Friday, June 12, 2015

FIFA: EU Parliament Damning Sepp Blatter For Throwing The Game Into Disrepute, Call For Him To Go Now, Support ''New FIFA Now'' Campaign. (VIDEO and Full Resolution)

At yesterday's Plenary Assembly in Strasbourg MEPs called for FIFA President Sepp Blatter to step down immediately, dismissing his claims of sporadic corruption and declares invalid 2018 and 2022 World Cup decisions if corruption is proved.

The EU Parliament furthermore ''expresses its long-held view that corruption within FIFA is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted, and believes the organisation has seriously damaged the integrity of global football, having a devastating impact from the top echelons of professional football to the amateur grassroots clubs''.

Meanwhile the FIFA President has called for an Extraordinary ExCo Meeting on July 20th to define the Dec. 2015 new President Election.


LONDON. The world football corruption scandal and Blatter resignation prompted a passionate debate on the future of FIFA and the ‘beautiful game’ at the Strasbourg's European Parliament yesterday.

In a damning report the EU members of Parliament adopted a text that dismisses Sepp Blatter claims of sporadic and uncontrollable corruption and formulate the grave and in footballing terms 'mortal' allegations of having thrown the Game,in its both professional and amateur expressions, in disrepute.

In an voted but non legislative resolution passed by show of hands and released by the institutional website today, the note express the following concerns;

''The European Parliament regrets that recent corruption allegations against the international football federation FIFA have seriously damaged the credibility and the integrity of global football. In a resolution voted on Thursday, MEPs call for a zero-tolerance policy on corruption in football, underlining that in-depth structural reforms within the organisation are now urgently needed''.

Parliament welcomes Joseph Blatter's resignation as FIFA president and calls on the federation to select an interim leader to replace him. FIFA should put in place a transparent, balanced and democratic decision-making process, including for the election of the new president, the resolution adds.

2018 and 2022 World Cup decisions invalid if corruption is proved

The resolution stresses that all officials involved in financial misconduct should be dismissed and any decisions that are linked to corrupt or criminal activities should be reviewed.

MEPs underline the importance of the investigation by Swiss and US authorities into the award of the 1998, 2010, 2018 and 2022 World Cup tournaments to France, South Africa, Russia and Qatar. They welcome the statement by the head of FIFA's Audit and Compliance Committee that the award of the World Cup for 2018 and 2022 could be invalidated if evidence emerges that the awards only came about as a result of corrupt activities.

Ethical standards should be monitored by an independent body

MEPs consider that since corruption within FIFA is "rampant, systemic and deep-rooted", the football federation should undertake wide-ranging reforms, including a review of its statutes, structure, code and operational policies. The federation should improve its transparency and accountability, in particular with regard to the decision-making process and the remuneration of its executive and senior management. It should also establish term limits and independent due diligence for members of FIFA's Executive Committee, the text underlines.

MEPs urge FIFA to implement strict ethical standards and a code of conduct for its management and Executive Committee, to be supervised by an independent monitoring body.

EU and member states should cooperate fully with investigations

MEPs urge the EU and its member states to cooperate fully with all ongoing and future investigations on corrupt practices within FIFA. They should enhance law enforcement cooperation through joint investigation teams and cooperation between prosecution authorities and take all appropriate measures to tackle any possible indication of corruption of FIFA officials on EU territory, says the text.

Since 2006 we have been calling for FIFA to avoid to throw the Game into disrepute and finally our cry has been proved. Million of fans everywhere in the world were let down by unfair decisions in the world football major tournament such as the shameful 2002 World Cup.

What we had call was major honesty and integrity in the whole football world; from the illegal forms of doping forced on young and hopeful players, to the slowing creeping malaise of betting, to the immoral and corrupted standard of refereeing and finally to the big string pullers of all, the mighty FIFA. 

With latest reports coming from the USA pointing to that even last year's World Cup Brazil might have had shocking corruption issues like the match fixing of Brazil 1-7 Germany semi-final and with investigation recurring into further digging into the outcomes of World Cup Korea and Japan scandalous matches which involved referee Byron Moreno. 

The adopted text resolution in full 

The European Parliament,

–    having regard to the Commission’s EU Anti-Corruption Report of 3 February 2014 (COM(2014)0038),
–    having regard to the Commission communication of 6 June 2011 entitled ‘Fighting Corruption in the EU’ (COM(2011)0308),
–    having regard to Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing[1],
–    having regard to the Commission communication of 18 January 2011 entitled ‘Developing the European Dimension in Sport’ (COM(2011)0012),
–    having regard to its resolution of 2 February 2012 on the European dimension in sport[2],
–    having regard to the Commission White Paper on Sport of 11 July 2007 (COM(2007)0391),
–    having regard to the resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council of 21 May 2014 on the European Union Work Plan for Sport 2014-2017,
–    having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2013 on match-fixing and corruption in sport[3],
–    having regard to the Resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe of 23 April 2015 on the reform of football governance,
–    having regard to the new sport programme under Erasmus+, and in particular its objective of tackling cross-border threats to the integrity of sport, such as doping, match-fixing and violence, together with all forms of intolerance and discrimination, and to promote and support good governance in sport,
–    having regard to the ‘Stockholm Programme – An open and secure Europe serving and protecting citizens’,
–    having regard to Article 2 of the FIFA Statute, which establishes among the objectives of FIFA: ‘to promote integrity, ethics and fair play with a view to preventing all methods or practices, such as corruption, doping or match manipulation, which might jeopardise the integrity of matches, competitions, Players, Officials and Members or give rise to abuse of Association Football’,
–    having regard to Michael Garcia’s report into the controversial 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process, which FIFA agreed to publish in December 2014,
–    having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas 14 FIFA officials, including its Vice-President, were arrested on 27 May 2015 by Swiss authorities in Zurich; whereas the arrests were made at the request of the US Department of Justice on the basis of charges of money laundering, racketeering, fraud, and bribery in excess of USD 150 million;

B.   whereas a separate criminal investigation into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar respectively has also been initiated by the Swiss and US authorities;

C.  whereas FIFA has operated for many years as an unaccountable, opaque and notoriously corrupt organisation; whereas the recent arrests confirm that the fraud and corruption in FIFA are systemic, widespread and persistent rather than involving isolated cases of misconduct, as claimed by former FIFA President Joseph Blatter;

D.  whereas despite the arrests and charges made against FIFA executives and the crisis engulfing the organisation, Joseph Blatter was re-elected on 29 May 2015 as FIFA President for a fifth term; whereas the re-election of Joseph Blatter as president and the decision not to publish the findings of the Garcia report into the selection of Russia and Qatar as hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups respectively show that FIFA has been acting in an irresponsible and unaccountable way and has remained unwilling to reform or to make the changes needed to improve the governance of international football;

E.   whereas the resignation of Joseph Blatter and the arrest of FIFA officials have created the conditions for radical reform of FIFA’s structures and practices with a view to improving its governance and fighting corruption in the organisation, which must take place as a matter of urgency;

F.   whereas the integrity of sports organisations is of great importance, since both professional and amateur sport play a key role in the global promotion of peace, respect for human rights and solidarity, bring health and economic benefits for societies and have an essential role in highlighting fundamental educational and cultural values and promoting social inclusion;

G.  whereas Tibor Navracsics, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, in his statement of 3 June 2015, condemned the latest developments within FIFA and called for the ‘restoration of trust and the establishment of a solid system of good governance at FIFA’;

H.  whereas the Commission and the Council have recognised the need for a partnership between football’s governing bodies and public authorities for the good governance of the game, which respects the self-regulatory nature of professional sport and which has led to the structured dialogue on sport;

I.    whereas transparency, accountability and democracy – in other words, good governance – in sports organisations are prerequisites for such a self-regulatory regime, and for the sports movement to prevent and fight fraud and corruption in sport effectively and at a structural level;

J.    whereas Parliament has previously called on football’s governing bodies to establish greater democracy, transparency, legitimacy and accountability (i.e. financial auditing by an independent auditing authority) and good governance, and has asked the Commission to provide guidance as to how legitimate and adequate self-regulation can be supported;

K.  whereas, if not addressed urgently and properly, corruption may continue to undermine trust in sports institutions and threaten the integrity of sport as a whole;

L.   whereas the fight against corruption is one of the priorities of the Stockholm Programme, which is guiding the Commission’s actions in the field of justice and home affairs;

M.  whereas sport also represents a large and fast-growing sector of the EU economy and makes an important contribution to growth and jobs, with value-added and employment effects exceeding average growth rates;

MEPs Calls

1.   Condemns the systemic and despicable corruption exposed at FIFA and puts on record its view that these allegations are far from surprising;

2.   Calls on sports organisations, the Member States and the EU to cooperate fully with all ongoing and future investigations into allegations of corrupt practices within FIFA;

3.   Underlines the utmost importance of the investigation by the Swiss and US justice authorities into the decision by FIFA’s Executive Committee to award the World Cup for 1998, 2010, 2018 and 2022 to France, South Africa, Russia and Qatar respectively;

4.   Highlights the importance of ensuring that the follow-up investigation into past corruption practices within FIFA includes, wherever justified, the removal of all officials involved in financial misconduct, and a review of decisions linked to corrupt or criminal activities; calls for the EU to monitor this process closely and to enable the necessary conditions for an unbiased external investigation; welcomes the statement by the head of FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee that the award of the World Cup for 2018 and 2022 could be invalidated if evidence emerges that the awards only came about as a result of corrupt activities;

5.   Condemns FIFA’s failure to publish the Garcia Report in full, which it agreed to in December 2014 but has thus far failed to do, and calls on FIFA to do so forthwith;

6.   Recalls the importance of having clear and transparent rules for the awarding of World Cups, and of ensuring the establishment of adequate information and supervision machinery, in order to make sure that this procedure guarantees equality between bidding countries and a final decision based strictly on the merit of their projects;

7.   Calls on all international sports organisations to ensure that any country bidding to host a major sporting event undertakes, in relation to all activities linked with the organisation and conduct of the event, to abide by international standards in respect of fundamental rights;

8. Expresses concern about the situation of migrant workers in Qatar building infrastructure for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, including: the kafala system, which constitutes forced labour, dangerous working conditions, being forced to work in extreme heat six days a week, and being forced to live in overcrowded and squalid labour camps; calls on Qatar to ratify, legislate for, and enforce fundamental labour rights and the UN’s International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families;

9.   Stresses that corruption and money laundering are intrinsically linked and a large number of Member States have been affected by match-fixing and other financial crimes often related to criminal organisations operating on an international scale;

10. Commends the investigative journalism that raised serious concerns over corruption within FIFA and the World Cup bidding process; in this regard, encourages all sports organisations to establish an effective regulatory framework to both facilitate and protect whistle-blowers;

11. Expresses its long-held view that corruption within FIFA is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted, and believes the organisation has seriously damaged the integrity of global football, having a devastating impact from the top echelons of professional football to the amateur grassroots clubs;

12. Strongly underlines that football, as the world’s most popular sport, must not be tarnished by this culture of corruption and should be protected from, rather than stigmatised by, current developments within FIFA;

13. Reiterates the profound positive social impact of football and sport in general on the daily lives of millions of citizens and, in particular, young people;

14. Welcomes Joseph Blatter’s resignation as FIFA’s president, and the criminal investigations currently being conducted; urges FIFA’s Executive Committee to implement structural reforms in order to bring transparency and accountability and to guarantee open, balanced and democratic decision-making processes within FIFA, including in the election process of the new president, and a zero-tolerance policy on corruption in sport;

15. Expresses serious concern, however, that the credibility of FIFA, as world football’s governing body, and the urgent reforms required, cannot begin in earnest until a new leadership is appointed, which, under FIFA regulations, might not happen for a further nine months; therefore calls on FIFA to select, in a transparent and inclusive way, an appropriate interim leader to replace Joseph Blatter forthwith;

16. Recalls that good governance in sport is a precondition for the autonomy and self-regulation of sports organisations, in accordance with the principles of transparency, accountability and democracy, and stresses the need for a zero-tolerance policy on corruption in sport; underlines the need for appropriate representation of all stakeholders in the decision-making process, and notes that best practice from other sports organisations can be adopted;

17. Calls for an unrestrained commitment from FIFA to a thorough review of past and present decisions and for complete transparency going forward, including in respect of the remuneration of executive and senior management, with a view to establishing internal self-regulatory procedures and effective detection, investigation and sanctioning mechanisms;

18. Believes this review should cover FIFA’s statutes, structure, codes and operational policies and practices, the introduction of term limits and independent due diligence for members of the Executive Committee, including the president, and an external and fully independent financial audit assessing the reliability of its financial statements;

19. Urges FIFA to implement strict ethical standards and a code of conduct for its management and Executive Committee, to be supervised by an independent monitoring body;

20. Calls upon all sports governing bodies to commit to good governance practices and increasing transparency in order to reduce the risk of falling victim to corruption; recommends in this regard a better observance of gender balance when appointing members to the boards and executive committees of all organisations, especially so as to recall that sports, and especially football, are not only a closed prerogative of men; believes that opening up would mean a gain in transparency;

21. Calls on all contracted sponsors and broadcasters to demand and support the reform process within FIFA by making public pronouncements against corruption in sport, and to follow up their words with continued pressure;

22. Asks UEFA and the national football associations to step up their own efforts to push for the implementation of fundamental reform measures within FIFA, and in particular the recommendations set out in this resolution, both directly and through the agency of their representatives in the FIFA Executive Committee and national football associations, by the end of 2016;

23. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up and prioritise work and actions on good governance within the EU Work Plan for sport and to make sure that national sports associations are fully involved in acting towards better governance at European and international level;

24. Calls on the Commission, in coordination with the Member States and in cooperation with Interpol, Europol and Eurojust, to take all appropriate measures, including effective enforcement, to tackle any indication of corruption by FIFA and national football association officials on EU territory, and to enhance European law enforcement cooperation through joint investigation teams and cooperation between prosecution authorities;

25. Stresses that, in view of the transnational nature of corruption in sport, efforts to fight it require more effective cooperation among all stakeholders, including public authorities, law enforcement agencies, the sports industry, athletes and supporters, while emphasis should also be given to education and preventive action in this area;

26. Welcomes the new sport programme under Erasmus+, which supports transnational educational projects that tackle cross-border threats to the integrity and ethics of sport, such as doping, match-fixing and violence, together with all forms of intolerance and discrimination, and aims to promote and support good governance in sport;

27. Calls on the Member States and on sports federations to inform and educate sportspeople and consumers adequately, starting from a young age and at all levels of sport, both amateur and professional; encourages sports organisations to establish and persist with comprehensive prevention and education programmes entailing clear obligations for clubs, leagues and federations, in particular with regard to minors;

28. Welcomes the recent agreement on the 4th Anti-Money-Laundering Directive and supports the proactive use of all means provided for within the new legislation to tackle this issue; calls on the Commission to consistently monitor EU anti-money-laundering legislation to ensure that it is sufficient to fight against corruption in sport and ensure scrutiny of EU-registered sports governing bodies and their officials;

29. Insists that the fight against corruption with regard to the governance of FIFA must also be accompanied by clear commitments and measures on the part of FIFA, the EU, the Member States and other stakeholders against other crimes affecting sports organisations, in particular match-fixing, which are often related to organised crime operating on an international scale;

30. Stresses the need for all future reforms within professional sport, and football in particular, to include substantial provisions protecting the rights of athletes, trainers and teams; underlines, in this connection, the importance of addressing third-party ownership of players in European sport;

31. Supports the call of the New FIFA Now campaign for the establishment of an independent, non-governmental FIFA Reform Commission, to be overseen by an independent international authority;

32. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), the European Football Association (UEFA), the national football associations, the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), the European Club Association (ECA) and the International Federation of Professional Footballers’ Associations (FIFPRO).

[1]     OJ L 141, 5.6.2015, p. 73.
[2]     OJ C 239 E, 20.8.2013, p. 46.
[3]     Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0098.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

EU LIFESTYLE: New Year's Resolutions Time Is Approaching, So Why Not Considering Watching This ''Truth About Fat'', VIDEO?

Meanwhile USA paranoiac drive toward violations of EU and other countries visiting citizens rights have gone too far.


LONDON. When not arresting and fingerprinting EU Citizens travelling with a regular VISA under false pretences at their US Borders and then not even bothering to redress the wrongdoings (See story: Are The USA Gone Bananas?) our dear fellows friends Americans can still produce interesting analysis for us - 'commoners second class  mortals' living outside their 'Wild West' and world colonisation dreams - like this nice TIME video and the article below over the reasons why over a certain age people start losing their shapes - when not their minds - and should do a list of actions to follow up to keep their health, confidence and respect of themselves.

11 Reasons Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat | TIME:

EUROPA TODAY: From the Publishers of 1st Interactive Journal. Established 1992. Copyright 2008-2014 C.S.E. Limited. All rights reserved. Unauthorised reproductions of any part forbidden.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

FOOTBALL EXCLUSIVE: A Good €uropean - ESTONIA Women's Coach KEITH BOANAS Interview - Part One

The ESTONIA Women boss and former Charlton Athletic LFC manager talked
exclusively with THE FOOTBALL REPORT about his achievements in the
English FA Women's League, the ENGLAND Women's job and about the next
FIFA Women's World Cup dangers. (Part One) 

Estonia Women Manager Keith Boanas with FA's Sir Trevor Brooking  /Pict.: Estonia WFA

 by Richard IV

at St Georges' Park

BURTON-Upon-TRENT. ''I am over here'' Keith Boanas beckoned me over with an endearing smile from his lobby's armchair as I glanced around for him in the entrance hall of the Hilton hotel yesterday at St. Georges’ Park, the English FA's dream coaching facilities situated in the leafy and breathtaking Burton-upon-Trent woodlands just inside the National Forest, on the occasion of the annual Football Association 2014 Licensed Coaches Club Conference.


The Englishman like many other countrymen and good Europeans, has set his career on the same path as Three Lions' manager Roy Hodgson by piling up international experience on the Continent, in the cold Baltic shores of Estonia except with the opposite genders sports side - in the now globally booming game of women's football.


Likewise Hodgson, who coached in the past Switzerland, Finland and Inter Milan FC, Boanas has been transparent in coveting the desire to return home being an opening for the England job but after being short listed in the recent search for Hope Powell's successor the Three Lionesses job went quite surprisingly to young Welshman Mark Sampson, 31, who headed the Swansea FC Centre of Excellence during the Roberto Martinez time  and who then managed the rise of the Bristol Academy ladies to two FA's Women FA Cup finals and concluded his term as runners-up to Liverpool Ladies in last year's FA's Women Super League championship.


''Sir Trevor Brooking, (pictured above recently with Keith Boanas) the former FA's technical director who retired recently and in charge of the decision one year ago, felt to send me a letter of apologies'' said the Estonia FA Women's boss who seemed aggrieved by the decision and that his managerial track record of successes was overlooked.


The management career of Keith Boanas started in men football with Non-League Ryman League Tooting & Mitcham United FC before stepping into women's football when offered the Charlton Athletic FC Girls and
Women programme role. 


The Boanas masterpiece has been to accomplish an Herculean feat almost single-handed, with a largely amateurial structure, as he took Charlton Athletic FC Ladies firstly to a double FA Women's League Cup triumph and then to a FA Women's Community Shield success alongside three seasons title's runners up in the FA Women's Premier League final standings as well as reaching four times the pinnacle of the FA Women's Cup final and conquering the 'holy grail' at the third attempt in 2005 but alas sadly a beaten finalist in 2007.


The Londoner's had in their ranks England players like goalkeeper Pauline Cope (now his wife) and captain and Olympic Team GB captain Casey Stoney, plus current Lioness Fara Williams (coached by Boanas as a youngster and who joined from Chelsea LFC) and the striker Eniola Aluko, now in her full maturity, who can still do marvels for England.


Boanas took the club to a level never reached since, breaking up the overwhelming domination and stronghold in those years of women's football professional clubs like Arsenal Ladies FC and Fulham LFC which
fielded striker legends like Marianne Spacey and Norwegian sensation Marianne Pettersen.


Keith Boanas, besides his international coaching duties also maintains a solid foothold in The Football Association's members structure as President and Technical Director of one of its richest Counties, the
Surrey County FA Coaching Association, a job that makes the homeland's distance sweeter. He still feels honored and humbled to have the privilege of following the late great Sir Bobby Robson in this role.


The manager had however already fallen once for the White Cliffs sirens' chants by agreeing in January 2013 to manage the WSL outfit Lincoln Ladies FC but he changed his mind when the Estonia FA offered him a new


''My name turned up again this summer when the Arsenal Ladies job was up for the grab but after asking for my CV I heard nothing afterwards until I was told they went for a Spanish guy'' Boanas  reveals with a bit of
disappointment - however he then adds to have been recently lined up by another WSL club, the Sunderland Ladies FC.


After the Three Lionesses disastrous debut at Wembley last month, trashed 3-0 by the European Champions and next summer's Canada World Cup favourites Germany, there were eyebrows raised over the new managements  efficiency. ''Have England improved since Hope Powell's departure?'' I asked.


''They have'' replied a convinced Boanas ''Hope (Powell) lately lacked players' management'. 'She had somehow only heart and passion for her players'' he said calmly ''She had her favourites and the changing room was split'' he continued ''That's the reason why players like Leanne Sanderson couldn't find space'' he said.


I then asked him about last Saturday's 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Draw as he was recently quoted in the media to be against the controversial deployment of synthetic turf instead of natural grass pitches in  next
summer's competition. ''Are you still against it?''


''I was partially misquoted on that'' he said ''We are normally using regularly 3/4G pitches in Estonia during the indoor winter training and also in the regular season but in the long range my experience has witnessed a consistent rise of knee, ankle and lower back injures’. ’However Canada's cold winter lead to synthetic grass pitches deployment for indoor training sessions so presumably those pitches were required by the World Cup organisers as a precondition or mandatory clause to host the FIFA tournament'' said Boanas. 


Shouldthat be an unfair advantage then for the Canadian team considering the overwhelming majority of the World Cup finalist teams have scarce confidence with the surface? ''Could that fact alter the normality and
outcome of the next World Cup?'' I asked.


''It is unlikely so'' was the sharp answer from Boanas ''Canada have been strong challengers in the past (they still rue over a controversial defeat against 2011 World Cup host, Germany) and I am an admirer of their meticulous and very competent coach who will already be analysing opponents' videos and carrying out a detailed study on them'' continued Boanas in emphasising how no stones will be left unturned by the
Canadian team management as they have an historic chance to grab their first 'soccer' world crown.

(End of Part I)

The Football Report: From the Publishers of 1st Interactive Journal. Established 1992. Copyright 2005 -2014 C.S.E. Limited. All rights reserved. Unauthorised reproductions of any part forbidden.

The FOOTBALL REPORT: SOCCER: EXCLUSIVE - A Good €uropean - ESTONIA Women's Coach KEITH BOANAS Interview - Part One