September 11, 2015
Recently, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) sent to almost every AFC member association, form letters to be filled in by the National Football Association in support of the candidacy of Mr. Michel Platini. Furthermore, the Director and staff members of AFC’s Department of Member Associations and Development made private phone calls to individual member associations, checking to see whether they had sent in the completed form letters to FIFA.
On August 31, Dr. Chung Mong-Joon, FIFA Presidential Candidate, sent official letters of complaint to the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee and the Ethics Committee, with a copy of AFC’s form letter, pointing out that such activities clearly violate FIFA Statutes and Electoral Regulations and demanding an investigation and corrective measures. Dr. Chung revealed these facts at a press conference on September 3.
In a letter dated September 3, FIFA’s Ad-hoc Electoral Committee informed Dr. Chung that the committee judged AFC’s activities not to have violated any rules or regulations.
Coincidentally, on the same day, AFC released its own press statement, claiming that its distribution of the form letters did not violate any regulations.
A thorough review of the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee’s letter and AFC’s statement shows that the committee hastily concluded its inquiries into this critical incident in mere three days citing lack of evidence without an in-depth investigation of relevant persons involved. We object to this conclusion in the strongest possible terms.
Even though it has been verified that AFC systematically distributed form letters in support of Mr. Platini, the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee did not even look into the possibility of a coordination between AFC and Mr. Platini, arguing that the committee only has jurisdiction over presidential candidates’ activities and thus could not interfere in AFC’s activities. This is tantamount to voluntarily forfeiting the committee’s duty to ensure the fairness of the election for FIFA President.
For its part, the AFC’s press statement (1) did not even make reference to the form letters, a copy of which we provided, (2) did not deny that AFC sent the form letters and (3) did not deny that AFC as a regional Confederation campaigned for Mr. Platini.
As Dr. Chung already revealed during the September 3 press conference, a vice president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) circulated similar form letters to its member associations, but CAF deemed his behavior highly improper and took measures to rectify the situation.
CAF and AFC’s radically different responses to the same incident clearly show that the two confederations have fundamentally different
understanding of its seriousness. If the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee thinks that the AFC’s activities was not illegal, then CAF’s corrective measures constitute an obstruction of a legitimate campaign activity. In this case, FIFA should take disciplinary actions against CAF. If, however, CAF’s corrective measures are judged to be proper, AFC’s activities should be categorized as an electoral fraud and FIFA should take disciplinary actions against AFC and implement relevant measures to rectify the current situation. Instead, FIFA maintains the contradictory stance that both AFC and CAF’s actions are legitimate.
We believe that AFC sending form letters containing Mr. Platini’s initials, MP, to its member associations while urging support for Mr. Platini clearly violates FIFA Statutes and Electoral Regulations. Therefore, we urge the Ad-hoc Electoral Committee, once again, to promptly take the following three actions:
(1) Refer this case to the Investigatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee in accordance with FIFA Electoral Regulations,
(2) Conduct a thorough investigation to see if AFC President Sheikh Salman, UEFA President and FIFA Presidential Candidate Michel Platini, and officials at CAF and other Confederations plotted this incident together,
(3) Take immediate measures to nullify any “support” for the candidature of Platini received through the form letters sent by AFC, the Vice President of CAF and/or any other Confederation.
We would like to once again point out that the FIFA Ad-hoc Electoral Committee reaching a hasty conclusion without having conducted a thorough investigation of relevant facts and parties, will be regarded as being tantamount to covering up an election fraud and, thus once again, urge the committee to conduct a thorough investigation of this matter.
Mr. LIN Byung-taik
Spokesman for FIFA Presidential Candidate, Dr. MJ Chung