FIFA ethics committee bans Valcke for 12 years

first_imgGENEVA (AP):Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter’s long-time right-hand man, was banned from all football-related activity for 12 years yesterday for misconduct during his term as FIFA secretary general.Valcke was found guilty by FIFA’s ethics committee of wide-ranging offenses, including taking private jets for personal use, destroying evidence and trying to force through an undervalued sale of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup television rights for the Caribbean.”Mr Valcke acted against FIFA’s best interests and caused considerable financial damage to FIFA, while his private and personal interests detracted him from his ability to properly perform his duties,” the ethics committee said in a statement.Valcke’s ban is four years longer than the eight-year sanctions handed down to FIFA President Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini in December for a financial conflict of interest.The ethics judges said Valcke violated seven sections of FIFA’s code of ethics, compared to four each by Blatter and Platini, and also fined him 100,000 Swiss francs (US$12.4 million).The ban is likely not the end of Valcke’s legal troubles. He is expected to be asked to give evidence to American and Swiss federal prosecutors investigating widespread corruption in international football.His football ban comes one month after the 55-year-old Frenchman was fired by FIFA for a second time in a colourful career. The former television presenter and marketing executive had been suspended last September. The firing was based on an internal report about his conduct, including use of expenses and private jets.FIFA commissioned that report last year before a 2014 World Cup ticket agent alleged that Valcke sought to profit from a black market deal which later fell through. That allegation, made by ticket agent Benny Alon, prompted Valcke’s suspension and the ethics case to be opened.Valcke has consistently denied wrongdoing, and can appeal to FIFA and later to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”With today’s decision, the FIFA ethics committee has shown that it is not a credible, independent or objective decision-making body,” Valcke’s US-based lawyer Barry Berke said in a statement, criticising an “unjust and politically motivated decision”.”Mr Valcke is confident that when all the facts come out, it will be clear that he did absolutely nothing wrong in carrying out his duties for the good of FIFA and the sport,” Berke said.last_img read more

Footballing the sugar industry

first_imgDear Editor,Reports in the media (7/4/18) about FITUG and GTUC wrangling over which minister (Agriculture or Finance) should have oversight responsibility for Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Guyana’s number one industry, is indeed a sad reflection of a major flaw in which this premier industry has been floundering for far too long.There is no doubt that the sugar industry has had too long a spell of depressing performance, about which there has been a number of diagnoses and remedies proposed by numerous ‘politicians’, ‘pundits’, ‘professionals’ and ‘pragmatists’ among us.‘Privatisation’ vs ‘Nationalisation’ vs ‘Outsourcing of the Management’ of the industry have been among the several plasters prescribed for the sore and sorry plight of the industry, and these have all been given a fair chance to prove their worth (or worthlessness!). (In similar vein, the Government-appointed CoI into the sugar industry has also made its recommendations, upon which we are still to see any action).Now, out of the blue — as the saying goes — we have a debate about which ‘minister’, not which ‘ministry’, should take control of this industry. At this rate, we may soon have the Minister of Cohesion being proposed as the most appropriate person to oversee the industry, since it appears that ‘personal’ or ‘personality’ wrangling is at the core of this poor industry’s plight!My good friend and professional colleague, Mr E.B. John, in another section of the media, identified the need for good old “team work” in the industry. It is now palpably clear that we also, or moreso, need a strong dose of decisive leadership from the very top.Mr President, may I respectfully beg for your necessarily decisive intervention? I do not have to tell you, sir, that there is too much at stake at the national level to allow this apparently ‘boyish’ wrangling to go on and for the industry to continue in an apparently rudderless mode.Sincerely,Nowrang Persaudlast_img read more

Four federal party leaders square off in feisty French language debate

first_imgMONTREAL – The separation of church and state – as well as questions about personal character – took the stage during the first French-language debate of the election campaign, the first time Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau faced off against his political rivals.The controversial Quebec secularism law, known as Bill 21, that bans some public-sector employees from wearing religious symbols in the workplace, featured prominently in the first section of the debate, along with abortion rights and same-sex marriage.Bill 21 is overwhelmingly popular among francophones in Quebec, where four federal leaders tried to make their marks with voters on Wednesday night, in a debate hosted by the private TVA television network and the Montreal newspaper Le Journal.Conservative Andrew Scheer, New Democrat Jagmeet Singh and Yves-Francois Blanchet of the Bloc Quebecois joined Trudeau on stage as they appealed to voters in a province that could hold the key to their electoral fortunes in the Oct. 21 vote.Quebec Premier Francois Legault has urged all federal party leaders to promise to stay out of the court challenges against the secularism law and none of the party leaders has called for immediate intervention in existing cases.Only Trudeau has said a government he leads might seek to intervene and he defended that position Wednesday night.“I do not want to close the door,” Trudeau said, to the federal government one day needing to defend the rights of Canadians.“Because for me, the defence of rights, be they for women, for francophones outside of Quebec – the federal government has a role to play.”Singh, who wears a turban as an expression of his Sikh faith, has said he would not intervene to challenge the law, despite opposing it.Singh sought to counter any suggestion that his personal religion would get in the way of his strong support for secularism as a public value.“I am for the separation between church and state,” said Singh, adding that he supports the rights of women to abortion, same-sex marriage and medical assistance in dying.“I will defend these rights with all my strength,” he said.Scheer said he would not impose a secularism law federally, but that he would also not intervene in the court challenges against it.The debate became heated during a discussion about the fight against climate change, where Pierre Bruneau, the news anchor moderating the debate, noted Trudeau had portrayed himself as a champion of the environment but then bought a pipeline.Last year, the Liberal government bought the Trans Mountain pipeline project from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion, after political opposition to expanding the existing pipeline between Alberta and the B.C. coast gave the company and its investors cold feet.Trudeau argued that Canada needs time to transition away from fossil fuels and into a greener economy and said the proceeds from the pipeline will help pay for the changes needed to get there.Scheer, who is in favour of building pipelines and has vowed to repeal the federal carbon tax the Liberals brought in for provinces that don’t have equivalent measures of their own, tried to undercut the Trudeau record on the environment in a different way, by noting the Liberal leader has two campaign planes.“You are a fake environmentalist,” said Scheer.Singh, meanwhile, took Scheer to task over his promise to create a national energy corridor to transport oil, gas, hydroelectricity and telecommunications from one coast to the other, which could be a tough sell in Quebec.TransCanada Corporation had proposed the $15.7-billion Energy East pipeline to bring western crude through Quebec to New Brunswick before being shipped overseas, but the company abandoned the project more than a year ago citing market changes and government red tape.The project faced a lot of opposition in Quebec and Legault has suggested that would be the case for any other proposed pipeline.Singh accused Scheer of wanting to impose a pipeline on Quebec. Blanchet also went after Scheer by demanding to know how many more years he thinks Canada will need to extract and export fossil fuels.Earlier, Scheer was put on the defensive as he was pressed by all his political rivals to elaborate on his personal views about abortion.“Quebecers can be confident that a Conservative government would not reopen this debate,” Scheer said in one of the debate’s first exchanges, with Blanchet.Scheer was pushed to clarify his stance on abortion this summer after it emerged that his Quebec lieutenant, Alain Rayes, had told candidates in the province that backbench MPs would not be allowed to bring forward any bills or motions on the issue.That goes against party policy and created confusion until Scheer, a practising Catholic who has voted in favour of restricting abortion rights in the past, said he would oppose any attempt to reopen the debate should he become prime minister.Scheer repeated that position on stage again Wednesday night, but his political rivals pressed him to go further.That included Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, who asked him directly whether he personally believes women should have the right to abortion.“I have always been open about my personal views,” Scheer said.None of the federal parties have seen much movement – either gains or losses – in opinion polls despite weeks of campaigning, which some experts attribute variously to a degree of comfort with the status quo as well as a rise in public disillusionment and strategic voting.The Liberals and Conservatives remain locked in a fight for first place, hovering around 33 per cent support nationally, but with the Liberals apparently having a small edge because so much Conservative support is concentrated in the Prairie provinces.A strong Liberal showing in Quebec, where polls show them with a small but consequential lead, could sustain the Liberals in power; a strong Conservative showing could sink them.Trudeau was able to ride a wave of unhappiness with a decade of Conservative rule under Stephen Harper to power in 2015 in an election campaign that saw the NDP start in the lead before giving way to the Tories, until voters rallied behind the Liberals to give them the win.Four years later, Trudeau’s record in office – including his broken promise on electoral reform and decision to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline – has turned off many of those same voters, especially progressives, who cast their ballots for the Liberals.Despite that disappointment with Trudeau, Christian Bourque, executive vice-president of polling firm Leger, said there does not seem to be the same overwhelming drive for change that existed in 2015, when a majority of Canadians were ready for a new direction.“So there’s this sort of comfort with the current government, even though some may be disappointed with the leader,” Bourque said. “So there’s no urge for that amount of change. And at the same time, there’s nobody convincing them of the need for change on the other side.”Of course, even though it is past the halfway mark, the election campaign is far from over and Wednesday’s French-language debate was seen as an key opportunity for the four participating leaders to talk directly to Quebecers, in particular, and start gaining some momentum.LiveInfoLiveInfoOct 310:04 AMEveryone is tired. We’re about 5 minutes away from just emotive grunting in a French accent.— Justin Ling (@Justin_Ling) October 3, 201911SHAREOct 39:52 AMScheer attacks Trudeau on ethics in SNC Lavalin Affair. Trudeau has maintained he was protecting SNC jobs #elxn43 #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) October 3, 201900SHAREOct 39:50 AMSingh goes after Trudeau saying he was just trying to help rich companies. Trudeau counters saying he was defending jobs. Something he has said many times in the SNC Lavalin affair. #elxn43 #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) October 3, 201900SHAREOct 39:48 AMWe are now onto SNC Lavalin in the French debate. #elxn43 #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) October 3, 201900SHAREOct 39:44 AMConservative Andrew Scheer going after the Bloc Leader. I will point out some polls show in Quebec the BQ has been seeing a recent surge and now sits in second in the province ahead of the CPC #elxn43 #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) October 3, 201910SHAREOct 39:42 AMAs he’s been doing throughout the campaign, Trudeau is trying to lump all Conservatives into one bunch for this election. Throughout the TVA debate he is bringing up former PM Stephen Harper and Ontario Premier Doug Ford when discussing Andrew Scheer and the CPC #elxn43 #cdnpoli— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) October 3, 201910SHAREOct 39:19 AMI quite enjoyed Rosie Barton’s “Face to face with @ElizabethMay.” Whether holding the balance of power, or serving as Prime Minister, it’s clear Ms May will do a stellar job. #elxn43 #CDNpoli— Laurel L. Russwurm Vote 2019 (@laurelrusswurm) October 3, 201901SHAREOct 39:19 AM#AndrewScheer is such a #Boor ! Oh, I meant bore! #Satire #CluckCluck #FrenchDebate #elxn43 #cdnpoli— JohnnyCanuck (@Johny_Canuck) October 3, 201900SHAREOct 39:19 AMUnder @JustinTrudeau, the Syrian refugees he let in, go on to harass handicapped seniors with walkers. JT’s open borders lets in terrorists. This is what happens when you don’t properly vet refugees. #TeamTrudeau #elxn43 #cdnpoli @CPC_HQ @fordnation— Brent (@lockwood_brent) October 3, 201911SHAREOct 39:19 AMMeme worthy. #tvanouvelles #elxn43 #cdnpoli— Reboot Robertson (@RebootRobertson) October 3, 201900SHAREShow More PostsAdd to your sitelast_img read more