Newsdesk - Blatter Reveals Role in ISL Report; UEFA Continues Additional Assistant Referees
July 12, 2012
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, a.k.a. "P1" (Getty Images)
Blatter Explains Role in ISL Report
FIFA president Sepp Blatter says times were different when his predecessor Joao Havelange took millions of dollars in kickbacks as part of the infamous ISL marketing scandal.
“Back then, such payments could even be deducted from tax as a business expense,” he said Thursday.
“You can’t judge the past on the basis of today’s standards.”
His comments come in a “Five questions for…” feature posted to FIFA’s website a day after Switzerland’s supreme court ordered the release of documents identifying which two senior officials received said “commission” – as Blatter calls the almost $22 million in question – from world football’s now-defunct marketing partner.
Named in the file are Havelange and his former son-in-law, Ricardo Teixeira, who quit his posts as Brazil 2014 president and Brazil football confederation chief over corruption allegations a few months ago.
Though Blatter himself is not named, the FIFA president confirmed Thursday he is indeed the person referred to as “P1” – a significant admission considering the report’s assertion that whether FIFA and “P1” had knowledge of the kickbacks was “not questioned”.
Also admitted by Blatter is his inability to strip Havelange of his honorary role within world football’s governing body.
“I don’t have the power to call him to account,” the FIFA president said.
“The Congress named him as Honorary President. Only the Congress can decide his future.”
Additional Referees for UEFA
UEFA will employ additional assistant referees for play-off matches of the 2012/13 Champions League, the group stage of the 2012/13 Europa League and the 2012 Super Cup.
Thursday’s announcement comes a week after the International Football Association Board unanimously approved an amendment to the Laws of the Game allowing for such personnel.
“In essence, the additional assistant referees provide two extra pairs of eyes to monitor the game and ensure that the Laws of the Game are upheld,” UEFA said in a statement.
“They inform the referee of incidents of any kind that he may otherwise have missed, particularly in key areas of the field like the penalty area and its surroundings. The referee will remain in sole charge of the match, and the only match official with decision-making powers.”
The decision follows two years of experimenting with additional assistant referees in several UEFA competitions, most recently Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
By INSIDER's Matthew Grayson
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