Showing posts from April, 2015

HARESH SAYS: When (AFC) silence is not golden

HARESH SAYS: When silence is not golden As published in Malay Mail today

by Haresh Deol

A SENIOR official claims a senior colleague suggested to “hide or tamper” documents. On any other day, such accusations will warrant a full investigation.
But in the case of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), it was a revelation that was video recorded and presumably kept aside. 
Malay Mail had last Saturday revealed AFC financial director Bryan Kuan Wee Hoong, in a video recording on July 26, 2012, claimed AFC general secretary Datuk Alex Soosay said “protect me” before suggesting “can you tamper or hide documents that relate to me”.
Kuan had, in the video, said the conversation between him and Soosay took place at the AFC House in Bukit Jalil on July 23, 2012, three days before former Fifa investigator Michael John Pride recorded the statement. This was during the 2012 audit by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
Kuan refused to talk when contacted last week. Soosay vehemently denied the conte…

Political Violence: Retiring the Word Terrorism

RSIS Commentary is a platform to provide timely and, where appropriate, policy-relevant commentary and analysis of topical issues and contemporary developments. The views of the authors are their own and do not represent the official position of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU. These commentaries may be reproduced electronically or in print with prior permission from RSIS and due recognition to the author(s) and RSIS. Please email: feedback to the Editor RSIS Commentary, Yang Razali Kassim. 
No. 101/2015 dated 27 April 2015 Political Violence:
Retiring the Word Terrorism
By James M. Dorsey

Founders of many modern states, including stalwarts of anti-terrorism like Israel and allies in the war on terror like the Kurds, achieved goals with political violence that killed innocent people and would be classified today as terrorism. Political violence should be recognised as a reflection of deep-seated social, economic and political …

Velappan questions why probe video was not reported (JMD quote in Malay Mail)

By Haresh Deol
KUALA LUMPUR — A former Asian Football Confederation (AFC) stalwart has questioned why the “tamper or hide” allegations by a senior AFC official during an internal audit in 2012 were not highlighted and investigated. 

Datuk Peter Velappan, who served as AFC general secretary from 1977 to 2007, said the allegations by AFC financial director Bryan Kuan Wee Hoong were “shocking” and had “serious implications on the integrity” of the regional body.

A video interview by Fifa investigator Michael John Pride which was obtained by Malay Mail last week, had Kuan claiming AFC general secretary Datuk Alex Soosay told him “protect me” before asking “can you tamper or hide documents that relate to me?”

The video was recorded on July 26, 2012. Kuan met Soosay three days earlier at the latter’s office at AFC House in Bukit Jalil.

Soosay vehemently denied the contents of the video when contacted by Malay Mail on Wednesday, saying it was an attempt to smear him. The former Negri Sembilan foo…

Alleged AFC cover-up effort highlights Asian soccer’s lack of proper governance

By James M. Dorsey
A senior executive of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) allegedly requested in 2012 at least one of his subordinates to tamper with or hide documents related to enquiries by independent auditors and FIFA into management of the group by Mohammed Bin Hammam, the AFC’s ousted president and vice president of the world soccer body, according to claims made by a subordinate in two statements and sources with first-hand knowledge close to the Kuala Lumpur-based group.
The official who reportedly requested the tampering or hiding of documents bearing his name or signature, AFC general secretary, Dato' Alex Soosay, subsequently alleged in a police report on Aug 17, 2012, that Mr. Bin Hammam had embezzled some $10 million, the Malaysian Commercial Crime Investigation Department (JSJK) told the Malay Mail. The police handed the case over to the Malaysian attorney general who decided not to take further action.
Mr. Soosay this week vehemently denied the alleged cover…

Malay Mail: Explosive ‘tamper or hide’ AFC probe video surfaces / Soosay: Where’s this coming from, why now?

Explosive ‘tamper or hide’ AFC probe video surfaces
By Haresh Deol 
KUALA LUMPUR — The general secretary of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) allegedly attempted to "tamper or hide" documents during the 2012 internal audit that was triggered by claims of corrupt practices by then president Mohammad Hammam, reveals evidence obtained by Malay Mail.
A video recording of a Fifa investigation, obtained by Malay Mail this week, sheds new light on the episode and implicates Datuk Alex Soosay in an alleged cover-up.
Soosay vehemently denied the contents of the video, saying it was an attempt to smear him. The former Negri Sembilan footballer is in Bahrain for a series of meetings ahead of the AFC elections on April 30 (see accompanying story).
The explosive disclosures surfaced in the video recorded on July 26, 2012 in an interview with AFC financial director Bryan Kuan Wee Hoong by Fifa investigator Michael John Pride.
Kuan said Soosay had, during a meeting in his office three…

Israel chides club for racism in bid to fend off FIFA suspension

By James M. Dorsey
Israel’s Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) has demanded that notoriously racist club Beitar Jerusalem, the bad boy of Israeli soccer, retract recent statements that it would maintain its policy of not hiring Palestinian players because of opposition by the team’s militant, racist fan base.
The demand comes as Israel is fighting an attempt by the Palestine Football Association (PFA) to get the Jewish state suspended from FIFA at next month’s congress of the world soccer body. The PFA charges that Israel hinders the development of Palestinian soccer by obstructing travel of Palestinian players between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as well as abroad.
Senior Israeli soccer officials are in Europe this week for talks with FIFA president Sepp Blatter, and Michel Platini, the head of the European soccer body UEFA, in a bid to block the PFA effort. They counter the Palestinian assertion by insisting that the Israel Football Association (IFA) has no say i…

Egyptian death sentence for soccer fans puts president’s iron grip to the test

By James M. Dorsey
Egyptian-general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al Sisi’s iron grip on dissident is likely to be put to the test with the sentencing to death of 11 soccer fans for involvement in a politically loaded football brawl three years ago that left 74 militant supporters of storied Cairo club Al Ahli SC dead.
The brawl and the subsequent sentencing to death in an initial trial two years ago of 21 supporters of the Suez Canal city of Port Said’s Al Masri SC sparked mass protests by Al Ahli fans demanding justice in the walk up to the court hearings and a popular revolt in Port Said and other Suez Canal cities once the verdict was issued that forced then President Mohammed Morsi to declare an emergency and deploy military troops to the region.
Although the judge in the retrial ordered by an appeals court lowered the number of al Masri supporters facing a death penalty, the verdict is certain to spark renewed anger in Port Said where many see the fans as scapegoats in what was…

Global Soccer’s Backslapping, Backstabbing Backroom Deal-making Politics

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah
By James M. Dorsey
Presidential elections and tournament hosting in the world of soccer appear to be seldom won on the merits of a candidate or bidder’s proposition. Instead, the outcome of polls and bids are frequently the result of backslapping, backstabbing backroom politicking between global soccer managers and political leaders.
World soccer is about to get another taste of the global soccer’s wheeling and dealing with the likely election of Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the head of the Association of National Committees (ANOC), the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the influential Solidarity Commission of the International Olympic Committee as an Asian member of world soccer body FIFA’s executive committee.
A Kuwaiti politician, former oil and information minister, and past head of the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) as well as his country’s National Security Council, Sheikh Ahmed is already being touted as a possible future presid…