Ali slams FIFA cash move against Americas confederations
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[February 04, 2016]
By Simon Evans
MIAMI (Reuters) - FIFA presidential
candidate Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan has criticized the global
body's decision to cut off funding to corruption hit Americas
confederations, calling it "collective punishment".
In a statement on Wednesday, Prince Ali questioned Monday's
announcement by FIFA that they had put on hold payments to CONCACAF
and CONMEBOL, the two confederations that have been most affected by
the corruption scandal engulfing football governance.
CONMEBOL is responsible for the sport in South America while
CONCACAF covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Officials from the Americas make up the overwhelming majority of the
41 individuals and entities that have been indicted by the U.S.
Department of Justice.
"I have read reports that a FIFA spokesperson has announced that
funding to CONCACAF and CONMEBOL has been suspended with immediate
effect," wrote Ali in a statement issued to media.
"Who is the spokesman; which FIFA committee does he represent; who
decided that 45 Member Associations should suffer collective
punishment as a result of individuals' bad actions; who decided to
hold these votes to ransom less than three weeks before the election
and who exactly will decide when the funding will be reinstated?"
concluded the statement.
A spokesman for FIFA's Audit and Compliance Committee told Reuters
that they had made the decision to stop the payments to the two
confederations but declined to comment on Ali's statement.
FIFA's media department declined to comment beyond reissuing the
statement they had released on Monday.
"We can confirm that in light of current proceedings involving
individuals related to CONMEBOL and CONCACAF, FIFA has put
contributions toward these two Confederations on hold until further
"We are currently assessing further steps to be taken to increase
the level of assurance which may again enable FIFA to release such
funds in the future."
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CONCACAF has seen its last three presidents indicted by the
Department of Justice with Trinidad and Tobago's Jack Warner, Cayman
Islander Jeffrey Webb and Honduran Alfred Hawit all facing charges.
CONMEBOL has had former president Nicolas Leoz and their most recent
leader Jan Angel Napout, both of Paraguay, indicted along with
several other leading officials.
The two organizations are due to hold a joint 'Copa America'
tournament in the United States in June to celebrate CONMEBOL's
Prince Ali is hoping to be elected FIFA president in the vote on
Also standing are Asian Football Confederation (AFC)President Sheikh
Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, former FIFA deputy general secretary
Jerome Champagne of France, South African businessman and politician
Tokyo Sexwale and UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino.
(Reporting By Simon Evans; editing by Justin Palmer)
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