Phnom Penh
Angkor Wat
Consumer Reports
Thai Police Harass
Benjamin Netanyahu

Sheldon Adelson













Israel Football Association (IFA), Avi Luzon, and the President of the Palestinian Football Association (PFA), Jibril Al Rajoub seen here with FIFA President Sepp Blatter - foto-net/FIFA Photo



James Loving/National Radio Text Service



The turmoil created this past week with the reelection of FIFA president Joseph Blatter from his many detractors has created a hailstorm of controversy. The point being, with all of the problems that FIFA is overwhelmed with there are some positive results that came about during his reign, as smaller 3rd world nations have developed their football programs


Sunday, May 31, 2015


As the saying goes it aint over till it's over. Given the turbulent outrage regarding FIFA president Joseph Sepp Blatter being reelected for his 4th term and the US government having several FIFA officials arrested it's apparent that there will be more smoke before the oncoming fire.

Blatter is under fire and accused of heading an organization plagued with corruption and disreputable business practices since he was first elected as FIFA's president in 1998. Strange as it seems that was the year that we seriously became involved in covering International football a.k.a. soccer thus our relation with FIFA began.

The current focus is on the down side of Blatter's time in office. His popularity is a result of the support he has from supporting the little people and 3rd world countries also largely based in Africa and Asia. It was Blatter's relationship with these have not countries that gained him so much power and loyalty. Blatter did what others failed to do; he gave respect and supported countries that had previously been largely ignored. We were informed that FIFA pays all expenses to FIFA meetings for some of the poor countries. It is not known if that financial support applies to all.

Since his climb to power football programs have excelled including World Cups being held in Korea and South Africa. During his reign countries such as Thailand and Cambodia have prospered and their football programs have improved largely due to FIFA monetary contributions to those nations to develop their football programs and build training facilities.

When we first got involved with FIFA was during the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. Our initial contact was with Warwori Makudi who at that time was an official with the Football Association of Thailand an organization to which we gave the knick-name of… the FAT.

During the recent FIFA meeting in which the presidential elections took place in Zurich, Switzerland, Makudi who is currently the president of Thailand's football association had a prominent position on the dais with Blatter. In our dealings with Makudi he was the consummate professional and his climb up the FIFA officials is understandable.

In 1998 Thailand's program got a kick start under the leadership of Englishman Peter Withe who had the squad ranked as one of the best in Asia in earning the 5th and 6th spots in the Asian rankings.

Thailand also was ranked in the mid 50's in the overall FIFA rankings. Withe built a team of quitters into a team of competitors that finished 4th in the 1998 Asian Cup and defeated South Korea that prior to the match was a team that had participated in the World Cup. Withe also led Thailand to a victory over Arsenal in a friendly contest.

Politics reigned and Withe was relieved of his duties in 2003 but what followed was the development of a football league in Thailand and FIFA's support is largely responsible for its existence. FIFA'S Goal program is instrumental in establishing grass roots footing for 3rd world nations to build their football programs.

FIFA's financial support is also evident in Cambodia's football program where FIFA's Goal program also has contributing funding. FIFA also funded the construction of a training facility and offices for the Cambodian Football Association and this is where the story gets sticky and supports the raids brought about by the US government resulting in the arrest of several FIFA officials who are alleged to be corrupt.

After a two year search for a connection for a contact to Cambodian football we met the then Cambodia Football Association president Ravy Khek and Tola May at the meeting in Bangkok for the 2000 Tiger Cup. At that time May was the Director of Coaching and Youth Development for the federation. The meeting resulted in an invitation to do an interview with them when we came to Cambodia. The interview resulted in our story Cambodian Football Rising From the Ashes. The back story to that is Makudi and Khek are good friends.

We earnestly followed the Cambodian football program. We visited the team when they came to Bangkok to train for a competition. We traveled with the squad for friendly games on two occasions in Svay Reng and Prey Veng, Cambodia.

When I was invited to eat with the team at their training table meals on each occasion I was reluctant to eat since there was very little food and I didn't want to deprive any of the athletes of their meals. My concern was that they could compete with having had enough nutrition.

FIFA'S funding included the construction of a training field and office facilities on a piece of land so far from the center of Phnom Penh and their previous office. The new facility lacked an Internet connection since it wasn't available in that area. The pitch had problems since the grass was substandard and the pitch failed to drain properly following a rain. The decision to locate there brought about many questions. FIFA officials came to Cambodia to oversee its construction yet many problems were overlooked.

With this predicament the question arose why did they build a field so far away on land that had so many faults? Who owned the land and benefited from the FIFA financial contribution? Why did FIFA green light and sign off on this inferior project? Some of those questions would soon be answered in a lawsuit and the credibility of Blatter and FIFA came into question. The lawsuit brought about the $#!t hitting the fan and raised the question did Blatter's friendship with Khek matter.



National Radio text is published in five languages, Thai, French, Russian, Khmer (Cambodian language) and English, Any of our foreign language material and our Roman Wanderaugh columns is legally available ONLY on our National Radio site. Our sports, entertainment and feature programming has been broadcast on over 1000 radio stations


© Copyright: National Radio. Any use of these materials, whole or in part, is prohibited unless authorized in writing by National Radio. Contact: nationalradio@yahoo.com - All rights reserved.


Los Angeles Lakers
NBA MAX French language
Kobe Bryant
Omri Casspi


Colin Kaepernick

Super Bowl Pioneers

Shoehei Ohtani

Mike Piazza

FIFA Top 10



Williams Family

Joe Frazier