‘FIFA are not world doping po­lice’: In­fantino

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

FIFA pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino has ruled out tak­ing the 2018 World Cup from Rus­sia in the wake of the lat­est find­ings of the McLaren re­port.

“FIFA is not the world po­lice and cer­tainly not the world doping po­lice,” the head of world foot­ball’s gov­ern­ing body told Ger­man magazine Der Spiegel.

“Our dis­ci­plinary bod­ies will take care of any­thing in the McLaren re­port which has any­thing to do with foot­ball. “Boy­cotts and bans have never solved any prob­lems,” In­fantino added as he ruled out strip­ping Rus­sia of the 2018 World Cup fi­nals.

The McLaren re­port, the se­cond part of which was an­nounced ten days ago, re­vealed sys­tem­atic doping in Rus­sia be­tween 2011 and 2015 which in­volved more than 1,000 ath­letes in sev­eral sports, in­clud­ing foot­ball.

In­fantino says FIFA are still wait­ing for the ‘rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion’ from the McLaren re­ports which men­tions 31 tam­pered doping sam­ples from foot­ballers. The Swiss says “if mea­sures need to be taken, they will be”, but he pointed to the work FIFA is al­ready do­ing to com­bat doping. “Test­ing was not im­ple­mented by Brazil in 2014 or by South Africa in 2010 and won’t be car­ried out by Rus­sia in 2018, but by FIFA,” he added. If some­thing goes wrong, “that will be our re­spon­si­bil­ity, our fault,” said In­fantino, “but we are con­fi­dent our anti-doping mea­sures will work.” When asked about the re­cent ‘Foot­ball Leaks’, re­ported by sev­eral publi­ca­tions in­clud­ing Der Spiegel, which al­leged tax eva­sion by high-pro­file stars in­clud­ing Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and Jose Mour­inho, In­fantino said it’s a mat­ter for in­di­vid­ual na­tional federations.

“It is naive to be­lieve that FIFA can know ev­ery­thing from Zurich which goes on dur­ing every trans­fer in the world,” said In­fantino.

“So it makes sense to give the re­spon­si­bil­ity to the unions and federations. “They should check the trans­fers, which take place in their own coun­try.” He added “when some­one hasn’t paid their taxes, drives too fast or is drunk be­hind the wheel, then FIFA is not re­spon­si­ble for that.” In­fantino also said FIFA will lead a meet­ing of foot­ball rep­re­sen­ta­tive bod­ies early next year to dis­cuss trans­fers in the wake of last week’s Foot­ball Leaks rev­e­la­tions.

“We need to start a huge job of re­flec­tion in­clud­ing all par­ties: play­ers, clubs, in­ter­me­di­aries, but also the au­thor­i­ties, no­tably the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion,” In­fantino said in the same in­ter­view to a a group of Euro­pean me­dia, in­clud­ing France’s Me­di­a­part.

“With that in mind we have, at FIFA, put in place a com­mit­tee to gather all those in­ter­ested par­ties. They will meet for the first time at the be­gin­ning of next year.” Last week Me­di­a­part pub­lished a re­port al­leg­ing that Doyen Sports, a ma­jor trans­fer mar­ket dealer, had ploughed funds into pros­ti­tu­tion, kick­backs and tax eva­sion schemes.

“I gen­er­ally be­lieve that the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple, and there­fore also those in­volved in the trans­fer sys­tem, are hon­est,” added In­fantino.

“In any case, I hope that’s the case. That be­ing said, it’s not a rea­son not to try, inces­santly, to in­crease and im­prove the con­trol mech­a­nisms we have in place. “But we are not an au­thor­ity charged with en­forc­ing the law... Al­though we must do more.”

The Foot­ball Leaks re­port claimed that Doyen Sports had at­tempted to fa­cil­i­tate the trans­fer of French­man Ge­of­frey Kon­dog­bia to Real Madrid by of­fer­ing pros­ti­tutes. The re­port also ac­cused the Kazakh-Turk­ish owned com­pany of trans­fer­ring at least 10.8 mil­lion euros ($12 mil­lion), earnt through kick­backs, into tax havens. — AFP

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