Para fazer uma espécie de compensação devido à mudança de data da Copa do Mundo de 2022, a Fifa teria facilitado a venda do Mundial de 2026 para o Fox Sports no EUA, sem consultar a ESPN, que tinha interesse em comprar os direitos.
A Copa de 2022 acontecerá no Catar entre os meses de novembro e dezembro, em vez dos tradicionais junho e julho, por causa do calor desértico, contrariando até mesmo uma regra da própria entidade, que diz que a competição só deve acontecer no meio do ano.
A alteração da data afeta as emissoras americanas, que precisariam dividir a transmissão do maior evento de futebol do mundo com a temporada da NFL, liga de futebol americano do país, que é líder incontestável de audiência.
Pensando nisso, segundo a agência de notícias Bloomberg, a federação teria negociado às escondidas a transmissão da Copa de 2026, que pode acontecer nos Estados Unidos, para compensar a Fox pela possível perda de audiência.
O problema é que a ESPN não foi avisada da concorrência, e a Fifa seguia conversando sobre a compra da Copa pelo canal esportivo da Disney. O fato irritou os diretores do canal.
Procurado para comentar sobre o caso, Jerome Valcke, secretário-geral da Fifa, disse que a entidade não fez nada de errado. “Nós não fizemos nada de errado. O acordo é bom para a Fifa, o acordo é bom para a Fox. Esta é a parte mais importante, e nós fizemos tudo dentro dos padrões internacionais”, afirmou.
May 30, 2015 – 5:51PM
Frank Lowy is not happy. But after yet another loss in Zurich, he is philosophical.
“I deal in facts,” Australia’s football supremo said after the vote at the FIFA Congress – and the fact is he cast Australian soccer’s vote to oust Sepp Blatter from the presidency, then found himself in the clear minority.
“We voted what we thought is the best for FIFA. We have come in the minority, there is no crime either way.
“I think everybody accepts that it is democracy. People voted the way they thought the best. And the majority of people thought that Blatter would do a good job for the future. They must have.”
But Mr Lowy said the loss reminded him of Australia’s failure to win the 2022 World Cup hosting nation, in a vote now under investigation by Swiss authorities for possible corruption.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter speaks after he was re-elected. Photo: Reuters
“Not happy. I was just telling our colleagues we are not doing too well in this FIFA world,” Mr Lowy said. “I’m still disappointed, I still lose sleep over that (World Cup vote). But this is a reality. I live by reality.”
Mr Lowy said FIFA was a democracy, Mr Blatter “has the votes and he has the job to deliver what is expected of him”.
And he was expected to deliver reform, “I expect there will be changes that will please the whole of FIFA and the whole of the world.
Frank Lowy submits Australia’s official bid book for the Soccer World Cup to Sepp Blatter in 2010. Photo: Reuters
“I think it’s time to make certain changes to the transparency and to the governance and I think it will happen.”
Before the vote, UEFA said it would consider boycotting future World Cups if Mr Blatter returned to the presidency.
However, Mr Lowy said he did not think Australia threatening a boycott would do any good.
“Listen, we are 24 million people out of 7 billion people in the world. What do you think we can make a difference what will happen in the world? It’s just over-expectation of us,” he said.
Mr Lowy said he had not heard of any move to re-stage the bidding process for the World Cup votes now under investigation, but he said if there was a re-bid the Football Federation Australia would sit down and consider whether it was in Australia’s interests to bid again.
Mr Lowy said he was confident Australia would not be dragged into FIFA’s corruption scandal, despite the alleged theft of $500,000 in Australian football funds by corrupt FIFA executive Jack Warner.
“We have been scrutinised, questioned and we have put all our facts on the table and there’s nothing more to say about it. There’s absolutely no hint of corruption here,” he said.
“We have been questioned by (independent FIFA ethics investigator Michael) Garcia and we have put all the facts to them and they accepted it. These are facts that are irrefutable facts: there is no corruption here.
“And that the CONCACAF money (given to Warner) … did get to the CONCACAF bank account and what happened after that how can we be responsible for that?”
“We have a responsibility, we sign a cheque, we write a letter, we get a receipt from the bank that it went into the account that it was intended to. How can we be responsible for what happened after that?
“I have no idea what happened. I don’t know what happened after that.”
Asked if Australian Federal Police had interviewed anyone at FFA, he said “I don’t believe it has (spoken to us) but if it has it has – it’s no problem, if they want to ask questions we are available.”
Mr Lowy said he was “more or less unscathed” after his recent public fall from the A-League grand final stage, and it was back to business as usual for the FFA.
“We carry on and do our job,” he said.
The Canberra Times