Ward says FIA credibility at risk over support letters
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, September 23rd 2013, 08:24 GMT|
The FIA has been warned that it risks its 'entire credibility' if it does not deal properly with the controversy surrounding support letters that have been written for its president Jean Todt.
FIA presidential candidate David Ward has already complained to the FIA's Ethics Committee about Todt's actions in securing support letters from member clubs before the presidential race officially began.
Ward's comments about the matter were, however, branded 'offensive' in a letter sent last week to him by the president of the FIA's Region IV, Jorge Tomasi from Uruguay.
But in a response to Tomasi's claims sent on Monday, Ward reiterates how serious the matter is, and he even thinks that Todt should be handed a penalty if it is found that he has breached the FIA's election rules.
In the letter, which has also been sent to FIA members, Ward warns: "The FIA must be seen to be trusted as capable of running all its competitions fairly, transparently and according to the rules. If not its entire credibility is put at risk.
"To use a sporting metaphor the support letters are like an illegal practice or a jump start' that has given Jean Todt an unfair advantage in the FIA's election race.
"They should not have happened, and the breach of the rules should be investigated and subject to an appropriate penalty.
"As you will know this matter is now subject to an inquiry by the Ethics Committee. I fully respect the Committee's need to deliberate carefully on the issues raised.
"However, now that you have chosen to write to the FIA membership I think it is only right and proper that I also explain the background to my complaint."
Ward suggests that in the interests of fairness, all the support letters that Todt has received for the election are withdrawn.
"I think at the very least it would be in the best interest of the FIA if all the support letters signed before 6th September now be revoked," the letter adds.
"By declaring them to be null and void, all the clubs involved would be released from any obligation they feel they may have unwittingly made before the election process had officially begun.
"The FIA membership can then engage in the election process transparently, without prior commitment, and make their choice based on a fair comparison of the candidates and their respective manifestos.
"I trust you accept that this is what the FIA's 2013 Presidential Election should be all about."
The full letter from Ward to Tomasi can be read here.