandal involves former official Mohammed Bin Hammam offering US$40,000 bribes to Caribbean football officials. Among them is Cayman Islands Football Association Jeffrey Webb, who states he did not accept the cash gift in exchange for his vote in Bin Hammam’s presidential campaign.
One aspect of the scandal that hits home for Webb is the involvement of Jack Warner. The former FIFA Vice President resigned his post last month after he was suspended for bribery allegations. Webb said recently that he maintains support for Warner.
“Jack has provided us with a strong foundation from which to build,” Webb said. “We must not make the allegations surrounding his departure diminish his contribution to the region and the world.
“The contentious issues are globally known. Unfortunately, there will be no winners once the dust clears and it will fall on the shoulders of the national associations to work together to ensure continuity and development and also regain the trust and the respect of all who enjoy this beautiful game.”
Warner, who hails from Trinidad, states that corruption is part of world football.
“It’s not unusual for such things to happen,” Warner said. “Gifts have been around throughout the history of FIFA. What’s happening now for me is hypocrisy.”