Currently, a battle is going on between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, one that is affecting international football as well. There is no doubt that Saudi Arabia wants to take the World Cup away from Qatar in 2022. The “Foundation for Sports Integrity” was launched in a lavish setting in London in May with buzz words about “transparency” and “corruption” that made several participants ask about the source of the money. Two of them were Andreas Selliaas and Jan Jensen*, who have tried to track the secret backers of the new initiative. Jim Waterson of the Guardian also weighs in with additional facts. Interestingly, with regard to awarding the FIFA World Cup 2026, which was announced later in Moscow in July, Saudi Arabia backed the winning, so-called “United” bid of the United States, Canada and Mexico, while Qatar backed the Morocco bid.
Panel discussion at the FFSI conference | Andreas Selliaas
(London, Updated 28 June) – The Foundation for Sports Integrity (FFSI) was launched at the fashionable Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square in London on 31 May. The founder of the FFSI is Jaimie Fuller, the Chairman of SKINS, one of the persons behind the initiative New FIFA Now and a familiar face to those attending Play the Game conferences.
Ye Shiwen, 16, Gold Medal 400m Medley Swim.
FLASHBACK – The Western press lashed out as one against China’s medal-winning athletes at the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Without the slightest shred of evidence, it systematically raised suspicions of doping, pointing the finger in particular at the young swimmer Ye Shiwen. MANLIO DINUCCI* reminds us that such anti-Chinese racism has a bitter taste of déjà vu. Continue reading