Archive | International Sports

Montserrat represented a the World Domino Federation General meeting

Montserrat was represented for the first time at the World Domino Federation Annual General meeting in Orlando, Florida this week. The meeting followed the conclusion of the World Domino tournament from August 17-26.

A two-member delegation in vice president of the Montserrat Domino Association (MDA) Mr. Winston Telesford and seasoned domino player Mr. Leon Spinks, returned  for Florida, after attending the final two days of the Federation Championship games and the annual general meeting.

Mr. Telesford told The Montserrat Reporter (TMR) that the visit was a good experience. He revealed that apart from observing the championship games they were afforded the opportunity to also play two friendly matches with the Barbados team, who won the tournament. The Montserratians won the first of the two matches they played.

He said one of the things the Association was informed of, was the lengthy time that is devoted to the games, which is significantly different from what is practiced here in Montserrat. Another observation made during their visit, was the difference in the rules governing the matches. He explained that two of the challenges the Association would face in putting on such lengthy matches is getting sponsorship and players.

According to the Vice President, countries such as Barbados were able to produce several teams, where most of the players play domino professionally, which is different from Montserrat players. However, he said that the Association will look at reviewing their rules and other areas, where it is beneficial to Montserrat.

Meanwhile, MDA president Mr. Gregory Willock, explained that the main purpose for their attendance was to build closer ties with the Federation and present Montserrat non-coding method of playing domino to the Federation, which is contrary to the international coding method.

Willock said, “We are really pleased to get the opportunity to send our delegates to the meeting. This would allow us to determine if we need to change the style of Domino that we are playing, or whether we don’t want to associate ourselves and probably be honorary members of the Federation.”

“A few years ago… Antigua volunteered to play some friendly games with us to allow us to get a feel of what this coding style of domino is like at the international level. But when Antigua came here we were at a loss, because…they played a style of coding, a form of coding which we are not accustomed to in any form of dominos here. What we experienced against Antigua was really unfamiliar territory for us,” he said.

He continued, “We decided as an Association that it was necessary for us to make representation even if we weren’t sending a team to the World Domino Federation Championship, to send a two-member delegation to the AGM so we can give the Federation a country update and also inform them of the style of Domino that we play and the rules we play under.”

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Bin Hammam hit with AFC ban over financial wrongdoing

By Andrew Warshaw

July 17 – Former Asian football supremo Mohamed Bin Hammam’s hopes of restoring his power base have been effectively dashed after he was sanctioned by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) when an audit of AFC accounts revealed allegations of financial wrongdoing.

Bin Hammam, the former AFC President who is currently fighting a life ban over last year’s cash-for-votes scandal in the Caribbean, has been suspended for 30 days for “events surrounding the negotiation and execution of certain contracts and with the financial transactions made in and out of AFC bank accounts and his personal account during the tenure of Mr Bin Hammam’s Presidency”.

Last year the Qatari challenged Sepp Blatter for the FIFA Presidency but withdrew his candidacy just days before the June election following claims that he had tried to buy the votes of Caribbean officials.

Bin Hammam, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, was banned for life and has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which is expected to reach a verdict next week.

If cleared, he could technically resume AFC activities but is unlikely to gain sufficient support as a result of the latest move, with the AFC hot seat, currently occupied on a temporary basis by Zhang Jilong of China, going to either Yousef Al Serkal of the United Arab Emirates or Shaikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain.

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Darren Sammy had David Warner caught at slip

West Indies v Australia, 1st Test, Bridgetown, 3rd day

Clarke fights but West Indies still on top

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

Darren Sammy had David Warner caught at slip

Australia 248 for 5 (Clarke 73, Hussey 47*) trail West Indies 449 for 9 dec by 201 runs
West Indies remained firmly on top after three days of attritional cricket in Barbados, where Darren Sammy’s early strikes and Devendra Bishoo’s variations kept Australia’s batsmen from making significant progress. At stumps on day three Australia were 248 for 5, with Michael Hussey on 47 and Matthew Wade on 19, and while they had almost passed the follow-on mark they were not yet safe in the match.

The big challenge for West Indies remained finding a way to turn their impressive performance into a victory. Rain again played a part on the third afternoon and their task for the final two days was to run through Australia’s lower order quickly, bat again and set the visitors a target, and then skittle them a second time. The way this match has unfolded so far, that looked like it would be easier said than done.

But through Sammy and his colleagues West Indies had at least put themselves in the much stronger position. Last time the two sides met in a Caribbean Test series, the hosts had several days of inspired cricket but were unable to string together enough in one match to take a victory from Australia. This time they had started with two encouraging days, and worked through the third in the same fashion.

Michael Clarke provided Australia with a fighting half-century but threw his wicket away, while Shane Watson and David Warner also failed to capitalise on solid starts. Watson was also accountable for the ugly run-out of Ricky Ponting, a calamitous confusion that left Ponting fuming as he walked off the field.

The pair had come together after Sammy removed both openers in almost identical fashion, pitching the ball on off stump and nipping it away from the left-handers Warner and Ed Cowan. Cowan was on 14 when his thin edge found the wicketkeeper and Warner had made a promising start and had 42 when he edged to second slip, and Sammy’s accuracy and persistence was impressive.

Those strikes were followed by the run-out of Ponting for 4 when Watson turned the ball behind square leg and took a single, and then called for the second, hesitated, and called Ponting through again. The throw from the deep to the wicketkeeper’s end found a confused Ponting out of his ground as Watson loitered halfway down the pitch and Ponting’s frustration was evident.

Watson was nearly involved in another run-out later when Clarke was saved only by a wayward throw. That, together with poor use of the review system, were the only real blemishes that could be attached to the West Indies fielding effort. Twice Watson survived lbw appeals that could easily have gone against him, once when he offered no shot to a prodigious inswinger from Sammy, who asked for a review and saw the replays show a perilously close prediction that had the ball hitting off stump, but only in the “umpire’s call” zone.

In the next over, Kemar Roach appealed for lbw against Watson and also received a not-out verdict. This time Sammy decided against asking for a review but replays showed the ball would have struck enough of leg stump to have the decision overturned. West Indies wasted their second review after lunch when Sammy was off the ground and the vice-captain Kirk Edwards asked for the third umpire to check another Roach lbw appeal that was clearly sliding down leg.

But those errors of judgment didn’t prove too costly. Watson threw his wicket away in the first over after lunch when he flashed impetuously at Roach and was caught behind for 39. It was hardly the innings Australia needed from Watson in his first Test batting at No.3. Clarke and Michael Hussey led a fightback with an 82-run partnership and they had to work hard against Bishoo, whose variations kept them from scoring freely.

Clarke used his feet against the legspinner and lofted him straight down the ground for six, but otherwise the Australians typically waited for poor balls from Bishoo and did the best they could to keep the good ones out. Clarke brought up his half-century from his 121st delivery with a fine cover-driven boundary from the part-time offspin of Narsingh Deonarine, and he was fortunate to have got there after a contentious review when he was on 27.

Clarke was adjudged caught behind off a Bishoo ball that stayed low and he immediately challenged the out decision from the umpire Tony Hill. Replays did not clearly show that he hit the ball but nor did there seem to be overwhelming evidence to overturn the call, but that was what happened and it was a serious let-off for Clarke.

Eventually, Bishoo had his reward when Clarke tried to clear long-off but succeeded only in skying a catch, and it was an unwise shot selection at a time when Clarke and Hussey needed to continue building their partnership. Hussey was more watchful and by stumps was approaching a half-century, and Wade struggled against Bishoo with a packed close-in field, but he was good enough to put away the bad balls when they came.

Bishoo’s challenge on the fourth day will be to run through the tail, although with the new ball due Sammy will first turn to his fast men to do that job. And if they can manage it, victory will be a possibility, although a draw remains the more likely outcome.


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Warner to FIFA: You’re destroying the Caribbean region

Former FIFA vice president and CONCACAF president Jack Warner sent FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his organization a Christmas present on Friday and as you can guess, it wasn’t gift wrapped with pretty bows.

In a critical, seven-page statement about international soccer’s governing body, Warner claimed FIFA was engaged in a hostile take over of the Caribbean Football Union. Members of the CFU met in Zurich, Switzerland to reorganize its organization in what was considered in many quarters as the biggest scandal in soccer in 2011.

Warner claimed that FIFA had “no locus standi or even hierarchical relationship” with the CFU.

“I am no longer prepared to sit back and watch from the sidelines, while a few men destroy an entire region for their own selfish and self-serving motives,” he said in a statement.

Warner was forced to step down from both positions for his alleged part in the scandal. He and former Asian Soccer Confederation head Mohammed bin Hammam of Qatar tried to bribe Carribean Football Union officials to vote for the former against the incumbent Blatter in the FIFA presidential election. The plot was found out, and bin Hammam was banned from the game. Several CFU officials were suspended and Warner resigned.

Now Warner is on the warpath once again.

Warner called this meeting unconstitutional.

“At this unconstitutional CFU congress, certain decisions were taken by the FIFA president, decisions which the presidents of 26 of the 30 national associations present accepted without even consulting their members who they purported to represent,” he said.

Warner, the minister of works and infrastructure in the People’s Partnership Government in his native Trinidad & Tobago, said the soccer leaders from Anguilla, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago did not support FIFA “and its unethical actions.”

Some of those action, according to Warner, included:

The appointment of a normalization committee to execute various tasks on behalf of the CFU, the appointment of an interim CFU general secretary, the review of the new CFU statutes to be proposed by the CFU Legal Committee, the preparation of the 2011 annual report, setting a deadline for a CFU extraordinary congress to approve the new CFU statutes within 90 dates of Dec. 20.

“Never in the history of the FIFA has an organization that is not a member of FIFA been subject to the ‘law’ of FIFA,” Warner said.

Warner said he would have more to say on Wednesday.

“In one fell swoop, the Caribbean football leadership has now undone its struggle of some 33 years and has disrespected the entire region,” Warner said in his statement. “The arrogance with which the FIFA continues to ride roughshod over duly elected officials of both the CFU and the CONCACAF is not just unethical but plain outright immoral.

“It demonstrates the crass disrespect to the independence and sanctity of the constitutions of both organizations because the FIFA imposes on these two organizations its will which is neither recognized by FIFA’s constitution nor the constitutions of the CFU and the CONCACAF.

“This type of behavior must never be allowed to continue without a voice of dissent being raised against such malfeasance.”

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Most dominant Test side ever

The Invincibles, Lloyd’s West Indians, Waugh’s Australians and others are in the mix. Who’s on top?

S Rajesh

This is one of the favourite topics for debate among any group of cricket diehards: which is the best team to have played Test cricket? It’s a topic which, quite justifiably, elicits strong opinions: does Bradman’s team of the 1930s and ’40s remain the best side ever? Or is it the West Indian team of the 1980s? Anyone who has seen the records of the Australian team of the 2000s can’t ignore their claims to greatness either. And then there are other sides that have briefly flirted with greatness: South Africa won eight out of 12 Tests during the late 1960s, just before they were banned, while England in the 1950s won 36 Tests and lost 13 out of 72 matches.

However, when comparing the numbers, three teams stand out for their sheer domination of the rest of the field. The Australian side, during an extended period from 1930 to November 1952 – interrupted for almost eight years by the War – won 46 out of 70 Tests, and lost only 12. During that period, they won 13 out of 15 series, losing one (the Bodyline series in 1932-33), and drawing one (in England in 1938). The Australian side of the 2000s was, if anything, even more dominant. Between October 1999 and November 2007, they played 93 Tests, and won a mind-boggling 72 of them. One of the remarkable features of their domination was the fact that they played out only 11 draws in 93 games. In 28 series during this period (excluding the one-off Super Test and a series in Zimbabwe), they won 24, and lost and drew two each. And then, of course, was the West Indies team of the 1980s and the early ’90s, which went 15 years without losing a Test series. Towards the end of that period they began to lose a few Tests along the way, but their best period was between February 1981 and December 1989: in 69 Tests in that span, they had a 40-7 win-loss record. (Between January 1990 and March 1995, it dropped to 20-9.) During their eight greatest years, they played 16 series, won 11 and drew five.

All of these teams were remarkable because they set high standards and maintained them over long periods of time. In terms of sheer numbers, the Australian side of the 2000s looks better than the other two: they won a higher percentage of games, had a higher win-loss ratio, and had a greater difference between their batting and bowling averages than the other two sides.

Do these stats make that Australian team the greatest of all time? The jury will be out on that one, for often numbers alone don’t tell the entire story. (Does 16 Grand Slam titles make Roger Federer the best male tennis player of all time? There are some who believe not.) What the numbers do show, though, is that the Australian team of the 2000s is arguably the most dominant team to have played the game. The difference of 17.14 between their batting and bowling averages shows that they were way better than most of their competition during this period. The two series losses during this period – to India and England – spoils the record a bit, but the sheer number of matches they won is awe-inspiring.

The golden periods for Australia and West Indies






Bat ave

Bowl ave



Jan 1930-Nov 1952


46/ 12





West Indies

Feb 1981-Dec 1989


40/ 7






Oct 1999-Nov 2007


72/ 10





One of the arguments put forward against some of the domination is the quality of the opposition. In the 1930s and ’40s, did Australia have any other significant challenge than England? Similarly, in the 2000s how many teams were up for the fight against Australia? One way to separate the tougher competition from the rest is to look at the win-loss record of the other sides during each of these periods against opposition other than the dominant side. Doing that, and comparing the stats of the other teams, it emerges that:

  • Between 1930 and 1952, Australia’s major competition came from England and West Indies. Both these teams had win-loss ratios of more than 1.5 against teams other than Australia, but the others all had ratios of less than 0.6 against teams other than Australia.
  • During West Indies’ dominant period, all teams except Sri Lanka had win-loss ratios of 0.9 or more against teams other than West Indies. That means Australia, England, Pakistan, New Zealand, and India were all credible opposition for them.
  • During the era of the recent Australian domination, all teams other than West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe had ratios of more than 0.75 against teams other than Australia. (It’s a shame that the most dominant team of the 1980s is left out of discussion in the early 2000s because they aren’t good enough to compete, but that’s a telling commentary of how far West Indies have fallen.)

Looking at performances only against the relatively stronger teams, what emerges is that both the Australian sides played about 20 Tests against the weaker outfits, but the West Indies team of the 1980s played against relatively good opposition throughout – they didn’t play a single Test against Sri Lanka during that period.

In terms of numbers, the win-loss ratio for the Australian team of the 1930s and ’40s dipped to 2.33, a drop of almost 40% from their ratio against all teams. Against England, the Australians won 20 and lost 10 Tests, while the record was 8-2 against West Indies; against the other sides – South Africa, India and New Zealand – Australia won 18 out of 21, and drew the other three.

The performances of the Australian team of the 2000s dipped a bit too against the better teams, but only by about 18% – their win-loss ratio came down from 7.2 to 5.88. The teams that gave the Australians the most trouble were India (7-4 record in 14 games), and England (14-4 in 20 Tests), but against the three weak teams – West Indies, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh – Australia have a combined win-loss record of 18-1, with no draws. Even after excluding those matches, though, Australia have a superb record, with a marginally better win-loss ratio that the 1980s West Indies.

To be continued, next issue

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The bans relate to a meeting in Port of Spain in May

FIFA charges 10 more Caribbean officials

The bans relate to a meeting in Port of Spain in May

Montserrat Football bosses get roped into FIFA/CFU bribery scandal

FIFA’s ethics committee has opened proceedings against 10 more Caribbean football officials, relating to the cash-for-votes scandal.

Four members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) were banned on 14 October.

The officials will have their cases heard in mid-November, world football’s governing body said in a statement. Continue Reading

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 Getty Images

Jack Warner claims Fifa conspiracy against Caribbean officials after bribery video leak

The former vice-president of the organisation has hit out at footage of him encouraging officials to accept cash gifts, branding it a deliberate attempt to undermine the CFU

By Livio Caferoglu Ex-Fifa vice-president Jack Warner has insisted that the leak of a video urging officials to accept bribes from Mohamed Bin Hammam is proof of a conspiracy against Caribbean delegates.

Getty Images

Warner, who was charged amid allegations of bribery earlier this year but resigned from his post in June, reacted furiously to the leak in the wake of the news that 15 Caribbean officials are set to face hearings from the Fifa Ethics Committee on Friday.

“The release of this video is tantamount to contempt because it seeks to influence international opinion against what is clearly a conspiracy against the delegates of the Caribbean Football Union,” Warner wrote in an email to the Press Association. “Moreover there are a lot more questions which the Fifa should answer from this convenient revelation.

“The Caribbean delegates are currently in Zurich and are actively involved in disciplinary proceedings established by the Fifa so this leak is clearly subjudicious [sic] and contrary to the very principles of law and justice.

“Regretfully, this is what defines the Fifa; a perceived right to do all in its power, right or wrong, to defend its own.”

Warner then went on to discuss the events relayed in the video, sensationally claiming that the it was evidence of entrapment, as Fifa had pressured him and the officials to perform acts of bribery.

“Never before has a covert video been made, let alone been published, in the history of CFU. It is clear that those who recorded the meeting, and subsequently made certain that the video went global, are engaged in entrapment.

“It is therefore not paranoia nor mindless talk to speak of a conspiracy by those who had an agenda: the one to weaken the Concacaf through its largest voting bloc, the CFU, and thus ascertain that Caribbean men and women are excluded from the decision-making process in Concacaf and Fifa in the future.”

Warner also brought the Swiss influence at Fifa to light, which includes president Sepp Blatter, Ethics Committee chairman Claudio Sulser, and head of the Disciplinary Committee, Marcel Mathier, who has also previously represented Blatter.

“The Swiss seem to have a morality of their own,” Warner exclaimed. “Fifa cannot be allowed to continue tarnishing the images and characters of good men.

“For it is clear that the Fifa is determined to stop at nothing as they seek to destroy, to extirpate those they have defined as their enemies from any sphere of influence.

“However, truth crushed to the ground will rise again. At the end of the day, the truth will prevail. In time, truth will always arise,” he concluded.


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FIFA whistle-blower Chuck Blazer to quit CONCACAF role

Chuck Blazer this summer survived an attempt to oust him

A Fifa official who blew the whistle on alleged corruption within the game’s governing body is to step down as general secretary of Concacaf.

Chuck Blazer will continue as a Fifa executive committee member but will leave his North and Central American and Caribbean post on 31 December.

The 66-year-old American said: “It is time for me to explore new challenges.”

His allegations led to senior Fifa colleague Mohamed Bin Hammam being banned from football for life.

Another senior executive, Trinidad & Tobago’s Jack Warner, resigned in June after being suspended pending an investigation into bribery allegations.

Vice president Warner and fellow Fifa member Mohamed Bin Hammam were said to have paid bribes of £600,000 to Caribbean associations.

But in a statement at the time of Warner’s resignation, Fifa said: “As a consequence, all ethics committee procedures against him have been closed and the presumption of innocence is maintained.”


Continue reading the main story

In June, Blazer survived an attempt by Concacaf’s acting president Lisle Austin to sack him.

Austin sent Blazer a letter saying he was “terminated as general secretary with immediate effect”.

But Concacaf’s executive committee ruled that the dismissal was “unauthorised”.

Blazer alleged that violations of Fifa’s code of ethics had occurred during a meeting organised by Bin Hammam and Warner in May.

In a statement, Warner said: “I am convinced, and I am advised by counsel, that since my actions did not extend beyond facilitating the meeting that gave Mr Bin Hammam an opportunity to pursue his aborted bid for the Fifa presidency, I would be fully exonerated by any objective arbiter.

“I have, nonetheless, arrived at the decision to withdraw from Fifa affairs in order to spare Fifa, Concacaf and, in particular, CFU and its membership, from further acrimony and divisiveness arising from this and related issues.”

Warner also told Bloomberg press agency he felt he had been “hung out to dry” and insisted the giving of gifts has been part of Fifa culture during his 30 years in the organisation.

“It’s not unusual for such things to happen and gifts have been around throughout the history of Fifa,” he said. “What’s happening now for me is hypocrisy.”

He added: “I have lost my enthusiasm to continue. The general secretary that I had employed, who worked with me for 21 years, with the assistance of elements of Fifa has sought to undermine me in ways that are unimaginable.

“This is giving the impression that Fifa is sanitising itself. I’ve been hung out to dry continually and I’m not prepared to take that.”

In May, Fifa opened “ethics proceedings” against Warner and Bin Hammam but Warner insisted he was not guilty of a “single iota of wrongdoing”.

Football’s governing body then suspended Warner and Bin Hammam on 29 May, pending an investigation into claims they had offered bribes to members of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU).

Despite claims by Bin Hammam that Fifa president Sepp Blatter was aware of payments made to the CFU, and that he too should be investigated, Fifa’s ethics committee stated that “no investigation is warranted” of Blatter.

Following Bin Hammam’s suspension, Blatter went on to run unopposed in the Fifa presidential election, despite efforts by the FA to have the election suspended amid the corruption allegations that had engulfed the sport’s world governing body.

Blatter was re-elected for a fourth term after receiving 186 of the 203 votes, after 16 other member associations supported the FA’s request for a delay.

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FIFA urged to launch new bribery investigations


Read more:

GENEVA (AP) — After banishing Mohamed bin Hammam for life in a bribery scandal, FIFA was challenged Monday to uphold its zero-tolerance fight against corruption by further examining a now-infamous meeting in Trinidad.

A wider inquiry must consider three more members of FIFA’s executive committee who accompanied the Qatari official on his presidential campaign visit and all the Caribbean soccer leaders allegedly receiving his $40,000 cash gifts, the Transparency International global watchdog said.

A request by FIFA for new investigations will keep the focus on corruption this week as Sepp Blatter and his organization gather in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup qualifying draw Saturday.

Adding to the governing body’s unease is bin Hammam’s reiterated pledge Monday to fight his life ban through all legal channels in Switzerland. That could result in FIFA and Qatar being tainted by corruption claims for at least 18 months. The 2022 World Cup host has been working hard to quash allegations it won the hosting rights by unethical means.

Top FIFA administrator Jerome Valcke must decide how deep to delve into the most serious scandal in the body’s 107-year history.

“Everything has to be investigated,” TI sports adviser Sylvia Schenk told The Associated Press. “Regarding this meeting there (in Trinidad), regarding other members of the executive committee having taken part in this meeting, and regarding all the delegates. If bin Hammam is punished for giving money, someone has to be punished for taking money. It can’t be otherwise.”

Bin Hammam’s allies on FIFA’s 24-man ruling panel — Worawi Makudi of Thailand, Vernon Manilal Fernando of Sri Lanka and Egypt’s Hany Abou Rida — accompanied him on a trip to woo Caribbean voters.

FIFA’s code of ethics code requires that “officials shall report any evidence of violations of conduct to the FIFA secretary general,” but all three told FIFA investigators that they saw no evidence of wrongdoing in Trinidad.

Up to 15 Caribbean Football Union member countries are under suspicion of accepting $40,000 bribes to back bin Hamman‘s challenge to FIFA president Blatter, then denying it happened.

Ethics panel chairman Petrus Damaseb, a judge from Namibia, said Saturday he’d asked Valcke to open other cases. Schenk said Damaseb’s lack of authority to take up cases was a flaw in FIFA’s process.

Evidence presented to Damaseb’s five-man panel that convicted bin Hammam included statements from witnesses representing nine CFU members.

The whistleblowers’ testimony could lead to long bans for their Caribbean colleagues, some of whom rejected offers to meet with FIFA’s investigators led by former FBI director Louis Freeh.

Montserrat soccer president Vincent Cassell told the AP that scheduled interviews with Freeh in the Bahamas clashed with the opening 2014 World Cup qualifier against Belize — ironically, played in neutral Trinidad.

“We had to make a choice. We weren’t involved in whatever they are talking about,” Cassell said of the bribery allegations. “So we didn’t see it as a priority. Montserrat is a very small fry in the world of football. I didn’t think they would see us as important.”

Bin Hammam, the Asian Football Confederation president since 2002, is the most senior soccer official to be found guilty of corruption.

He wrote to his “dear brother” member nation presidents on Monday asking for understanding why he wouldn’t resign as AFC leader, or his 15-year grip on a FIFA executive seat, to clear his name.

“I have all the right to fight against this shameful decision,” wrote bin Hammam, who can challenge FIFA at its appeals committee, the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

Bin Hammam’s downfall as a FIFA powerbroker has been sudden and sharp since helping his native Qatar’s shock victory, ultimately over the United States, to be voted 2022 World Cup host last December. Qatari soccer leaders have refused to comment on bin Hammam’s troubles.

For FIFA and Blatter, the blight on his former election rival’s personal reputation has not yet damaged the emirate’s 2022 project, despite calls by executive committee newcomer Theo Zwanziger of Germany to re-examine how the bid won.

FIFA has said it requires fresh evidence of wrongdoing before casting any doubt on Qatar.

One line of attack for Qatar’s critics was closed this month when claims that FIFA voters, including African soccer president Issa Hayatou, were paid $1.5 million were suddenly withdrawn by whistleblower Phaedra Almajid.

Contending she was neither coerced nor paid to surrendered her anonymity, Almajid identified herself as an embittered former bid spokeswoman who wanted to harm her one-time employer.

Hayatou is still under suspicion of taking unethical payments, as the International Olympic Committee looks into a British report into kickbacks allegedly paid by FIFA’s former marketing agency partner in the 1990s.

The BBC’s Panorama program also alleged that Hayatou’s fellow IOC member, Joao Havelange, who was Blatter’s predecessor as FIFA president, took a $1 million payment. FIFA has refused to investigate that case, which was the subject of a Swiss criminal trial in 2008 involving six marketing agency executives.

As FIFA is linked to a lengthening list of scandals, Schenk believes another approach is needed.

“You will never get peace within FIFA if you don’t have an independent investigation,” said Schenk, a German and former Olympic runner and one-time board member of the International Cycling Union. “The problem for FIFA is that they have to start changing the culture. The problems haven’t been finished just by punishing bin Hammam.”

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FILE – In this May 10, 2011 file picture Mohamed bin Hammam, chief of the Asian Football Confederation, talks to local media in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago. FIFA banned Mohamed bin Hammam from football for life on Saturday July 23, 2011 after finding him guilty of bribing presidential election voters. The FIFA ethics panel ruled that the Qatari candidate conspired to pay Caribbean officials $40,000 cash bribes to back his ultimately abandoned challenge to FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Photo: Shirley Bahadur,File / AP

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