“You Can’t Avoid Collusion,” Blatter Says
FIFA president Sepp Blatter admitted Friday that it was impossible to prevent collusion between bids in voting for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts.
Blatter concedes FIFA is powerless to prevent collusion in the bidding contest. (Getty Images)
FIFA's ethics committee decided Thursday to clear Qatar and Spain-Portugal bids of vote trading due to insufficient evidence, Blatter insisted he was not overly concerned about collusion, despite the fact it is prohibited in FIFA's bidding rules.
Pointing to the fact that all nine 2018/2022 bidders are represented on FIFA's ruling executive except Australia, he said: "It is obvious these people will speak together. You can't avoid collusion.
"But if in collusion there is something wrong, then naturally somebody would intervene."
Expanding on his comments at a press conference following a Friday meeting of the executive committee, Blatter went on to say that collusion was a fact of life inside elections in sport and in politics.
"Collusion you find in political elections when two partners go together... enemies during the year, then they come together. This has not been banned," he said.
Blatter said he was "satisfied" with the ethics committee's decision to ban Ex-co members Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii from football-related activities for three years and one year respectively. The decision on Thursday followed an investigation into Sunday Times revelations published last month that the Nigerian and Tahitian demanded cash in exchange for their World Cup votes.
"I am satisfied with the work done by the ethics committee and the decisions handed down. I am not happy because when you have to sanction people who are members of our family it is not a pleasure," he said.
For more on Friday’s FIFA presser, visit World Football Insider
Boxing League Swings Away
World Series of Boxing throws its first punch Friday with a pair of primetime bouts.
Around the Rings was on the scene in Almaty for WSB’s final test event. (ATR)
Paris United visits Italy for a taste of Milano Thunder. Hours later, Memphis Force heads south to tangle with the Mexico City Guerreros.
Fighting continues Saturday with matchups between the Astana Arlans and Incheon Red Wings as well as the Baku Fires and Beijing Dragons.
Miami, Los Angeles, Istanbul and Moscow round out the 12-team league.
Franchises will face only their continental rivals during the 12-match regular season, after which the top four finishers advance to playoffs. The championship is slated for May 7 in Macau, China.
Around the Rings
was on the scene late last month in Almaty, Kazakhstan for an early taste of WSB action. AIBA Congress delegates from about 100 countries saw the Arlans sweep the Istanbulls in a final test event.
Newly re-elected AIBA president C.K. Wu hailed WSB in a pre-bout address. He believes the
new event will be a popular fixture that gives boxers the chance to receive a steady salary and retain their Olympic eligibility.
Wu told ATR in a pre-Congress interview that no project drew him back to the presidency more than WSB.
“National federations benefit, boxers benefits, coaches benefit and judges benefit,” he said. “This is good for everyone in boxing.”
The 12 teams pay franchise fees to AIBA, who Wu said will use the money for development projects.
WSB is 75 percent owned by the federation, 25 percent by sports management company IMG.
Season Slides Up for Bobsleigh, Skeleton
Whistler will again host Olympic-level sliding less than nine months after the close of Vancouver 2010.
Top bobsleigh and skeleton athletes take to the ice Monday as their World Cup season gets underway.
Seven more WC events will follow throughout the next 11 weeks in Canada, the U.S.,
Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
Along the way, sliders will compete at some of the world’s most storied tracks, including two-time Olympic venues in Lake Placid, Innsbruck and St. Moritz as well as the site of Jamaica’s bobsled debut at the 1988 Calgary Games.
Innsbruck’s sliding center will also host top youngsters in just over a year’s time for the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games in January 2012.
The season will come to a head in February with the Bauhaus FIBT World Championship at Germany’s Königssee, the venue proposed for the Munich bid to host the 2018 Winter Games.
A week of training will precede the Feb. 14-27 event.
Busy Weekend for Athletics Federation
A review of the gender issue that sidelined South African runner Caster Semenya for 11 months is among the agenda items at the ongoing IAAF Council in Monaco.
The IAAF investigated Semenya's gender in 2009. (Getty Images)
Hosting rights for the 2015 world championships had top billing for the weekend until London withdrew its bid earlier this month, clearing the way for Beijing.
Meetings of IAAF commissions, Samsung Diamond League leadership and organizers of the 2011 world champs in Daegu, South Korea bookend the two-day Council.
Also in Monte Carlo, the sport’s athletes of the year will be crowned Sunday at an annual awards gala.
Sprinters Veronica Campbell Brown of Jamaica and Allyson Felix of Jamaica are up against Kenyan steeplechaser Milcah Chemos Cheywa, Croatian high-jumper Blanka Vlasic and British pentathlete/heptathlete Jessica Ennis for the women’s honor.
On the men’s side, Eritrean distance runner Zersenay Tadese, Norwegian javelin thrower Andreas Thorkildsen and new 800m world record holder David Rudisha of Kenya will face sprinter Tyson Gay and hurdler David Oliver, both of the U.S.
Written by Matthew Grayson.
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