FIFA are filthy: Leaked report shows
By Charles Sale
The full extent of FIFA’s duplicity over arch rogue Jack Warner escaping bribery charges has been laid bare by a leaked report of the ethics committee inquiry into the scandal.
The damning findings produced ‘comprehensive, convincing and overwhelming evidence’ that both executive committee members Warner and Mohamed Bin Hammam were guilty of the cash-for-votes allegations.
And FIFA, who have lost all credibility as world football’s ruling body, knew about these firm conclusions before they announced last Monday that they had dropped all investigations into Warner following his resignation and that ‘the presumption of innocence is maintained’.
Warner had quit all his international positions in football on seeing a copy of the report that described him as being ‘an accessory to corruption’, clearly jumping before he was pushed and getting the cosiest of deals in return from FIFA.
This includes a pension of almost £23,000 a year for life, as Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday. Asian football chief Bin Hammam, who bankrolled the $40,000 (£24,800)-a-head bribes at the Caribbean Football Union summit in Trinidad as part of his presidential bid, continues to plead his innocence despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary that points to a lifetime ban from football.
To add to a farce that has turned FIFA into a laughing stock, there were bizarre claims from Zurich insiders that the executive had not seen their own ethics committee’s findings on their decision on May 29 to suspend Warner and Bin Hammam provisionally.
It was also claimed that the publication of this interim report would prejudice the ongoing inquiry being headed by ex-FBI director Louis Freeh.
The 17-page document had been sent from the ethics committee on June 14 to Bin Hammam and Warner, as well as to the Trinidad base of the CFU and the CONCACAF headquarters in New York, from where Warner allies believe the leak originated. Warner’s resignation from FIFA came three days later.
The five-strong committee, headed by Namibian judge Petrus Damaseb, says there was prima facie evidence that bribes had been offered or paid to 25 members of the CFU to support Bin Hammam’s presidential campaign against Sepp Blatter, and that Warner had facilitated this during a summit at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Port of Spain on May 10 and 11.
It reported: ‘The comprehensive, convincing and overwhelming evidence permits to conclude prima facie that the accused (Jack Warner) has initiated and arranged a special meeting of the CFU member associations for Mr Bin Hammam.
‘It seems Mr Bin Hammam offered, at least indirectly and under the pledge of secrecy, to each of the member associations an envelope containing $40,000.
‘The FIFA ethics committee is of the primary opinion that the accused had knowledge of the respective payments and condoned them. It seems quite likely that the accused contributed himself to the relevant actions, thereby acting as an accessory to corruption.
‘The committee is also of the opinion that the respective money gifts can probably only be explained if they are associated with the FIFA elections of June 1. Therefore it appears rather compelling to consider the actions of Mr Bin Hammam constitute prima facie an act of bribery or at least an attempt to commit bribery.
‘It appears impossible that the accused could have considered the money distributed as legally or ethically proper and without any connection to the upcoming election. Consequently the accused would at least be considered as an accessory to the violations.’
Statements from witnesses described as ‘credible and correspondent’ in the report maintain they were handed brown envelopes each containing $40,000. One, Fred Lunn from the Bahamas, photographed the cash before returning it.
Warner had announced during a resignation-day rant against his opponents — led by the whistleblower, CONCACAF general secretary Chuck Blazer — that such cash gifts were part of FIFA culture.
But the ethics committee took a different view, stating: ‘The accused himself failed to provide the FIFA ethics committee with a plausible explanation suited to rebut these assumptions. Corruption affects the very core of sport and is to be considered as nothing less than life-threatening for sports and sports organisations.’
Warner responded in an email on Wednesday night, saying: ‘If there’s overwhelming evidence as this report says, why then did FIFA accept my resignation and drop all investigations.’ Why indeed?
Bin Hammam said: ‘There is nothing I can say more than that I deny the allegations and insist that I have not done anything wrong during the special congress in Trinidad.’
Damian Collins, the Tory MP who is campaigning for reform of FIFA, said: ‘This makes FIFA’s claims that Jack Warner can be presumed innocent absolutely incredible. Warner should be made to answer these charges.’ (Daily Mail)


Land Rover powers Navy SC rugby

A unique ‘amphibious’ partnership has been forged between the masters of the land and the masters of the sea, with Land Rover confirming its status as principal sponsor of the rugby team of the Sri Lanka Navy for 2011.
The sailors now sport the insignia of the iconic automotive brand synonymous globally with performance, adventure and endurance under the partnership formalised recently by Commodore JDA Amaranayake – Chairman of Rugby and Director Sports of the Sri Lanka Navy and Sheran Fernando – CEO of Frontier Automotive (Pvt) Ltd., the sole representative for Land Rover in Sri Lanka.
“This partnership in Sri Lanka is a good match for Land Rover, which supports rugby at the highest level globally. “Agility, strength and indomitable spirit are characteristics that the Land Rover brand has in common with those who play the game,” Fernando said.
“The rugby team of the Sri Lanka Navy SC has demonstrated an ability to perform amidst gruelling conditions and overcome odds, scoring wins against fancied teams and developing a reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the Caltex League Rugby tournament. It is therefore a pleasure to support such a sporting outfit of great potential,” he added.
PND Kaluarachchi, manager of the team, Dilroy Fernando, Representative, Canterbury of New Zealand, the official sportswear supplier to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and members of the team including its Captain Yositha Rajapaksa were also present at the formalisation of the sponsorship.
The Sri Lanka Navy Rugby team won its first two matches against the Air Force and Army SC and held CR&FC to a draw in the first round of the 2011 Caltex League Rugby Tournament. The team has matches coming up against CH & FC, Police SC, Kandy SC and Havelocks SC.
The Navy SC emerged the Most Popular Rugby Team in 2009 while Captain Yositha Rajapaksa has been voted the Most Popular Ruggerite.
Land Rover is an official sponsor of Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand and a top-level worldwide partner of Rugby World Cup 2015 in England. It is also the official vehicle of Rugby World Cup 2011, the England National Rugby team and of England’s Premiership Rugby.


Kandy-Police a close contest today

By Hafiz Marikar
The first round match of the Caltex sponsored Clifford Cup rugby league match between defending champions Kandy Sports Club and former champions Sri Lanka Police will take place today (Sunday) at Police Park. The kick off is scheduled for 4.30 pm.
It will be interesting to see, both sides who are good in open rugby, plan out their game today. Both teams remain unbeaten and come forward today with great determination of remaining unconquered. The Kandy Sports Club won against Havelock SC, CH & FC and Sri Lanka Army. The Police have beaten Sri Lanka Air Force, CR & FC and CH & FC.
Kandy will be led by Buddhika Thalagampola, one of the most experienced and talented second row forwards in the scene.
The Policemen on the other hand are led by, T.D. Senevirathna, a fine tackler who has a talented set of forwards backing them.
Kandy Sports Club will depend on their speedy outsides Prasad Chaturanga and Fazil Marija the playmaker, Sanjeewa Jayasinghe and Pradeep Liyanage, Mohamed Jabbar, Gayan Weerarathne, Roshan Weerarathne will make the moves. Their forwards led by Buddhika Thalagampola and strengthened by Senaka Bandara, Kishore Jehan, Achala Perera, Sajith Saranga and Sasi Jayawardene, should be on top of things, look out for a bustling game.
Police are playing good rugby after a long lapse and depend much on their mobile pack, which is rated one of the best this season. Today they will be at full might with players like Nishantha Welegedara, Champika Thushara, Malith Hettiarchchi, Romesh Archarige, Dineh Kumar and skipper T.D. Senevirathna.
Cops who are in good form will be out for Kandy’s blood. They displayed good games of rugby in the last three games and will dictate terms to the champions. They are playing well as a team and it will be very difficult to hold them at their own den. The forte of Police rugby is the hard work.
Both teams are expected to give of their best today.
Kandy Sports Club – Kishore Jehan, Achala Perera, Y Kasun, Senaka Bandara, Sanjeewa Dinesh, Buddhika Thalagampola (Capt), Sasi Jayawardene, Sajith Saranga, Prasad Chaturanga, Fazil Marija, Sanjeewa Jayasinghe, Pradeep Liyanage, Gayan Weerarathne, Mohamed Jabbar, Roshan Weerarathne,
Sri Lanka Police – Nishantha Welegedara, Champika Thushara, Malith Hettiarchchi, Romesh Archarige, Dinesh Kumara, T.D. Seneviratna (Captain), U.B. Gonawela, Gemunu Indrachapa, Mohamed Rizwan, Anjula Wijeratne, Priyantha Ekanayake, T. Rangith Kumara, Chanaka Fonseka , Jeevan Amaradasa, Hashan Gomes.


Stafford Motors sponsors mercantile cricket

The concluding main tournament of the MCA Centenary Year 2011 season, the Mercantile ‘G’ Division 30-over League tournament, got underway on June 4.
For the first time Stafford Motor Co. has come forward to sponsor the tournament.
Stafford Motor Co. recently finished runners-up in the MCA ‘C’ division 50-over League tournament. They also emerged winners of the MCA ‘Open Sixes’ a number of times.
40 teams in eight groups are taking part in the tournament in two stages, consisting 95 half-day matches, including the final scheduled for August 20.
Of the 40 participating teams, Airtel, Brandix, Lanka Commodity Brokers and Touchwood are making their debut in Mercantile Cricket.
The four special awards on offer are for the best batsman, best bowler and man of the tournament (based on performances in the league stage matches) and man of the match in the final.
HNB ‘B’ emerged winners last year, beating John Keells ‘C’ in the final.
The official sponsorship presentation ceremony took place on Tuesday, June 21 at the MCA Family Restaurant.
Managing Director/CEO, Stafford Motor Company, Dr. Kalinga Kaluperuma officially handed over the sponsorship cheque to the President MCA, Mahesh Wijewardene.
Also present at the event were General Manager Sales & Marketing , Charaka Perera and Damitha Jayasundara, Senior Manager (both from Stafford Motor Company), Ashley Ratnayake , Senior Vice President, and Niran Mahawatte, Vice President (both from MCA). (LW)


Marist Stella College Sports Carnival 2011

The 3rd Annual Inter Batch Sports Carnival of Maris Stella College will be held on the July 9, 2011 from 8 am to 6 pm at the Maris Stella College Grounds in Negombo. The event is organised by the Maristonians Sports Association (MSA) to promote brotherhood, friendship and camaraderie amongst the past students of Maris Stella College.
Cricket, football, volleyball and basketball will be played between batches and medley relays have also been organised. A carnival atmosphere will be created with food stalls, papare bands and DJ music. Host of other activities will be organised to make the day a lifetime experience for the past students of Maris Stella College.
Last year we had a gathering of over 1200 old boys of whom the majority took part in different sporting events. This is the single largest gathering of old boys of this magnitude ever recorded at Maris Stella College. Evening event of Song and Dance with the theme Beach Carnival , at Goldi Sands Hotel, Negombo again attracted a large crowd with more than 650 guests consisting old boys and their spouses.
With the initial response we have received the organising committee expects a gathering of over 1600 to participate at this year’s day programme at Inter Batch Sports Carnival 2011. The day Programme will give way to the evening‘s grand event Beach Carnival 2011. This will be held at the star class hotel, Jetwing Blue with live music by Xotic and DJ. A beach wear/casual wear fashion show with professional models will be yet another attraction.
An opportunity to gain immense mileage as the print and electronic media will be in attendance giving wide live coverage to this event.


TTSC Bowling Championship

The Travel Trade Sports Club (TTSC) will make a late start on their 2011 sports events calendar, when they conduct three events in the month of July.
First will be the 10th bowling championship scheduled to be held on Saturday, July 9 at the Strikes Cosmic Bowling Centre, Excel World, Colombo 10. The bowling entries will close on June 30.
The other two events lined up are the soccer sevens on July 17 and the popular men’s/women’s softball cricket sixes on July 31.
Entries, for all three events have gone out to the TTSC membership and will be received by Himaj Jayasinghe, C/o Saman Villas office, No. 90 Gothami Road, Colombo 8. (LW)


Mobitel Cricket Quiz 2011 winner

The winner of the Mobitel Cricket Quiz 2011, AM Sakee (right) from Ampara receiving the prize of a 3D TV with a Blu-ray Disc Player from Janaka Jayalath, Senior General Manager, Corporate Planning, Value Added Services, International Services & Site Acquisition Mobitel (Pvt) Ltd


Volleyball coaches course in Chennai, India

Applications are called from qualified volleyball coaches to follow the FIVB level 1 Coaches Course to be held at the FIVB Volleyball Development Centre in Chennai, India from 23rd August to 3rd September 2011. The airfare, course fee and accommodation expenses have to be borne by the participants.
Coaches who are interested in following this training should submit their applications to reach the secretary of the Sri Lanka Volleyball Federation on or before 28 June 2011.