The purpose of this column therefore is not to declare Magogo’s guilt
Under Sepp Blatter, FIFA was a sacred institution. It’s president, omnipotent. He led a dark secret world which was not allowed to be governed by national laws or constitutions.
Here in Uganda, their greatest proponent – the man who perfected the art of deception , falsehood and underhand – was Moses Magogo who, thanks to his craft and machinations, eventually ended up at the very top of the Uganda version, FUFA.
The unexpected however happened and the Zurich establishment begun to crack. Led by the United States of America, tired nations which had long detected a Mafioso circle within the FIFA establishment, rose up to end corruption, bribery and unethical behaviour which had become normal and acceptable. “This impunity must stop. Will stop,” swore the then Attorney General of the world’s most powerful nation. Within a flash, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) was unleashed to dig up the dirt, thoroughly investigate, arrest and bring to book all the big wigs at FIFA who had turned the world’s most popular game into a penthouse.
The results as we know them today were astounding. The once perceived deity, Blatter and at least 45 of his lieutenants around South America, Oceania, Asia and Europe were hunted, arrested and arraigned in courts of law to face charges of corruption. Top among their crimes were money laundering, bribery, illicit trading and illegal sale of the FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2014 tickets. Jerome Valke – former vice president to Blatter – was among the first to fall from grace. Blatter was singled out as the chief architect, brain child and chief schemer in this dark sinful world. In the face of law, the once powerful FIFA untouchables were buried. The shock of even former UEFA President, Michel Platini – then in line to replace Blatter – falling in the same humiliating manner, opened the football world’s eyes to the reality that the integrity of football must be restored at all costs.
When Hon. Allan Sewanyana announced at a press conference on Wednesday that he had successfully filed a petition against Magogo to the FIFA Ethics and Integrity Committee in Zurich arising out of his illicit, illegal and corrupt dealings with the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, I held my breath. Apparently, in so doing, Magogo had acted in breach of the FIFA Statutes, Disciplinary Code and articles 13,18,19,20,21 and 22.
The petition on it’s own does not confirm Magogo’s guilt or complicity in the matter. Proof of innocence or guilt is the work of the ‘FIFA Ethics and Integrity Committee’ which has it’s own set process to follow as it carries out it’s investigation. The purpose of this column therefore is not to declare Magogo’s guilt but to highlight the underlying implications and bring the message nearer home, that it’s the responsibility of all football lovers to fight for the integrity of the game.
It’s therefore most ridiculous, even senseless for FUFA - not a respondent in the petition – to come out and release a statement in defense of the ‘federation’ claiming that it’s image is being drawn into the mire by football ‘enemies’ who have made it routine to disorganize national team preparations. How diversionary! How cheap! The local federation has no business talking to us about the petition and they have no business defending Magogo. Certainly FIFA or UEFA never made even the slightest attempt to voice their collective opinion about the saga that brought down the most powerful personalities in football at the time.
At worst, it’s within Magogo’s rights to come up with a personal statement on the matter. At best, he would do it the civil way and resign in the face of this development to save the local game the undesirable soap opera that is sure to develop once FIFA’s investigations swing into action.
But this is Magogo. A small ‘god’ whose convenient timing as a sitting FUFA president at the time when Uganda Cranes finally qualified to the finals of AFCON after 38 years, has according to his supporters, given him a natural right to keep the presidency for life. He has made his bed, let him lie in it.