miércoles, 27 de mayo de 2015

La pelota no se mancha


Primero vayamos a la breve, casi neutral mención de la noticia por parte del diario argentino Página/12:


Título: Detuvieron a dirigentes de la FIFA por "corrupción"

Texto: La policía suiza arrestó en Zurich y por pedido del Departamento de Justicia de EEUU a siete altos dirigentes del ente rector del fútbol mundial imputados -junto a otros siete que no fueron detenidos- por extorsión, blanqueo de dinero, sobornos por 150 millones de dólares, fraude electrónico e irregularidades en la concesión de los Mundiales de 2018 y 2022. Se realizaron allanamientos en oficinas de la Federación Internacional, en Suiza, y la Concacaf, y norteamérica pidió la extradición de los acusados. El presidente de la FIFA, Joseph Blatter, no está involucrado en la investigación.

Según confirmaron las autoridades estadounidenses, el uruguayo Eugenio Figueredo y Jeffrey Webb (Islas Caimán), ambos vicepresidentes del ente rector del fútbol mundial, están entre los detenidos durante la reunión en que se ultimaban los detalles de la elección del viernes, en las que se perfila como ganador para un nuevo período al actual presidente Joseph Blatter.

Nueve de los implicados son dirigentes o ex dirigentes futbolísticos, mientras que otros cinco son ejecutivos de marketing de Sudamérica y Estados Unidos, entre ellos tres argentinos: Alejandro Burzaco, presidente de Torneos y Competencias, y Hugo y Mariano Jinkis, de Full Play Group.

El Departamento de Justicia estadounidense los acusa de "crimen organizado" y de montar un esquema por el que se pagaron "más de 150 millones de dólares en sobornos para obtener lucrativos derechos mediáticos y de marketing en torneos de fútbol internacional".


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Pasemos ahora a la versión del diario español El País, siempre obsesionado por ensalzar el carácter virtuoso del Imperio:


Título: Siete dirigentes de la FIFA, detenidos en Suiza por corrupción

Subtítulo: La operación se desarrolla de madrugada en un hotel en que se encontraban reunidos

Texto: Las autoridades suizas han lanzado una operación a primera hora de este miércoles para detener a siete altos cargos de la FIFA y extraditarlos a EE UU para que sean juzgados por corrupción, según informa el periódico estadounidense The New York Times. Están acusados de fraude, asociación delictiva y blanqueo de capitales. Por otro lado, la Fiscalía suiza ha abierto investigaciones sobre la concesión de los Mundiales de Rusia 2018 y Qatar 2022.

Agentes suizos los han arrestado en sus habitaciones del hotel de cinco estrellas Baur aur Lac, un lujoso edificio con vistas a los Alpes y al lago Zúrich donde los dirigentes se reúnen para su encuentro anual, que arranca el próximo viernes y donde habrá elecciones a la presidencia de la FIFA: hay dos candidatos, el actual presidente, Joseph Blatter, que aspira a su quinto mandato, y el príncipe jordano Ali Bin-AlHussein. "Esun día triste para el fútbol", ha declarado Bin-AlHussein. Tras pedir las llaves en conserjería, los agentes han ido a las habitaciones para proceder a las detenciones. El diario explica que un alto cargo de la FIFA (a quien no identifica) ha sido conducido por las autoridades desde su habitación a una puerta trasera para abandonar el hotel, permitiéndole llevar consigo su equipaje.

Los cargos que la Justicia de EE UU presenta contra los dirigentes del fútbol mundial giran en torno a la "corrupción generalizada durante las dos últimas décadas", en relación con las adjudicaciones de sedes para la Copa Mundial y a los acuerdos de mercadotecnia y derechos de explotación televisiva.

Según el periódico, que cita fuentes cercanas a la investigación, las acusaciones incluyen fraude, asociación delictiva y blanqueo de capitales, y van dirigidas contra "miembros del poderoso comité ejecutivo de la FIFA, que amasa un enorme poder y lleva a cabo sus negocios en gran medida en secreto".

La operación del Departamento de Justicia de EE UU implica a más de 10 dirigentes del fútbol mundial, aunque no todos ellos se encuentran en Zúrich para asistir a la reunión. Entre ellos, siempre según The New York Times, están Jeffrey Webb, de las islas Caimán, un vicepresidente del comité ejecutivo; Eugenio Figueredo, de Uruguay, también vicepresidente y hasta 2014 presidente de la Conmebol; y Jack Warner, de Trinidad y Tobago, exmiembro del comité y presidente de la Concacaf entre 1990 y 2011.

La operación, por tanto, tendría graves implicaciones para el fútbol en el continente americano ya que, según la información publicada, dos de los detenidos son un expresidente de la Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol (Conmebol) y otro de la Confederación de Fútbol de Norte, Centroamérica y el Caribe (Concacaf).

 La Justicia estadounidense no presenta cargos contra el presidente de la FIFA desde 1998, el suizo Joseph Blatter, aunque las detenciones pueden suponer un escollo ante su reelección en las elecciones que se celebrarán el viernes y en las que opta a un quinto mandato al frente del fútbol mundial. Ayer mismo Blatter se reunió a puerta cerrada con los representantes de la Concacaf, que representan 35 de los 209 votos de la organización.

"Nos sorprende el tiempo durante el que esto se ha prolongado y cómo ha alcanzado a casi cada parte de lo que ha hecho la FIFA", indica un agente de la ley a The New York Times sobre la presunta corrupción. "Parece que llegase a cada elemento de la federación y que fuese su manera de hacer negocios. Es como si esto fuese corrupción institucionalizada", añade.

La fiscal general de EE UU, Loretta Lynch, y el director del FBI, James Comey, darán una rueda de prensa este miércoles en Nueva York para explicar los detalles de la acusación. En un comunicado oficial publicado esta mañana por el Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos, Lynch acusa de participar de una red de “corrupción sistémica y desenfrenada” a los siete dirigentes detenidos.

El asunto es el más significativo desde que Lynch asumiera el cargo el pasado mes. Con más de 1.500 millones de dólares en reservas, la FIFA es tanto un conglomerado financiero global como una organización deportiva. Tanto Blatter como la FIFA habían sido acusados de corrupción en el pasado, pero nunca de delitos federales en los tribunales de Estados Unidos.


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Preocupada por asegurar que el Mundial de 2018 se sigue jugando en Rusia, así lo cuenta Russia Today:


Título: Arrestan a varios altos cargos de la FIFA y registran la sede en Suiza

Texto: Las autoridades suizas han arrestado este miércoles en Zúrich a varios altos cargos de la FIFA y se disponen a extraditarlos a EE.UU. bajo cargos de corrupción.

Entre los delitos de los que se les acusa figuran el fraude electrónico, el blanqueo de dinero y la extorsión, informa el diario 'The New York Times'.

Las detenciones se realizaron a petición del Departamento de Justicia de los Estados Unidos, que presentó cargos en el Distrito Este de Nueva York, con sede en Brooklyn. Los detenidos podrían ser extraditados a EE.UU.

El Departamento de Justicia de EE.UU. afirmó que los arrestados- cuatro funcionarios de la FIFA y otros dos que no trabajan en la organización- se han declarado culpables de corrupción.

La Fiscalía General de Suiza ha abierto su propia investigación separada que concierne a la elección y asignación de sedes de la Copa Mundial del 2018 y del 2022, según un comunicado citado por AP.

En el marco de la indagación se han incautado datos electrónicos y documentos en la sede de la FIFA en Zúrich.

Las detenciones no pueden servir de justificación para cancelar (o retirar la sede) la Copa Mundial del 2018 en Rusia, según Walter De Gregorio, director de la FIFA para relaciones públicas.

"Por el momento todo se queda según lo programado: la Copa Mundial del 2018 se celebrará en Rusia y la del 2022 en Catar", dijo el funcionario, citado por Tass.

Los arrestos han tenido lugar dos días antes de que la FIFA celebre sus elecciones a la presidencia, en la que el actual presidente, Joseph Blatter, parte como favorito. Su único rival es el príncipe jordano Alí bin Hussein.

"No se encuentra [Blatter] entre los arrestados ni está implicado en absoluto", afirmó De Gregorio.

"Evidentemente el presidente Blatter no está bailando en su oficina. Pero sabe que esto es la consecuencia de lo que hemos iniciado", agregó el vocero.


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Fíjense ahora cómo lo cuenta Zero Hedge. Acá no hay preocupaciones sino simplemente continuar con el motto del sitio: son todos unos chorros; sin von Mises a cargo de la economía global, el Universo es una mierda:


Título: FIFA "Rampant" Corruption Exposed Following DOJ Indictment, 14 Arrested In Swiss Hotel

Texto: That FIFA has been a hotbed of corruption, shady backroom dealings and outright crime for years, has been known to anyone with even a passing interest in football. Which is why we were surprised to learn this morning that none other than the US Attorney General, seemingly content with all the wristslaps handed out to criminal US foreign banks (and subsequent SEC waivers) gave FIFA the red card in a charge detailing "rampant" corruption in international soccer hours after 14 officials were arrested on accusations of a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through FIFA, whose office was searched in a series of dawn raids in Zurich.

The US charge was announced alongside of a Swiss criminal probe related to the controversial 2010 award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar, respectively, hours after seven soccer officials were arrested and 14 indicted in Zurich, concurrent with a raid on the soccer body’s hilltop office in Zurich. The case involves bribes "totaling more than US$ 100 million" linked to commercial deals dating back to the 1990s for soccer tournaments in the United States and Latin America, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement that two current FIFA vice presidents were among those arrested, Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands and Eugenio Figueredo of Uruguay. The others are Eduardo Li of Costa Rica, Julio Rocha of Nicaragua, Costas Takkas of Britain, Rafael Esquivel of Venezuela and Jose Maria Marin of Brazil. All seven are connected with the regional confederations of North and South America and face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of racketeering.

The arrests sanctioned by the US DOJ as part of a separate US corruption probe took place at the lakeside Baur au Lac Hotel in downtown Zurich, long favored as a place for senior FIFA officials to stay. It was the stage for intense lobbying for votes ahead of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosting decisions in December 2010, and is where this Friday FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s re-election was due to take place. Blatter was not among those originally charged by the US DOJ.

A police vehicle is parked outside of the five-star hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday morning, May 27, 2015. The Swiss Federal Office of Justice said six soccer officials have been arrested and detained pending extradition at the request of U.S. authorities ahead of the FIFA congress in Zurich. In a statement Wednesday the FOJ said U.S. authorities suspect the officials of having received paid bribes totaling millions of dollars. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP)

People stand outside the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich, Switzerland, Wednesday, May 27, 2015 where six soccer officials were arrested and detained by Swiss police on Wednesday pending extradition at the request of U.S. authorities after a raid.

"The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States," Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in the statement. "It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks."

As reported by Bloomberg "The collection of relevant bank documents had already been ordered beforehand at various financial institutes in Switzerland,” the Swiss Attorney General’s office said in a statement on its website. “The files seized today and the collected bank documents will serve criminal proceedings both in Switzerland and abroad.”

According to AP, FIFA said Friday's presidential election would go ahead as planned with Sepp Blatter going for a fifth term. FIFA also ruled out a revote of the World Cups won by Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

The Swiss prosecutors' office said in a statement they seized "electronic data and documents" at FIFA's headquarters on Wednesday as part of their probe. And Swiss police said they will question 10 FIFA executive committee members who took part in the World Cup votes in December 2010.

Bloomberg also reports that the choice of Qatar, the world’s richest country per capita, and Russia was made following a campaign that was overshadowed by claims of vote rigging. An investigation carried out on FIFA’s behalf by former U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia ruled last year that though there were examples of wrongdoing, nothing was found that would require a re-vote. Garcia rejected the ruling and quit.

As many as half the FIFA membership that decided where the World Cup should be played have faced accusations of breaching regulations. Qatar and Russia have denied their bid teams acted improperly. “It is suspected that irregularities occurred in the allocation of the FIFA World Cups of 2018 and 2022,” the Swiss authorites said in the statement. “The corresponding unjust enrichment is suspected to have taken place at least partly in Switzerland.”

Among those charged by the Justice Department include Jeffrey Webb, the head of the regional soccer body for North and Central America and the Caribbean, and Jack Warner, his predecessor. Mr. Webb is also a FIFA vice president.

According to the WSJ, the 47-count indictment accuses two generations of soccer officials of working with sports marketing executives to shut out competitors and keep lucrative contracts for themselves.

Prosecutors said U.S. and South American sports marketing executives paid more than $150 million in bribes and kickbacks to FIFA officials to obtain media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments.

Authorities said they obtained 6 guilty pleas, including from Charles Blazer, the former general secretary of regional body Concacaf, and Mr. Warner’s son Daryll.

According to the indictment, the alleged bribes affected the awarding of rights around World Cup qualifiers and other Concacaf tournaments, including in Brazil. Prosecutors said it also affected the selection of the host country for the 2010 World Cup, which took place in South Africa.


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Blatter had been scheduled to attend a meeting of the Confederation of African Football in a different downtown Zurich hotel, but he canceled his appearance.

Blatter's only opponent in Friday's presidential election, Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan, said it was "a sad day for football," but declined to comment further.


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The full list of indicted officials and executives

Nine of the defendants were FIFA officials by operation of the FIFA statutes, as well as officials of one or more other bodies:

- Jeffrey Webb: Current FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, Caribbean Football Union (CFU) executive committee member and Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA) president.

- Eduardo Li: Current FIFA executive committee member-elect, CONCACAF executive committee member and Costa Rican soccer federation (FEDEFUT) president.

- Julio Rocha: Current FIFA development officer.  Former Central American Football Union (UNCAF) president and Nicaraguan soccer federation (FENIFUT) president.

- Costas Takkas: Current attaché to the CONCACAF president.  Former CIFA general secretary.

- Jack Warner: Former FIFA vice president and executive committee member, CONCACAF president, CFU president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser.

- Eugenio Figueredo: Current FIFA vice president and executive committee member.  Former CONMEBOL president and Uruguayan soccer federation (AUF) president.

- Rafael Esquivel: Current CONMEBOL executive committee member and Venezuelan soccer federation (FVF) president.

- José Maria Marin: Current member of the FIFA organizing committee for the Olympic football tournaments.  Former CBF president.

- Nicolás Leoz: Former FIFA executive committee member and CONMEBOL president.


Four of the defendants were sports marketing executives:

- Alejandro Burzaco: Controlling principal of Torneos y Competencias S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina, and its affiliates.

- Aaron Davidson: President of Traffic Sports USA Inc. (Traffic USA).

- Hugo and Mariano Jinkis: Controlling principals of Full Play Group S.A., a sports marketing business based in Argentina, and its affiliates.


And one of the defendants was in the broadcasting business but allegedly served as an intermediary to facilitate illicit payments between sports marketing executives and soccer officials:

- José Margulies:  Controlling principal of Valente Corp. and Somerton Ltd.


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More details in the DOJ indictment

Nine FIFA Officials and Five Corporate Executives Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Corruption:

The Defendants Include Two Current FIFA Vice Presidents and the Current and Former Presidents of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF); Seven Defendants Arrested Overseas; Guilty Pleas for Four Individual Defendants and Two Corporate Defendants Also Unsealed

A 47-count indictment was unsealed early this morning in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, charging 14 defendants with racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracies, among other offenses, in connection with the defendants’ participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer.  The guilty pleas of four individual defendants and two corporate defendants were also unsealed today.

The defendants charged in the indictment include high-ranking officials of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the organization responsible for the regulation and promotion of soccer worldwide, as well as leading officials of other soccer governing bodies that operate under the FIFA umbrella.  Jeffrey Webb and Jack Warner – the current and former presidents of CONCACAF, the continental confederation under FIFA headquartered in the United States – are among the soccer officials charged with racketeering and bribery offenses.  The defendants also include U.S. and South American sports marketing executives who are alleged to have systematically paid and agreed to pay well over $150 million in bribes and kickbacks to obtain lucrative media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments.

Full indicment here: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/nine-fifa-officials-and-five-corporate-executives-indicted-racketeering-conspiracy-and


And now we just sit back and wait to see how many of the defendants sent tens of millions in "donations" to the Clinton Foundation and how many speeches Hillary and/or Bill gave at the Baur au Lac in the past two decades.


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Finalmente, fíjense cómo lo cuenta el sitio web Moon of Alabama (manejado por analistas de inteligencia, lo que no necesariamente es una buena cosa):


Título: Ahead Of Israel Expulsion Vote U.S. Orders Raid On FIFA

Texto: Today the U.S. ordered Swiss police to raid, incarcerate and extradite to the U.S. six FIFA officials for alleged corruption. The raid, with obviously pre-alarmed New York Times reporters on the scene, comes shortly before a FIFA vote to expel Israel from the association.

This Friday the world football association FIFA is meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, for its 65th regular World Congress. One of the votes on the agenda (pdf) is about the "Suspension or expulsion of a member". There is also an "Update on Israel-Palestine".

The Palestinian Football Association has called for a vote to suspend Israel from FIFA:

The Palestinian group objects to Israeli teams playing in the West Bank. They also say Israel restricts movements of Palestinian players between the West Bank and Gaza as well as for international matches.

"They keep bullying here and there, and I think they have no right to keep being the bully of the neighborhood," Palestinian Football Association President Jibril Rajoub said of Israel. "If the Israelis are using the issue of security, I can say that their security concern is mine. I am ready to fix parameters for security concerns, but security should not be used ... as a tool in order to keep this racist, apartheid policies."

He declared the situation in the West Bank far worse than apartheid that existed in South Africa because right-wingers and extremists in Israel want to "delete Palestine." In the 1960s, FIFA suspended South Africa for decades after it failed to comply with the association's nondiscrimination policies. The nation was also expelled from FIFA a month after the Soweto Youth Uprising of 1976.

"I am not asking for the suspension of the Israeli association; I am asking to end the suffering of the Palestinian footballers," Rajoub said. "I am asking to end the grievances, the humiliation we are facing."


The vote requires a 75% majority of the 209 FIFA members. There was a good chance that it was going to be successful.

But now, just by chance, the U.S. government ordered the Swiss police to raid the hotel where the main FIFA functionaries are residing to arrest some of them on corruption charges going back to the early 1990s. The U.S. wants these to be extradited to face a U.S. court.

Also, just by chance, reporters and photographers of the New York Times happen to be in that very Swiss hotel lobby, at 6 am, to capture the incident live:

As leaders of FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, gathered for their annual meeting, more than a dozen plain-clothed Swiss law enforcement officials arrived unannounced at the Baur au Lac hotel, an elegant five-star property with views of the Alps and Lake Zurich. They went to the front desk to get keys and proceeded upstairs to the rooms.
...
The charges allege widespread corruption in FIFA over the past two decades, involving bids for World Cups as well as marketing and broadcast deals, according to three law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the case. The charges include wire fraud, racketeering and money laundering, and officials said they targeted members of FIFA’s powerful executive committee, which wields enormous power and does its business largely in secret.


While some of the indicted persons are U.S. citizens one wonders what contorted maneuvers the U.S. justice department will make to claim jurisdiction over foreign national FIFA functionaries:

United States law gives the Justice Department wide authority to bring cases against foreign nationals living abroad, an authority that prosecutors have used repeatedly in international terrorism cases. Those cases can hinge on the slightest connection to the United States, like the use of an American bank or Internet service provider.


Is there corruption involved when FIFA decides to run the World Championship in this or that country? Are there kickbacks when it sells media rights? Might there be gambling going on in the casino?

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds? Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! [a croupier hands Renault a pile of money] Croupier: Your winnings, sir. Captain Renault: Oh, thank you very much.

Additional to their U.S. ordered raid the Swiss also feel compelled to open criminal proceedings around the 2018 and 2022 World Cup FIFA votes. The U.S. lost out against Russia and Qatar in its bid for those games and U.S. hawks still want to change that. It is not that paying bribes to be chosen for world games is unfamiliar to the U.S., but being rejected necessitates regime change at the top of the responsible organization.

In the United States it is legal to bribe politicians, via campaign financing, in practically unlimited amounts. Not one U.S. banker has been indicted for the massive Wall Street fraud that brought the world economy to a halt. The world is aware of this and it does not like the U.S. to lecture it about moral outrages. FIFA, while certainly corrupt, is also the soul of world football and the organizer of the most beloved championship in the world. If the U.S. believes that using something similar to terrorism charges against FIFA will have a positive echo in the world it is very mistaken.

Especially as the just by chance motive for this is pretty obvious. As an Israeli journalist already gloats:

Anshel Pfeffer: Poor Jibril Rajoub. Doesn't look like his gimmick is going to get much attention right now #FIFA


Let me guess: That was a main purpose of this raid?


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Actualización

Para entender esta noticia hay que hacerse antes una pregunta: ¿qué carajo le importan a los EEUU las corrupciones de unos cuantos chorros del fútbol, un deporte que no llega ni al quinto lugar en las preferencias del público de ese país? O, para ponerlo en el tono más educadito del siempre obediente diario La Nación:


"Por qué Estados Unidos realizó la demanda y puede pedir la extradición. La Justicia de los Estados Unidos plantea que los delitos fueron cometidos, en varios lugares, entre ellos territorios norteamericanos (por contratos comerciales desde la década de 1990 hasta hoy, para torneos de fútbol en Estados Unidos y América Latina), además argumentan que los pagos se realizaron mediante bancos norteamericanos, por eso los siete detenidos, acusados de aceptar sobornos por más de 100 millones de dólares desde los años 90, se enfrentan a una demanda de extradición a ese país."

Desde "los años 90" !!! A eso llamo yo una pausada investigación!!!


Nada, chicos, no les importa un carajo. La motivación es política. A la sugerencia de Moon of Alabama yo agregaría dos bonus track: (a) joder a los rusos (ahora todos los dirigentes del fútbol del planeta van a jurar que Vladimir Putin les puso una pistola en la cabeza para que el próximo mundial se juegue en Rusia), y (b) joder a los qataríes (ahí se me escapan las motivaciones; algo habrán hecho, seguro).


Actualización 2:

Impresionante la falta de neuronas del periodismo argentino, para no mencionar al periodismo deportivo. Aparece otro bonus track: (c) ¿Golpe de estado a Blatter?

Toda esta maniobra FIFA, como así también el manejo periodístico posterior, parece orquestada. Objetivos múltiples. Tufillo a opereta Wikileak. 

Ampliaremos.

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