The ‘Secret’ Report for WADA

Below is the confidential paper on building an investigative culture in a corrupt sports world that I wrote for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Think Tank held in Lausanne on September 20th. It was supposed to be secret but some craven twit leaked it to his pals in the media within 24-hours of it being circulated. Now that a number of journalists have read it, I have no hesitation in making it public. The headlines are: 1)     World Anti-Doping Agency is not...

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2 Farces, Turkish Nightmare & Infantino’s Blatter-Lite FIFA

It was not a good week for sport. The Turkish nightmare continues. There are strange doings, as usual, in Singapore and Qatar. However, the big story is that Gianni Infantino's FIFA has now become a Blatter-Lite FIFA: the same organisation, only with better table manners for the media.   The key issue is the resignation of Domenico Scala as the Head of the Audit and Compliance Committee. He quit FIFA as Infantino pushed through a measure that would have allowed the FIFA Executive Committee...

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Requiem for a Football Legend: Michel Platini

So he is gone. Michel Platini's drink at the last chance legal saloon of the Council for the Arbitration of Sport (CAS - the supreme court for sports) just ended.   Here is the background. Michel Platini “advised” Sepp Blatter, the former president of FIFA, between 1999-2002. Just before the 2011 FIFA Presidential election, where Michel Platini chose not to run against Blatter, he received a payment of 2 million Swiss Francs from Blatter. Their story was that this payment was in recompense...

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Covert Campaigns at the FIFA Game of Thrones

The FIFA presidential election was about covert campaigning, geo-politics, arrests for racketeering, corruption, fraud and sex: it did not have much to do with soccer. There were two FIFA Presidential elections happening here in Zurich. The public one with fine sounding statements and pronouncements of public morality made by the five presidential candidates. Their speeches featured all the clichés mentioning “accountability”, “transparency” or “a few bad apples ruining it for the honest majority”, etc, etc. Then there was a second campaign...

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Insider’s Paradise: Corruption Looms Large Ahead of FIFA Presidential Election

The FIFA presidential election will take place on Friday in Zurich, giving the game's power brokers a golden chance to affect change. But there's a catch. The 207 eligible presidents of the national football federations wield the power to vote, yet these officials are, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, steeped in a world where brazen criminals have repeatedly milked the sport for their own personal profit. ** This is a feature article for Bleacher Report.  You can read below or at...

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The Elephant in the FIFA Room and the Caribbean Delegates

https://www.declanhill.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/X-Fifa-vice-president-Jack-Warner-is-caught-on-tape-offering-_gifts-of-25_000-to-Caribbean.flv.mp4 There are two unresolved questions here in Zurich with days to go before the biggest election in FIFA's history. The two front runners are Gianni Infantino and Sheikh Salman. They both have the official support of two confederations: Salman his own Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the African Confederation (CAF). Infantino – Europe (UEFA) and Latin America (CONMEBOL). Most of the discussions, media spinning, rumours, etc in this city is about whether Salman's support is declining and Infantino is gaining: or,...

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The Battle for the Soul of FIFA & Boris Johnson’s EU Football Nightmare

In Zurich to witness the fight that one of the candidates describes as, “the most important in the history of FIFA”. If a candidate, like Sheikh Salman of Bahrain with the human rights allegations against him, wins, the credibility of FIFA will be over. Salman is firmly in the lead with delegates officially committed. The other four candidates are battling, but it is unclear how anyone can catch Salman at this point. Here is the basic math of the election. There are...

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Games Night at Zurich Hotels & Why Dan Tan Should Be Released

Crikey – the arrests of FIFA executives is getting so routine at the five-star Hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich the management should build it into their daily schedule: 5 p.m.     -                   High Tea 6 p.m.    -                   Cocktails & Happy Hour 6 a.m.    -                    FBI & Swiss Organized Crime Police arrests of FIFA executives 7.15 a.m.   -                Continental breakfast Possibly the hotel has, like chocolates on the pillows, turn-down service and concierges, criminal lawyers standing around...

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Lipstick on a Pig, Mexican Environmental Regulation and FIFA Reform

Today, FIFA announced new reforms.  What good do all these paper plans do if so many of their executives are corrupt? You can put lipstick on a pig - it is still a pig. Below quotes - from today's press conference  by US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch, Robert Capers and Chief of the IRS Richard Weber. "Today is another good day for soccer fans.  Unfortunately from the decades-long corruption that has been uncovered by the US investigation, good intent has been replaced...

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Potemkin Villages, Scapegoats and Fake Qatari Fans: 4 Things We Learned From This Week in International Sports Corruption

On the eve of FIFA’s executive committee meeting that is expected to rubber-stamp the decision of their ‘ethics committee’ (sic) to ban Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini from the international football world, four points: 1)      Is the internal FIFA reform - a believable process? No. It is a Potemkin village of a battle against corruption.   From far away, it seems good.  Once you get close, the obvious conflicts of interests emerge. What is occurring now is a frantic effort by FIFA...

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