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Bility calls on United Nations and African Union to Intervene in FIFA and CAF corruption

Bility calls on United Nations and African Union to Intervene in FIFA and CAF corruption

Former Liberian Football Association President Musa Hassan Bility has lodged in a formal complaint with the United Nations and African Union on the current corruption allegations and investigations in FIFA and CAF.

Bility, a former CAF Exco Member who is serving a 10-year FIFA ban, in a letter states that he has taken this unusual step of writing to the UN and AU, as they are the organizations of absolute last resort and undebatable impartiality, on behalf of a significant albeit disenfranchised section of global football.

“It is likely that in recent history, your own member countries have received letters from World Football Governing body –FIFA –threatening them with expulsion or suspension from its membership and activities, for the highly impugned reason of Government interference, ” The letter reads in part.

Bility adds that, the constant threats and actual suspensions of member countries by FIFA have hamstrung UN and AU individual member Governments efforts to bring accountability to this most popular sport in those countries.

He says, the law and order component of World football has in the process been privatized and arrogated to an amorphous, non-independent body by the name FIFA Ethics committee.

“In 2017, The Council of Europe (CoE) protested the appointment of one María Claudia Rojas as Chairperson of the FIFA Ethics committee for lacking the requisite experience of conducting criminal or financial investigations,” Bility continues.

“This would not be the first time that the CoE has made a finding that FIFA internal practices are opaque and questionable, and concluded that the organization is being run like the personal fiefdom of whomever is presently its President.

“In Africa, extraordinary circumstances mid-last year compelled FIFA to conduct a forensic audit of Confederation of African Football (CAF) finances at its Cairo, Egypt headquarters where the global audit company PWC discovered the misappropriation of more than $24 million of member funds by a small cabal of the organizations officials.

“To date, for purposes of political expediency, the FIFA Ethics committee has not been seized of this matter, preferring instead to concentrate on the small fish, rumor and conjecture.”

Bility argues that the FIFA ethics Committee lacks integrity and moral judgement.

“In quite a number of cases, the FIFA Ethics committee has seized upon matters that have already been adjudicated and dispensed with by National judicial processes, and in bizarre cases of double-jeopardy, proceed to hear the cases again, and give adverse rulings, ” said Bility.

“A case in point is the recent ruling against Guinea-Bissau Football Association President Manuel Nascimento who was banned for a total of 10 years for his role in protecting the victim of a mob lynching in his home country. The matter had been reviewed and dispensed with by local judiciary who found him inculpable of any criminal offense.

“Unfortunately, Nascimento has been vocal over the last 4 years about the open theft of member funds at CAF and therefore viewed as hostile to the current CAF leadership. It was only a matter of time before an extra-judicial mechanism was brought to illegitimately eliminate him from the African and global football landscape.

“The FIFA Ethics committee moral compass is so skewed that it allowed an indicted war criminal from the Central Africa Republic get elected to the CAF Executive committee, despite his own country’s electoral commission disqualifying him from running for the National presidency due to this indictment.

“Today the same man sits in prison in Europe awaiting the conclusion of his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).”

Bility has also brought to the UN and AU’s attention the investigations by Swiss Authorities into the shady dealings at FIFA.

“In the meantime, Swiss authorities have commenced an enquiry into the likely criminality of actions by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and which have led to the resignation from public office of his alleged co-conspirators,” the letter further reads.

“Five years ago the World watched in horror the arrests and indictments of more than a dozen top FIFA officials by the US Department of Justice for serious crimes in what later came to be known as the FIFA-gate scandal.

“After a short period occasioned by some sabre-rattling and window-dressing, the organization reverted to factory settings, with a deeper and more diabolical global corruption agenda.

“In the meantime, mainly African and Caribbean football continue to wallow in penury despite receipt of millions of dollars in annual grants from FIFA, and as elected football officials trade their political votes for immunity from FIFA Ethics committee sanction and FIFA protection from investigation by domestic national agencies for misappropriation of these funds.

“In Africa alone, at least 15 Governments have been threatened by FIFA for actively wanting to protect the football aspirations of their people by opening investigations or criminal proceedings against football officials.

“While the rest of the World attempts to forge forward in the achievement of united goals for prosperity, peace, wealth and health, FIFA unfortunately has chosen a different, antithetical tangent for itself and its handful of leaders from each of its 211 members.

“FIFA has no compunction exploiting the footballing human and infrastructure resources of these same countries that it regularly threatens, resources that have been developed through taxation of citizens, massive debt, wars, and struggles for independence etc.”

Bilily wonders why FIFA and CAF shouldbe allowed to privatize and monopolize a global resource of immense importance as football?

“Currently, the football organizations of Europe (UEFA), South America (CONMEBOL) and Asia (AFC) have spoken against and given clear indications of their dissatisfaction with this corrupt global football order,” he laments.

“Unfortunately the pervasive corruption and its individual beneficiaries in the African (CAF), Oceania and North American (CONCACAF) football organizations have created a dystopian reality within FIFA, whose votes continue to power its existence.

“Even the court of last sports resort, the Court for Arbitration in Sports (CAS) has been infiltrated by FIFA, which also happens to be a major funder of the court and proponent of the majority of its arbitrators.

“For someone from a 3rd World country to take a matter for arbitration against FIFA before CAS is often a frustrating and self-defeating endeavor that almost certainly never ends in justice.

“Absolute power has corrupted these football organizations absolutely,” he concludes.

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