My Struggle to Change FIFA will Continue (2015.10.21)

FIFA continues to sabotage my candidacy for FIFA President.  Two weeks after the October 8 announcement of sanctions against me, the Ethics Committee has yet to send me the reasoned decision.  As of now, I still do not know the exact basis on which they imposed a 6- year ban on me, which I must have in order to appeal the unjust sanctions imposed on me by FIFA’s Ethics Committee.

I petitioned the Swiss district court in Zurich for an injunction against the Ethics Committee’s sanctions, so that I can maintain my candidacy pending my appeal to FIFA’s Appeal Committee and to CAS.  However, the Swiss court rejected my petition on the ground that without the reasoned decision, it has no grounds to make a decision.

FIFA quickly sent out a “media advisory” on the courts’ decision to reporters, as if the Swiss court’s decision validated its unjust acts against me.

It is highly disappointing that the Swiss court rejected my petition on the technical ground that I did not have the reasoned decision, especially given the urgency of my situation and corruption at FIFA.  That was why I petitioned the court in the first place.

I am in a double bind: I cannot maintain my candidacy because of the unjust sanctions, but I cannot appeal those sanctions or get an injunction from the Swiss court because I do not have the reasoned decision that FIFA’s Ethics Committee has so far refused to send me.  In the meantime, the time for me to register as a candidate is fast running out.

Due to FIFA’s interference, it will be difficult for me to meet the October 26 deadline to submit my candidacy for FIFA President.   However, if and when FIFA sends me its reasoned decision, I will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to expose the injustice of FIFA’s sanctions.

The integrity of the next FIFA presidential election has already been seriously undermined by the unfair and unjust interferences by President Blatter’s cronies.  According to FIFA regulations, a candidate must receive 2/3 of the votes in the first round or a majority vote after the second round in order to be elected the President.  I am deeply concerned by press reports that President Blatter may seek to remain as the FIFA President if the February 2016 FIFA Congress is unable to elect a new President.

They may ultimately prevent me from standing for FIFA President.   However, as someone who truly loves football, I will continue to do all that I can to change FIFA.

With the continued support of all those who love football and all those who worry about FIFA’s future, I will continue my struggle until I achieve final vindication.

[국문(Korean version)] FIFA의 변화를 위한 투쟁은 계속될 것이다

Speech by Dr. Chung Mong-Joon at the Leaders Sport Business Summit (2015.10.07)

What is FIFA?

Dr. MJ Chung
October 7, 2015
London

Good morning friends, ladies and gentlemen. My name is MJ Chung.

I am running for FIFA President because I love football.

I care. That is why I am here.

I am not here because of money. I have been lucky in life. My family gave me a good life.

If I am elected President, I don’t need a per diem. I don’t need a private jet to go to the grocery or to buy a new pair of shoes.

I just need one 4-year term to rescue FIFA.

I remember the time when I could walk down the street proudly wearing a FIFA blazer. Now, I will probably get laughed at or even attacked. FIFA has become a badge of shame.

I will turn it back into a badge of pride.
I will make people proud to wear a FIFA blazer again.

What is FIFA?
FIFA is a sports NGO. However, while there is a lot of politicking at FIFA, there seems to be little sportsmanship.

What is sportsmanship?
It means respect and concern for colleagues.

At FIFA, however, money and power have blinded Mr. Blatter to the values of sportsmanship. Preposterously, Mr. Blatter and his associates are under the delusion that they are above human values and norms. They have lost their connection with the real world. They seem to live in a separate world.

An NGO is a not-for-profit organization. However, FIFA has become a corrupt organization serving the interests of its top leaders.

FIFA is no longer an NGO. It has become an organized crime. It is being investigated by US and Swiss authorities for racketeering and embezzlement.

That is why at a US Senate hearing, a US Senator said, “The fact of the matter is that what has been revealed so far is a mafia-style crime syndicate in charge of this sport. My only hesitation in using that term is that it is almost insulting to the mafia because the mafia would never have been so blatant, overt, and arrogant in its corruption. The simple fact is, this indictment ….. shows a crime organization, a racketeering conspiracy.”

How did FIFA become so corrupt?
That is because it lacks transparency. Like the dungeon deep underground in the FIFA headquarters, FIFA has become a secretive place. Very few people know how it works.

In this day when you can find out the salary of a company president or a prime minster anytime online, we still don’t know what Mr. Blatter’s salary is.

Back in 2002 at a FIFA ExCo meeting, I asked Blatter to report his salary and expenses but he refused. Naturally, for Mr. Blatter to get paid without ExCo approval is embezzlement.

That is why I plan to sue Mr. Blatter on his embezzlement in court.

In the VISA-MasterCard case, the judge said FIFA is not fit to use the fair play slogan. The judge used the word “lied” 13 times in her verdict. Those lies cost FIFA $100 million.

The VISA-MasterCard case should have been dealt as a criminal case, not a civil case. That was corruption. Why should FIFA pay the fine for Mr. Blatter and Mr. Valcke’s corruption? They should pay the fine from their own pockets.

At the next ExCo meeting, I raised the issue. Mr. Blatter tried to freeze me out. I was the only ExCo member to do so. This is another case on which I will sue Mr. Blatter. The legal authorities should also investigate the relationship between VISA and Mr. Blatter.

To have transparency, we need institutional framework. Everyone can be corrupted, including myself. That is only human. That is why you need a system of checks and balances.

At FIFA, there is no institutionalization. All important and sensitive decisions are made secretly by Mr. Blatter and his cronies.

We need a system of checks and balances between the President, the Executive Committee, the Congress and the judicial bodies.

In order for FIFA’s judicial bodies, including the Ethics Committee, to be truly independent, an independent search committee must elect the chair of these bodies.

We must also change the way FIFA Congress is held. It must become a forum where members could speak more freely. Right now, the FIFA Congress is held under a dim light with its agenda carried out in great haste. Delegates from 209 member associations travel all the way to Zurich for a Congress that only lasts for 3-4 hours. There is no debate. It always degenerates into a one-man-show. Transparency is impossible.

FIFA Congress should be held for at least 2 days, like the IOC congress. It must provide good opportunities to members to share ideas and become an integral part of FIFA governance.

Today, the relationship between FIFA and national associations has become one of “fear and contempt.”

Mr. Blatter has corrupted FIFA by undermining the independence of confederations and national associations. As a paid president, every minute of his time belongs to FIFA and should be used for FIFA. However, he has repeatedly meddled in confederation elections, during the UEFA presidential election of 2007 for Mr. Platini and in 2011 for Prince Ali.

The European Parliament, the British government and some of FIFA’s sponsors have told Mr. Blatter to resign. I appreciate their efforts. But they are friends of football, not the voters. The voters of FIFA are the national associations. National associations should not remain bystanders.

Everyone is calling for Mr. Blatter’s resignation because they know that he is the source of the problems. Whenever I speak to football leaders, most of them agree that Mr. Blatter is corrupt. But they never speak out. They rather hide behind the curtain of fear and contempt. When FIFA is in total meltdown and Mr. Blatter’s dynasty is coming to an end, still few dare to speak out against him.

Let us look at the case of Harold Mayne-Nichols, the Chilean who led the inspection teams for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding nations. Harold was banned by the Ethics Committee for seven years. This was because he had an email exchange with the head of a football camp in Qatar, asking if his son might be able to train there at his own expense. Nothing came of the exchange, but Mayne-Nichols was banned from football for 7 years.

On the other hand, Michel Platini admittedly voted for Qatar and his son landed a job at a Qatar-owned firm as its chief executive. However, the Ethics Committee did not even start an investigation. This is a travesty of justice.

When Mr. Harold Mayne-Nichols was viciously hit with a 7 year ban, not a single national association or a confederation stood up for him. This is not normal. This is not healthy. This is a disgrace.

This is the culture of fear and contempt.

The only way to reform FIFA is to change this to a culture of “solidarity and respect.”

Confederations and national associations must reclaim their independence. They should not hide behind the curtain of fear and contempt.

Corruption has become such an integral part of FIFA that some fear that if we get rid of corruption, FIFA will become poorer. Some think that without Mr. Blatter’s corrupt ways, there would be less development funds for national associations.

No it’s not true! The exact opposite is true.

More transparency will make more development possible.

This is what we need to change.

I know how to deal with big companies and how to get the best deals. I will bring VISA back. I will bring Coca Cola back.

Mr. Blatter and his cronies have been doing everything to sabotage my campaign.

As maliciously leaked through the media by FIFA insiders, I am facing suspension by the Ethics Committee for alleged wrongdoings during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process.

The Ethics Committee is composed of two chambers. One is the Investigatory Chamber and the other is the Adjudicatory Chamber. As an accused, they all looked the same. However, I want to make clear that what I had been referring to as the Ethics Committee is actually the Investigatory Chamber.

I am disappointed but not surprised. From the beginning, it was clear that the Investigatory Chamber was undertaking this so-called “investigation” to prevent me from running for President of FIFA.

Ever since I announced my candidacy, numerous leaks from the Investigatory Chamber have been made to the press. The most recent leak even specified the dates on which the Ethics Committee would announce sanctions against me. They learned this “from highly-placed FIFA executive committee and ethics committee sources.”1

Now is the time to set the record straight.

What are these charges that I face?

Unlike Mr. Blatter, Mr. Valcke and Mr. Platini, I am not facing any allegations of bribery, fraud, corruption, or conflict of interest.

Contrary to the media speculation based on leaks, there is no “probe” against charitable donations that I made to Haiti and Pakistan in the past.

The main charges against me are “vote-trading” and my “support” for the Korean Bidding Committee for 2022 World Cup.

The Ethics Committee eventually dropped the vote-trading charge.

I am now being investigated for letters I sent to my fellow Executive Committee members explaining a proposal made by the Korean Bidding committee to raise a “Global Football Fund” (GFF). The Investigatory Chamber claims my letters “appeared” improper.

For Executive Committee members to support the bid of their countries is only a time-honored tradition at FIFA. Moreover, there were no restrictions under the FIFA regulations that prohibited ExCo members from supporting their countries’ bid for the 2018 and 2022 Games, namely, Angel Maria Villar of Spain, Geoff Thompson of England, Michel D’Hooghe of Belgium, Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar, Junji Ogura of Japan, and Vitaly Mutko of Russia actively campaigned for their respective countries’ bid.

There was nothing unusual about GFF. The GFF was perfectly in line with the football development projects that FIFA asked national bid teams to propose as part of their bid requirement.

No money or personal favors were exchanged in relation to GFF and no such charges were made against me.

England’s bid team for the 2018 World Cup proposed a “Football United” fund which was described as, “a unique chance to create a new global fund for football that aims to match FIFA’s current spend on football development . . . imagine what this would mean for your Confederation.”

If the scope of Football United fund was intended to “match FIFA’s current spend on football development,” this would overwhelm the GFF by 10 times.

In its bid for World Cup 2022, Qatar proposed “grassroots and talent-scouting programmes in Thailand and Nigeria,” “support through football in 16 schools in Nepal and Pakistan,” and “construction of 22 modular stadiums for countries in need,” among other things.

In 2010, FIFA had been aware of the existence of my letters. FIFA investigated the “issue” and ultimately determined the matter closed. Secretary General Valcke wrote to me and Dr. Han Sung-joo, the Chairman of the Korea Bid Committee, that “[b]ased on explanations given by you and Dr. Mo[ng]-Joon Chung, please be informed that we consider the integrity of the Bidding Process not to be affected and consequently deem the matter as closed.”

Yet the Investigatory Chamber of Ethics Committee has now asked for 15 years of sanction for this. Even issues that had been closed many years ago, have a way of being revived. According to a transcript that the Investigatory Chamber sent me, when they asked about such a letter, both Mr. Blatter and Mr. Valcke feigned “surprise.” I did not know that they were suffering from memory-loss.

When I spoke out against AFC President Salman’s illegal activities in mailing form letters in support of Platini, the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee also promptly issued a perfunctory “no evidence” letter. The Committee refused to even proceed with any fact finding, when the AFC itself was unable to deny that it had been sending the form letters. On the other hand, when a FIFA staff member leaked a document detailing Mr. Platini’s wrongdoings, the Investigatory Chamber had an investigation and the staff was promptly fired by FIFA. Is this justice?

The Investigatory Chamber that seems as unwilling as incapable of holding anything confidential is accusing me of “breaching confidentiality.” They then added more sanctions for allegedly “defaming” FIFA Ethics Committee.

FIFA touting “ethical attitude” and “defamation” while caught up in its own corruption scandal would be laughable, if the repercussions were not so serious.

FIFA’s “defamation” has been entirely self-inflicted. The independence of its Ethics Committee has been irreparably damaged by its own behavior over the years.

If the Investigatory Chamber was truly independent, it should have banned Mr. Blatter for life for the ISL case 20 years ago. Both Mr. Blatter and Mr. Valcke should have been banned for life for their criminal manipulation of the VISA-MasterCard Case.

The New York Times said “the word ‘FIFA’ coupled with the word ‘ethics’ is seen by most as an oxymoron.”1

I harbor no illusions about the Ethics Committee hearing. My request to call Mr. Blatter and Mr. Valcke as major witnesses was denied.

The procedure has been flawed. The Investigatory Chamber’s main charge of “appearing to offer a benefit” is based on 2012 regulation that did not even exist in 2010. The retroactive sanction now being attempted by the Ethics Committee is against fundamental precepts of law.

To attack my credibility, the Investigatory Chamber relies on the testimonies of two major witnesses, Mr. Blatter and Mr. Valcke. However, it refused to provide the full transcripts of its interviews with them. These “credible” witnesses are now facing criminal investigations by Swiss authorities.

A fair hearing is fundamentally impossible when the Investigatory Chamber alleges that I defamed the Ethics Committee itself, but that it will be the judge in the case against me. As an accused, I am to be judged by the alleged victim of my alleged wrongdoing. No one should be allowed to be his or her own judge.

Dear friends of football.

The true danger is that they are not only sabotaging my candidacy. They are sabotaging FIFA’s election and FIFA itself.

As preposterous as it may sound, there are media reports that Mr. Blatter plans to stay on as President once all the presidential candidates are forced out.

If I am elected President of FIFA, this is what I will do for FIFA.

1. Strengthen ‘checks & balances’ between the presidency, the Executive Committee and judicial bodies.
2. Transform the Congress into an open forum.
3. Impose term limit on the President. I will serve one term.
4. Increase transparency.
5. Disclose the president’s salary, bonuses and expenses.
6. Increase the Financial Assistance Program (FAP) to national football associations.
7. Elevate the Women’s World Cup to a new dimension by raising the prize money. Currently, the prize for the women’s World Cup accounts for only 5% of the men’s prize. We must raise this to 50%. Women’s World Cup can become a cash cow for FIFA.

Dear friends of football.

Let us move forward without hesitation.

Finally, let me close by saying that the fact that I am the target of Mr. Blatter’s smear campaign is clearly the most powerful endorsement for my candidacy and the best proof that I am the person to lead FIFA’s reforms.

Thank you.


1. “Exclusive – FIFA Ethics Panel to Address Chung Mong-joon Case,” World Football Insider, October 2, 2015

2. “FIFA’s Captain Clings to the Helm of His Sinking Ship,” The New York Times, 26 September, 2015


On the Recent Developments at FIFA (2015.10.06)

“On the Recent Developments at FIFA”

Dr. MJ Chung
October 6, 2015

As maliciously leaked through the media by FIFA insiders, I am facing suspension by the Ethics Committee for alleged wrongdoings during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bid process.

I am disappointed but not surprised. From the beginning, it was clear that the Ethics Committee was undertaking this so-called “investigation” to prevent me from running for President of FIFA.

Since July, my friends in FIFA have been telling me that the FIFA Ethics Committee would sanction me. Who are these friends, you ask? One was a FIFA ExCo member and the other was a Confederation representative.

Ever since I announced my candidacy, numerous leaks of confidential information from the Ethics Committee have been made to the press. The most recent leak even specified the dates on which the Ethics Committee would announce the sanctions against me. They learned this “from highly-placed FIFA executive committee and ethics committee sources.”1

Can you guess who these highly-placed FIFA executives might be? I’ll leave it to you to decide.

Today, I feel really relieved, because people asked me whether the Ethics Committee is investigating me. I have long held my silence on the on-going Ethics Committee investigations out of respect for the confidentiality requests from FIFA Ethics Committee. I have spoken out a couple of times, but only to correct the outright false information regarding the charges that I face.

However, now is the time for me to set the record straight.

I am proud that for 17 years as Vice President of FIFA, I have taken the higher road and never shied away from speaking out against the corruption within FIFA. In October 1995, a year after I joined FIFA, I gave a speech at the International Sports Press Association (AIPS) meeting calling for more transparency and collective wisdom in FIFA. To me, this was common sense.

However, at a FIFA ExCo meeting two months later in Paris, President Joao Havelange angrily asked me why I had raised the issue of transparency. He got so angry that he kept pounding the table and the simultaneous translators could not translate what he was yelling at me.

At the time, I did not know why he was so angry. Now I do. From 1992-2000, President Havelange was paid $50 million in bribes by a company named ISL. One day, General Secretary Blatter came across a CHF 1.5 million transfer from ISL to a FIFA account with a note attached saying that the payment was for President Havelange. Instead of starting an inquiry, Mr. Blatter simply returned the check to ISL. Mr. Blatter should have been given a life-time ban. If they had, FIFA would not face today’s crisis. [Appendix 1]

People say that FIFA’s Ethics Committee is Mr. Blatter’s “hitman.” They never hit him but only those who challenge Mr. Blatter.

Yet what are these “corruption” charges that I face? Unlike Mr. Blatter, Mr. Valcke and Mr. Platini, I am not facing any allegations of bribery, fraud, corruption, or conflict of interest. [Appendix 2]

Contrary to the media speculation based on leaks, there is no “probe” against charitable donations that I made to Haiti and Pakistan in the past. In addition to Haiti and Pakistan, I have made numerous personal donations, starting with the 1999 Turkey earthquake relief, Bangladesh disaster relief, China earthquake relief and Myanmar cyclone relief funds. [Appendix 3]

The main charges against me are “vote-trading” with England and my “support” for the Korean Bidding Committee for 2022 World Cup.

The Ethics Committee eventually dropped the vote-trading charge. Even they thought the allegations could not be substantiated. [Appendix 4]

I am now under scrutiny by the Ethics Committee for letters I sent to my fellow Executive Committee members explaining a proposal by the Korean Bidding Committee to launch a “Global Football Fund” (GFF), which according to the Ethics Committee “appeared” improper.

For Executive Committee members to support the bid of their countries is not only a time-honored tradition at FIFA, but also a natural, patriotic thing to do. Moreover, there were no FIFA regulations that prohibit ExCo members from supporting their countries’ bid. That is why, in addition to myself, all ExCo members whose countries bid for the 2018 and 2022 Games, namely, Angel Maria Villar of Spain, Geoff Thompson of England, Michel D’Hooghe of Belgium, Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar, Junji Ogura of Japan, and Vitaly Mutko of Russia actively campaigned for their respective countries’ bid.

There was nothing unusual about GFF. The GFF was perfectly in line with the football development projects that FIFA asked every bidding country to propose as part of their bid requirement.

No money or personal favors were exchanged in relation to GFF and no such charges were made against me.

England’s bid team for the 2018 World Cup proposed a “Football United” fund which was described as, “a unique chance to create a new global fund for football that aims to match FIFA’s current spend on football development . . . imagine what this would mean for your Confederation.”

If the scope of Football United fund was intended to “match FIFA’s current spend on football development,” this would overwhelm the GFF by 10 times.

In its bid for World Cup 2022, Qatar proposed “grassroots and talent-scouting programmes in Thailand and Nigeria,” “support through football in 16 schools in Nepal and Pakistan,” and “construction of 22 modular stadiums for countries in need,” among other things.

In 2010, FIFA had been aware of the existence of my letters, investigated the “issue” and ultimately determined the matter closed. Secretary General Valcke wrote to me and Dr. Han Sung-joo, the Chairman of the Korea Bid Committee, that “[b]ased on explanations given by you and Dr. Mo[ng]-Joon Chung, please be informed that we consider the integrity of the Bidding Process not to be affected and consequently deem the matter as closed.” [Appendix 5]

Yet the Ethics Committee has now asked for 15 years of sanction for this. With the campaign season starting, even issues that had been closed many years ago, have a way of being revived. According to a transcript that the Ethics Committee sent me in July, when they asked about such a letter, both Mr. Blatter and Mr. Valcke feigned “surprise.” I did not know that they were suffering from memory-loss as well.

When misleading leaks started circulating in the media in August, I requested FIFA Disciplinary Committee to investigate. A little more than a month later, the Disciplinary Committee ruled that there was no “evidence” and closed the matter. The same day, news articles started to report my suspension.2

When I spoke out against AFC President Salman’s activities in mailing form letters in support of Platini, the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee also promptly issued a perfunctory “no evidence” letter. The Committee refused to even proceed with any fact finding, when the AFC itself was unable to deny that it had been sending the form letters. On the other hand, when a FIFA staff member leaked a document detailing Mr. Platini’s wrongdoings, the Ethics Committee had an investigation and he was promptly fired by FIFA. Is this justice? [Appendix 6]

The same Ethics Committee that seems as unwilling as incapable of holding anything confidential is accusing me of “breaching confidentiality.” They then added more sanctions for allegedly “defaming” FIFA Ethics Committee.

FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee, Electoral Committee and Ethics Committee have all refused my requests and appeals with uncharacteristic speed and efficiency. This is in stark contrast to the ISL case in which the Ethics Committee began its investigation only in 2012, 7 years after Swiss authorities investigated, only to exonerate Mr. Blatter.

The fundamental reason why I am being targeted is that I aimed straight at the existing power structure of FIFA.
FIFA touting “ethical attitude” and “defamation” while caught up in its own corruption scandal would be laughable, if the repercussions were not so serious.

FIFA’s “defamation” has been entirely self-inflicted. The independence of its Ethics Committee has been irreparably damaged by its own behavior over the years.

If the Ethics Committee was truly independent, it should have banned Mr. Blatter for life for the ISL case 20 years ago. Both Mr. Blatter and Mr. Valcke should have been banned for life for their criminal manipulation of the VISA-MasterCard Case. [Appendix 7]

Let us look at the case of Harold Mayne-Nichols, the Chilean who led the inspection teams for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding nations, who was banned by the Ethics Committee for seven years. This was because he had an email exchange with the head of a football camp in Qatar, asking if his son might be able to train there at his own expense. Nothing came of the exchange, but Mayne-Nichols was banned from football for seven years. This is a travesty of justice.

On the other hand, Michel Platini admittedly voted for Qatar and his son landed a job at Burrda, a Qatar-owned firm as its chief executive. However, the Ethics Committee did not even start an investigation.

The New York Times said “the word ‘FIFA’ coupled with the word ‘ethics’ is seen by most as an oxymoron.”3

At a US Senate hearing on FIFA in July, a European journalist said, “FIFA is now a smelly shell. His hitmen are working to eliminate rivals. ”

During the same hearing, a US Senator said, “The fact of the matter is that what has been revealed so far is a mafia-style crime syndicate in charge of this sport. My only hesitation in using that term is that it is almost insulting to the mafia because the mafia would never have been so blatant, overt, and arrogant in its corruption. The simple fact is, this indictment ….. shows a crime organization, a racketeering conspiracy.”

I harbor no illusions about the Ethics Committee hearing. My request to call Mr. Blatter and Mr. Valcke as major witnesses was denied. I find the whole proceeding to be a sham.

The procedure has been fundamentally flawed, flouting legal principles respected in every law abiding society. The Ethics Committee’s main charge of “appearing to offer a benefit” is based on 2012 regulation that did not even exist in 2010. The retroactive sanction now being attempted by the Ethics Committee is against fundamental precepts of law.

To attack my credibility, the Ethics Committee relies on the testimonies of two major witnesses, Mr. Blatter and Mr. Valcke. However, it refused to provide the full transcripts of its interviews with them. These “credible” witnesses are now facing criminal investigations by Swiss authorities. The failure to even provide the underlying evidence tramples upon the basic due process rights codified in FIFA’s own Ethics Code as the “right to be heard”.

A fair hearing is fundamentally impossible when the Ethics Committee alleges that I defamed the Ethics Committee itself, but that it will be the judge in the case against me. As an accused, I am to be judged by the alleged victim of my alleged wrongdoing. No one should be allowed to be his or her own judge – another fundamental principle of law ignored by the Ethics Committee.

Ultimately, I will prevail and will be vindicated. But with the tactics employed by the Ethics Committee and its complete disregard for due process, justice will not be served at the Ethics Committee hearing and my candidacy will be jeopardized.

Dear friends of football.

The true danger is that they are not only sabotaging my candidacy. They are sabotaging FIFA’s election and FIFA itself.

As preposterous as it may sound, there are media reports that Mr. Blatter plans to stay on as President once all the presidential candidates are forced out.

However, the election is in danger of being turned into a farce.

I believe that we should leave it to the global community of good sense to render the final verdict on whether I have the integrity and the standing to be a candidate for FIFA President.

Before I close, I wish to share with you my thoughts on FIFA.

What is FIFA?

FIFA is a sports NGO. However, while there is a lot of politicking at FIFA, there seems to be little sportsmanship.

What is sportsmanship? It means respect and concern for colleagues.

At FIFA, however, money and power have blinded Mr. Blatter to the values of sportsmanship. They have become desensitized to the values and norms of the society at large.

When Mr. Harold Mayne-Nichols was so unjustly hit with a 7 year ban, not a single national association or a confederation stood up for Mr. Harold Mayne-Nichols. This is not normal. This is not healthy.

In June, the European Parliament urged Blatter to resign. Recently, it was joined by the British government and some of FIFA’s sponsors. I appreciate their efforts. But they are friends of football, not the constituents of FIFA. The constituents of FIFA are the national associations. Therefore, it is not right for national association to remain bystanders. FIFA is much sicker than it looks.

This is the very culture of fear and contempt that I encountered over the years.

Mr. Blatter has corrupted FIFA by undermining the independence of confederations and national associations. As a paid president, every minute of his time belongs to FIFA and should be used for FIFA. However, he has repeatedly meddled in confederation elections, during UEFA election of 2007 for Mr. Platini and in 2011 when he reportedly backed Prince Ali.

When FIFA is in total meltdown and Mr. Blatter’s dynasty is coming to an end, still few dare to speak out against him. That is why he continues to stay in office.

Reforming FIFA is easier said than done. We need to first change the passive way of dealing with FIFA before we can bring any meaningful reforms.

Confederations and national associations must reclaim their independence. They should not hide behind the curtain of fear and contempt, but speak out. Instead of trying to exploit FIFA, we should all try to nurture and strengthen it.

That is the only way to change the relationship of fear and contempt to one of solidarity and respect. Without changing the culture of FIFA, what good would it do to change the president?

Reforming FIFA will be painful. Changing the culture of FIFA is a monumental task. It is a task that requires a critical knowledge of how FIFA has operated in the past as well as an objective understanding of what went wrong.

Finally, the fact that I am the target of Mr. Blatter’s smear campaign is clearly the most powerful endorsement for my candidacy for the FIFA Presidency and the best proof that I am the person to lead FIFA’s reforms.

Thank you.


1.“Exclusive: Chung election bid in doubt as ethics investigators close in,” Insider World Football, October 2, 2015

2.“Chung election bid in doubt as ethics investigators close in,” Inside World Football, October 2, 2015

3.“FIFA’s Captain Clings to the Helm of His Sinking Ship,” The New York Times, 26 September, 2015


[국문(Korean version)] 최근의 FIFA 상황에 대하여 (2015.10.06)

MJ Chung’s Press Conference Remarks (2015.09.03)

 

Opening Remarks

Dr. MJ Chung
September 3, 2015

I am holding this press conference because, recently, incidents that seriously undermine the fairness of the election for FIFA President has come to our attention.

Sheikh Salman, President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), has publicly supported Michel Platini, President of UEFA. We have learned that AFC has sent unsolicited letters to almost every AFC member association. Most AFC member countries including China, Japan, Mongolia, India, and Singapore received this letter. South Korea and Jordan, however, did not.

The letter is a form letter to be filled in by the National Football Association supporting the candidacy of Mr. Michel Platini and addressed to FIFA’s Secretary General. It is entitled “Proposal and support of the candidature of Mr. MP [Michel Platini] for the office of FIFA President.” The purpose of the letter is clearly defined as “support of the candidature of Mr. MP for the office of FIFA President, to be elected at the next FIFA Extraordinary Congress 2016.” It further states that “…just for good order, we wish to confirm that [INSERT NAME ASSOCIATION] is supporting only MR. MP and, accordingly, we did not sign any other declaration of support for another candidate for the office of FIFA President.”

The Director and staff members of AFC’s Department of Member Associations and Development has made private phone calls to individual member associations, checking to see whether they sent in completed form letters to FIFA.

The Director and staff members of AFC’s Department of Member Associations and Development has made private phone calls to individual member associations, checking to see whether they sent in completed form letters to FIFA.

We have also confirmed that similar attempts were made at the Confederation of African Football (CAF). It is likely that similar incidents have occurred at other Confederations.

In Africa, a CAF senior official circulated the same form letters to its member associations. After CAF became fully aware of this incident, it conducted an internal review, deemed its behavior highly improper and took measures to rectify the situation.

Of the 209 members who can vote for FIFA President, 46 belong to AFC and 54 to CAF. Given that the Confederations exercise tremendous influence over its member associations in organizing football tournaments and through administrative oversight, it is clear that the fairness of the FIFA presidential election has been seriously compromised.

According to FIFA Statutes, only the member associations possess the right to propose candidates for the office of FIFA President, and each member should make its decision independently and with no influence from third parties. Aforementioned efforts seeking to influence each member associations’ right to propose candidate, therefore, directly violate Articles 24.1 and 17.1 of the FIFA Statutes.

Furthermore, the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee’s guidelines emphasize that candidates holding official positions within FIFA should not abuse their position of power in the election process. If AFC President Salman and UEFA President Platini are taking advantage of their status as the AFC and UEFA presidents and seeking to intervene in the election process, their actions are in breach of the basic principles of election and violate FIFA’s spirit of “fair play.”

Such acts also clearly violate Articles 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4 of Electoral Regulations for FIFA Presidency that demand FIFA presidential elections be carried out in a fair, transparent and reputable manner. It is an obvious case of election fraud infringing on the basic rights of other presidential candidates.

As such, on August 31, we sent official letters and relevant documents to Domenico Scala, Chairman of FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee, and Cornel Borbely, Chairman of FIFA Ethics Committee, calling on them to immediately investigate the facts and the parties, including Sheikh Salman, the CAF Senior Official, Mr. Platini, as well as the related Confederations and the Members, surrounding the above-mentioned infringements of the FIFA regulations and promptly disclose all of the facts and findings related to the above in order to restore the integrity of the election process.

We also requested the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee to promptly institute remedies sufficient to address the prejudice and harm already sustained by the potential candidates. This includes the nullification of any “support” for the candidature of Mr. Platini received through the form letters sent by AFC, the Senior Official of CAF and/or any other Confederation.

Attached files are a copy of the form letter sent by AFC to its member associations, relevant FIFA Statutes and Electoral Regulations.

 

Thank you.

AFC form letter

[국문(Korean version)] 기자회견 모두발언

 

Dr. MJ Chung’s President Candidacy Announcement Speech (2015.08.17)

FIFA, A NEW ERA

Dr. Chung Mong-Joon
FIFA Honorary Vice President
FIFA President Candidacy Announcement Speech
August 17, 2015, Paris

Bonjour,
Good morning,
Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, it is my great privilege and honor to announce my candidacy for the presidency of FIFA.

FIFA is about football.

However, it is more than a game. It is about governance.

Today, FIFA is undergoing a profound crisis. Under these circumstances, the FIFA President must be a crisis manager and a reformer. He must be more than just a head of the technical department.

It has pained me to witness the spectacle of the FIFA President being booed by the fans at football stadiums everywhere. In 2011, when a European sports magazine conducted a survey asking, “What do you think about FIFA President Joseph Blatter?”, 95 percent said, “Blatter is ruining football.”

In 1904, FIFA was founded here in Paris. In its 111-year history, FIFA has had eight presidents. Practically speaking, they were all Europeans.

We now live in a different era. FIFA needs to reflect the different reality.

Continuity is important, but so is change.

Let us look at the world today.

Asia has 4.4 billion people. Africa has 1.2 billion. Together, they make up more than 80 percent of the world population. If the major cities of Asia and Africa can have their own football clubs that can compete with European clubs, imagine what that will do for world football.

This is the future of football. This is not just a dream.

It is time that FIFA embodies this vision of the future.

It is time for new leadership.

It is time to restore common-sense at FIFA.

As soon as I joined FIFA twenty years ago, I started to call out for transparency and accountability.

In a 1995 speech titled, “World Cup and its Future,” this is what I said:

“More transparency is needed. Historically, the process and decision-making on the marketing and TV rights contracts has been handled by very few people behind closed doors. I believe this will change.”

I even went into detail about how to fix this.

I said, FIFA’s Media Committee should be involved in the process to ensure all media needs are considered and coverage optimized.

The Finance Committee should provide guidance on fiscal conditions. Finally, the FIFA Executive Committee should be the ultimate decision-making body on the marketing and TV rights contract. Greater transparency is essential because the World Cup has been financially undervalued.”

Can you think of a stronger warning than this?

When I first arrived at FIFA, I found it strange that even though FIFA boasted the World Cup had three times more TV audiences than the Olympics, FIFA’s revenue for TV broadcasting rights was smaller than the IOC’s. How was this possible? Why didn’t anyone notice this discrepancy?

So much of FIFA’s corruption came precisely from this.

More recently, Transparency International had produced a report in 2011. FIFA’s Independent Governance Committee produced a three-part report from 2012 to 2014.

But why were these findings not implemented?

The problem at FIFA is that those mired in corruption, the only thing they are interested in is hiding the corruption.

The ISL and VISA-MasterCard cases are only the most blatant examples of FIFA corruption and efforts to cover up. I brought copies of the ISL summary for your reference.

In his resignation statement, Mr. Blatter blamed the Executive Committee for blocking the reforms and later the Confederations for corruption.

Dear friends,

FIFA has been very successful financially for several decades. But every success creates its own problems.

After decades of ever-widening circle of corruption, FIFA needs a leader who can bring back common sense, transparency, and accountability.

Today, we are in Paris, the birthplace of FIFA. I want to ask just one question: “If Europe had provided healthy and discerning leadership, would FIFA be in this kind of mess today?” This is not a criticism, but an appeal to you to think.

The core issue of this election is whether the 40 year old system of corruption should continue or not.

If I am elected, I will only serve one term, four years. I can change FIFA in 4 years. This is my pledge to all the football fans in the world.

Dear friends,

Let me close by expressing my deepest condolences to Franz Beckenbauer on the recent passing of his son. We all share his loss, and our thoughts are with him and his family. I would also like to wish former FIFA President Joao Havelange and UEFA President Lennart Johansson early recoveries from their illnesses.

My campaign promises are as follows:

1. Strengthen ‘checks & balances’ between the presidency, the Executive Committee and judicial bodies.
2. Transform the Congress into an open forum.
3. Impose term limit on the President. I will serve one term.
4. Increase financial transparency.
5. Disclose the president’s salary, bonuses and expenses.
6. Increase the Financial Assistance Program (FAP) to national football associations, by adopting a more sensible and flexible mechanism of distribution.
7. Promote greater female representation at the various levels of FIFA.
8. Elevate the Women’s World Cup to a new dimension by raising the prize money.

Thank you very much.
Merci Beaucoup.

 

[국문(Korean version)] 출마선언문