Tuesday, November 18, 2014

FIFA cannot break its own rules (except when it suits FIFA to do so)

"Once again, we have examined this matter very, very carefully from a legal point of view. The result was clear: if FIFA were to publish the report, we would be violating our own association law as well as state law. The people who are demanding in the media and elsewhere that FIFA publish the report are obviously of the opinion that FIFA should or must ignore the law in this regard. We obviously cannot do that."

The above is a direct quote attributed to FIFA President Sepp Blatter in the statement released today in his answer to the fifth question on FIFA's own website. This statement makes it very clear that in the opinion of President Blatter, FIFA cannot violate its own association law.

I find this interesting, given what I read in Section 4.1.3 (Bid Books) in the 42-page report released by Judge Eckert.

A binding legal character.

More than empty promises.

So what was in Qatar's bid?


"Fans, players and officials will be able to enjoy cool and comfortable open-air conditions, not exceeding 27 degrees Celsius, it added."

There was no mention of playing the tournament at any time other than June or July, because everyone accepted that, as Sepp Blatter put it:

"... they (other bidding countries) signed the exact same bidding documents (the bid registration agreement) as Qatar did, must know that point 1.2.1. stipulates that the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup is 'scheduled to take place' in June and/or July of 2022 'in principle'. (My italics)

So what does 'in principle' mean? Here's a definition from dictionary.com.

In case that's not clear enough, here's another one.

So "scheduled to take place in June/and or July of 2022 in principle" means the tournament must be held in those two months. The details of which particular days in June and July are left to the host nation to decide.

So when President Blatter added, "It does not say that it 'must' take place in those months. What the document does, is express FIFA's wish to host the World Cup in June or July," he was either wrong or (more likely) being deliberately misleading.

He has, of course, since made numerous statements that the 2022 World Cup Finals will not be held in June and July.

How does this fit in with the claim in today's statement that FIFA cannot violate it's own law?

President Blatter loves to use the convenience of the law, but only when it suits his own purposes.