- The Association of Football Agents have demanded detailed answers from FIFA regarding the corruption controversy
- Sky Sports are looking at bringing in virtual reality technology next season
- FIFA bigwigs stayed at the hotel where seven colleagues were arrested
- BT Sport will have Howard Webb on hand to review decisions next season
Football agents have waded into the FIFA corruption controversy by demanding detailed answers about how Zurich washed their hands of the middle men.
They also want to know if any FIFA officials facing fraud charges were involved in the world governing body passing the buck to national associations to regulate agents and allow intermediaries with no previous experience to represent players.
Mel Stein, chairman of the Association of Football Agents, wrote to FIFA last week threatening legal action if a deadline of 28 days for the answers was not observed.
‘Given the current circumstances surrounding your organisation, we are led to consider the entire validity of the process which introduced the concept of intermediaries and effectively brought to an end the profession of a Licensed Agent without proper consultation with our members or us as a body.’
Stein questions: ‘Were any of those recently arrested or under investigation in any way involved in the process? Did any of the above cast a vote? Who was present? Please provide minutes of those meetings.’
The AFA also ask why FIFA have not responded to their formal complaint to the European Commission challenging the legality of the new regulations. Stein said: ‘We’re serious about legal action if our questions are not answered.’
Sky Sports are looking at bringing in virtual reality technology next season in their battle for viewers with BT. It will utilise similar production methods to those used in their Premier League trailer superimposing Thierry Henry in the middle of the top flight’s big moments.
The most surprising aspect of FIFA’s ExCo meeting on Monday was the bigwigs being confident enough to stay at the luxury Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich, where seven of their colleagues were arrested eight weeks ago.
However, Brazilian football chief Marco Polo Del Nero, who fled the premises the day after the police raid in May, hasn’t risked returning.
Paranoid hotel management still banned the media from entering.
After ‘comedian’ Simon Brodkin ridiculously showered Sepp Blatter with fake money on Monday, the FIFA president asked him if he was ashamed of what he had done. Brodkin, brother of a Guardian journalist, should be.
Blatter asked Brodkin (right) if he was ashamed of his actions… the brother of a Guardian journalist should be.
BT Sport, having ended a brief relationship with former top-flight referee Mark Halsey, will have Howard Webb in a broadcast truck at all their main matches this season. Webb will be called on by commentators to give his immediate view on the big decisions.
BT parted company with Halsey after he was very critical about the standard of Premier League refereeing. Webb, technical director for referee management group PGMO until the end of last season, is unlikely to be so scathing as he will want to keep lines of communication open with his former colleagues.
Howard Webb will next season be on hand at all BT Sport’s major matches to give his immediate thoughts.
The excitable NewFIFANow action group, buoyed by the support of Coca-Cola in their call for an independent commission to reform FIFA, fancifully claimed former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan was open to chairing the group.
Annan’s spokesman quickly made clear he hadn’t been officially approached and was too busy anyway. More reasonable was NewFIFANow leader Jaimie Fuller describing replies to his letters from FIFA sponsors Visa as ‘meaningless drivel’.
High-maintenance TV producer Sam Smith, who along with former BBC sports editor David Bond did all the groundwork on the Panorama programme that made serious drugs allegations against Mo Farah’s coach Alberto Salazar, has left the Beeb to join Freuds — the PR agency employed to spin for Farah.
Jeffrey Webb, the disgraced CONCACAF chief, has needed help from his second wife’s family to raise the $10million bond guarantee that allows him to stay in his New York home under house arrest. Webb also has to pay for his own security, ensuring he meets stringent bail conditions.
© 2015 Daily Mail | This article was written by Charles Sale and first appeared on the Daily Mail on July 21st 2015.