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Bilangguan for Campo?

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Former FIDE president, Florencio Campomanes of the Philippines, has been sentenced to almost two years in prison on corruption charges related to funding for the 1992 Chess Olympiad in Manila. Over a quarter-million dollars from the Philippine Sports Commission was unaccounted for by FIDE. According to Campo, FIDE never accounted for such monies by providing receipts until 1993. With his usual grace Campo tried to pass the buck (no pun intended) to FIDE treasurer Willi Iclicki.

This was reported over a week ago, but I was hoping more news would come out about whether or not he will actually go to jail, which seems unlikely according to insiders. Campo is still well-connected in his homeland. It's remarkable it made it to court at all, considering the variety of allegations Campomanes survived during his FIDE tenure. This would be a bit like convicting Saddam Hussein of illegal possession of a handgun.

FIDE and chess politics have been corrupt for ages, but since everyone benefits except for the poor sponsors, whose money disappears, it continues. Deal-makers like Campomanes and England's Ray Keene have long dealt with accusations (and lawsuits) of sticky fingers and sharp practice. They and others like them have done a great deal for chess and chessplayers, but it's an open question regarding the long-term benefits. For every sponsor that is brought in another dozen might be driven off by a reputation for graft and scandal. Boxing is big enough to be a corrupt mess and still get major corporate sponsorship, chess is not.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 19, 2003 10:04 AM.

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