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FIFA VP: English-speaking soccer officials pompous on ethics

 Agencies |  2016-10-05 13:40:12.0  |  London

FIFA VP: English-speaking soccer officials pompous on ethics

In an interview with The Associated Press, Victor Montagliani pointed to how recent allegations of wrongdoing in English soccer over the last week shows that no part of the game is immune from scandals.

As president of the CONCACAF for five months, Montagliani has been overseeing the cleanup of a confederation covering North and Central America and the Caribbean that became synonymous with bribery after the sprawling American criminal investigation into soccer. Three of Montagliani's recent predecessors were forced out of CONCACAF under a cloud of misconduct.

"I don't think you will ever eliminate (corruption) -- you get it in regular society," Montagliani told the AP. "But what we need to do is put enough checks and balances in place so we minimize the impact on the game and make it very difficult for people who are entering our game who want to do those nefarious things to be successful."

Montagliani was speaking during a visit to England, one of the most prominent countries in recent years to denounce misconduct at FIFA. But the probity of soccer here is now in the spotlight after a newspaper sting led to several coaches being accused of transgressions.

Unguarded comments by Sam Allardyce to undercover reporters forced the termination of his contract as England manager after 67 days. Allardyce appeared to offer advice to fictitious businesspeople on how to sidestep an outlawed player transfer practice, and also to negotiate a 400,000 pound (USD 519,000) public-speaking contract.

The Daily Telegraph also filmed an agent accusing 10 past or current managers in England, which it did not name, of taking bribes linked to player transfers.

Some soccer leaders will have to adopt a different approach now even the modern English game appears to have integrity issues, according to Montagliani.

"In the English speaking world, sometimes we're a bit pompous -- I have to say as an English-speaking person -- and we need to look in the mirror and say, 'OK, we understand we need to change those things, but let's not think we are immune ourselves of that stuff happening in our backyards,'" said Montagliani, a Canadian who did not discuss the English Football Association leadership.


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