The deadline for LFF changes rang, Pukelis suggested to Kasčiūnas to sober up

On Wednesday, at the joint meeting of the Seimas Budget and Finance Committee and the Youth and Sports Affairs Commission, which was attended by the Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF) representatives, were it is proposed to introduce direct rule in the federation.

Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee Mykolas Majauskas insists that this is a necessary decision to achieve fundamental changes in the LFF.

However, according to L. Kasčiūnas, this is only a theoretical and most radical solution, which is currently “not on the table”.

“There is contact and talking with UEFA and FIFA. The main goal is for them to help us manage this place – to help change those statutes. I think the Polish case that happened 10 years ago is a good example of how this could be done.

We don’t want to interfere ourselves if they (UEFA/FIFA) take the initiative or we do it together. Let’s say, a temporary regulator, new statutes and we move on,” said L. Kasčiūnas.

Laurynas Kasčiūnas is dreaming or hallucinating, he needs to sober up. Let the state take care of it, not the LFF.

Arūnas Pukelis

According to the politician, the most radical scenario – direct management – is not being seriously considered yet, but is theoretically possible.

“This is a possible strategic option for now. Another thing is that possible bans and expulsions of clubs and national teams from UEFA tournaments are too often manipulated. It is manipulated as if turning on the instinct of self-preservation. I think that talking to UEFA, FIFA, showing the real situation, you can protect yourself from all this.

If we did everything right away in a rough way, it would be another matter. Now we do it quite differently. First of all, we are giving time to the federation to decide, we are waiting for its decisions. The second measure is the direction of UEFA and FIFA, and finally, the direct management of the federation, it is possible, but it is only a theoretical option”, said L. Kasčiūnas.

“How much time is given to the federation?” Until autumn,” the politician claimed. According to him, there is no good or bad time for problematic issues, you need to constantly talk about it.

It is important that members of the Seimas agree to accept and find time for us.

Edgar Stankevičius

“I have been in this topic for maybe 6-7 years. You hope that something will change, but you see that the system is closed. Such conversations and discussions are better later than never,” the politician added.

UEFA and FIFA representatives will be invited to Lithuania

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After Delphi to the question about the possible deadline for the federation, the general secretary of the LFF E. Stankevičius assured that it would not be necessary to wait that long.

“You won’t have to (wait that long). We have already applied to both FIFA and UEFA today. Our President (Tomas Danilevičius) will be in London, in the finals of the European Women’s Football Championship.

There is a meeting scheduled with both FIFA and UEFA representatives, we will talk. We have offered options for when UEFA and FIFA representatives may arrive due to the situation. It is important that our members of the Seimas, officials in the composition of Seimas committees agree to receive and find time for us. Our general conference is bylaws until the end of April. We can make corrections to the statutes only then, so changes are possible at the end of April.

The statutes of the federation provide for that,” said the general secretary of the LFF. “Every year we receive comments on our statutes. And now we have a list of points from UEFA that could be co-ordinated, but they are not so critical as to change the management of the federation.

Yes, we do not hide things that need to be improved, we can talk about greater participation of clubs, but the functions of certain associations should be reviewed, we do not give up on this and move on.

It is a living organization, a living organism, we adapt and apply ourselves to the recommendations of UEFA, FIFA, and the proposals of the Government, otherwise we would not receive funding”, added E. Stankevičius.

Edgar Stankevičius

© DELFI / Josvydas Elinskas

Asked what politicians have done for football

Aunas Pukelis, a member of the LFF Executive Committee, the head of the Tauragė County Football Federation, who was mentioned more than once at the meeting, responded even more harshly to the politicians’ calls for change.

“The strangest thing for me is that one Seimas committee and commission decide on the activities of an associated organization. This is the first time in the history of Lithuania.

We often laugh at Belarus when its government interferes with associations and talks about results.

Today I see patronage of some citizens, corrupt connections, maybe M. Majauskas and L. Kasčiūnas could immediately tell who could be the president of the federation?

It is not the president of the LFF, nor the general secretary who changes the statutes of the organization, but the general conference of the members of the LFF.

Comparing our statutes with those of other UEFA countries, our governance model is the most transparent. Not just any Ukraine, not the case of Poland.

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I don’t know what model they offer, the wind speaks. Let them look at themselves, what they have given to football in 30 years. Where is the national stadium? Where is the infrastructure for children, where are the playgrounds? What, we have to take responsibility for the unbuilt stadium? What kind of absurdity have we come to, what are they talking about?”, an influential member of the LFF Executive Committee raised his voice indignantly.

“I’m sorry for the emotions, but it’s nonsense. The prosecutor’s office has to step in and file a criminal case, and they publicly debate and interfere with the federation. This is a matter for LFF members, not politicians,” the head of the Tauragė Football Federation reminded.

He was outraged by the example mentioned, when Tauragė “Suktuko” and Vilnius “Žalgiris” clubs have the same “weight” in the federation.

“In the UEFA organization, both Lithuania and England have an equal voice. If you are outraged by Tauragė’s “Suktukas”, then take it and strike, create clubs, work for the benefit of football, invest money.

I see outsourcing, corrupt relations in Lithuania. Maybe now we will start spinning every sports organization? Look at the image of politicians after speaking at the meeting Vytautas Gapshys was involved in all kinds of criminal cases, and now the highest level has appeared moralists.

Where are the problems if we meet UEFA, FIFA recommendations? I will repeat that I see the action of one interested group of persons who subjugated politicians for their own benefit”, asserted A. Pukelis.

Arūnas Pukelis

Arūnas Pukelis

© DELFI / Orestas Gurevičius

According to him, the term of L. Kasčiūnas is inadequate, because the federation does not intend to make changes.

“For today, we do not accept any statutes, the general conference was held in April. L. Kasčiūnas is dreaming or hallucinating, he needs to sober up.

Let the state take care of it, not the LFF. For today, all the issues raised will be considered by the general conference, there are no problems, we are ready to discuss. But there is no need to explain that the federation is not transparent.

Tell me, what other sports organization reports with cuts like this? Where were the members of the Seimas when they received such money Lithuanian National Olympic Committee (LTOK), did LTOK provide such reports?

We are currently one of the most transparent organizations, we have such statutes that do not conflict with UEFA, FIFA, or Lithuanian laws. There are no limits to perfection. We are ready to improve, but we need to do it constructively”, said A. Pukelis.

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Reputational problems

We remind you that the LFF has not gotten rid of the scandal for years due to the lack of transparency and the influence of the criminal world on football.

The name of A. Pukelis, who had problems with law enforcement in the context of the LFF, is the most notorious and has a strong impact in society. Since 2015 A. Pukelis, who is the president of the Tauragė County Football Federation and a member of the LFF Executive Committee, known by the nickname Švinius in the criminal world, in 2019. had become the vice-president of the LFF, which caused great dissatisfaction in the society.

No less dissatisfaction was caused in 2020. the story that happened in October, when A. Pukelis was nominated as a member of the Executive Committee of the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee (LTOC).

Then the Vilnius Regional Football Union (VRFS) publicly appealed to the LTOK and other institutions with a notification that the submission of the LFF vice-president candidacy is possibly illegal and does not comply with the LFF statutes.

Švinius did not become a member of the LTOK Executive Committee, but the problems of the LFF were also examined in the Seimas. in 2020 At the beginning of November, the Seimas unanimously adopted a resolution on the transparency, finances and “cleansing” of LFF from criminals.

The Seimas emphasized that the biggest problems with the transparency of the LFF arose from the influence of representatives of the criminal world on football, the management of a closed and non-transparent structure, the relevant football decisions made by the LFF are not public and the federation does not publish the annual budget estimates, which causes doubts about the purposes of using the funds received.

Also, the Seimas recommended the Government to apply to international football associations (UEFA, FIFA) to conduct international audits and investigate the use of all funds received by the Lithuanian Football Federation, and urged the Government to start an intensive dialogue with the governing bodies of international football associations (UEFA, FIFA) in order to ensure , so that persons of impeccable reputation hold managerial positions in the Lithuanian Football Federation.

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