PtG Article 23.12.2005

Play the Game publishes contested letter from ex-FIVB Secretary General

Play the Game can now publish the 22 pages long attack by Jean-Pierre Seppey on his former employers at the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB). The contents of Seppey's letter are fiercely contested by the FIVB who calls the information totally false in a legal sense and the facts totally distorted.

The reaction came in letter that the FIVB has sent to all members of the FIVB board, regional confederations and national associations. However, in the letter, M. Jizhong Wei, First Executive Vice-President of the FIVB, declines to point out where Jean-Pierre Seppey is wrong.

“We have nothing to hide, but we will not disclose all the inconstestable details as the legal process is not yet completed,” Jizhong Wei informs the FIVB membership. He also assures readers that “our President, Dr. Ruben Acosta H. is in excellent health and he works on a daily basis in Lausanne in order to prepare a bright future for 2006.”

Seppey denied access to report

The letter sent by Jean-Pierre Seppey's laywer, Philippe Reymond, to the FIVB, provides a fascinating insight into how affairs are and have been conducted in one of the world's biggest international sports federations.

One of the reasons that it is hard to determine what is true and what is false within the FIVB is that transparency is not a cherised principle of the organisation. According to the letter, Jean-Pierre Seppey is yet to receive a copy of the report with the evidence that the FIVB has compiled of his alleged financial mismanagement. Seppey was asked to leave when he and his lawyer went to FIVB's lawyer to obtain a copy, and Seppey's lawyer was only to allowed to view the documents and make notes.

The notes must have been extensive as 14 of the 22 pages long letter contain attempts to refute 46 separate incidents where Jean-Pierre Seppey is accused of abusing FIVB funds for the benefit of himself or others but which he himself believes to be legitimate actions in serving the cause of international volleyball.

“All the topics in the audit you have presented to me correspond to operating expenses of representation, communication, promotion, integration of the FIVB and sponsoring endavours aimed at enhancing the image of the Federation,” Seppey's lawyer insists in the letter to his counterpart at FIVB.

In addition to refuting allegations, the letter also contains attacks on FIVB President Ruben Acosta and his wife Malu (see Ex-Secretary General spills the beans on FIVB) and demands for damages in the amount of 4,8 million Swiss Francs.

For Play the Game it is particularly interesting to note that Jean-Pierre Seppey and his lawyer now seems to deliberately involve a larger audience in his case. It should be remembered that it was Jean-Pierre Seppey who on behalf of FIVB threatened the board and the Programme Committee at Play the Game with a lawsuit earlier this year because Mario Goijman had been invited to speak at the Play the Game conference (See International Volleyball tries to remove speaker from conference).

NOTE: on 10 December 2010, Play the Game removed the letter from Philippe Reymond from the website at the orders of Philippe Reymond. See the letter sent to Play the Game threatening with legal proceedings here.