Sepp Blatter recently appointed Frank Lowy, president of Australia’s federation and one of the world’s biggest shopping mall developers, to the organizing committee that decides who gets to host the 2018 World Cup. Lowy recently topped his country’s rich list.
Lowy is being investigated by the US Senate and the Australian tax authorities for tax evasion having funneled millions of dollars through Zurich, the BVI, and onto a foundation owned by the Leichtenstein Royal family. These are not banks coming under traditional regulatory oversight. The ATO also discovered that it is difficult to apply the Australian tax code to such structures. Lowy could potentially be exploiting such a loophole.
Lowy’s move to the top of the FIFA hierarchy gives unprecedented access to its power brokers. His rise is being hailed by Australians who repose confidence that his diplomatic skills will yield a favourable result to them in Oz’s bid for the 2018 World Cup. But his tax investigation comes at a delicate time when many in the world have little tolerance for the greed and corruption that have left ordinary tax payers with a huge bill and the global economy in tatters.
Andew Jennings has more >>
We also have David Davies, the former executive director claiming that the FA was approached by “an individual well-connected in international footballing circles” in a votes for cash exchange during England’s bid for the 2006 World Cup. His offer was rejected by Adam Crozier, FA’s former CEO.
Sepp Blatter has made FIFA synonymous with money and cronyism. His latest moves do not inspire any great confidence in a transparent process for awarding the World Cup.