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Friday 21.02.2020 | Name days: Eleonora, Ariadne

Kaimiņš on backstage fights in football: Sandis Ģirģens seems to really want the post

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LFF, Latvia, Sandis Ģirģens, Artuss Kaimiņš, Guntis Indriksons, recommended A fight is taking place on the backstage of Latvian Football Federation (LFF) – perhaps it is even more relentless than the one on the political arena. The fight for the seat of the president of LFF is silent, but what has happened so far is serious. For example, generally it feels like Latvian Interior Affairs Minister Sandis Ģirģens wants to become the next president of LFF at any cost, Saeima deputy Artuss Kaimiņš told BNN in an interview.

«I would like to ask Ģirģens, as Latvia’s interior affairs minister, to not use public resources in realizing his dream, I suppose, of becoming the president of LFF. I believe these resources should not be used on personal ambitions.»

According to Kaimiņš, if Ģirģens wants to be a candidate for the aforementioned post, he should not be a minister when doing this. The Saeima deputy believes it is not possible to combine these posts effectively. Kaimiņš also reminds that Ģirģens has commenced studies for a Master’s degree this school year.

«If Ģirģens fails to take post in LFF, he may try to push his candidacy to the Latvian Olympics Committee,» believes Kaimiņš.

«LFF plays a major role in the construction sector – procurements, I believe, are the reason for the major desire to get this post.»

Additionally, according to Kaimiņš, Guntis Indriksons – the once president of LFF – is something of a mentor for Ģirģens.

BNN had previously reported that unofficial information points to Ģirģens name having been mentioned in relation to possible candidacy for the post of president of LFF. This happened immediately after the dismissal of the last LFF president Kaspars Gorkšs.

Ģirģens did not say who encouraged him to stand candidate for this post. De Facto programme has nevertheless reported that last year he had met with Skonto Club president Vladimirs Koļesņičenko in a café.

De Facto mentioned that Koļesņičenko is considered Indriksons’ man in the football community. When asked if it was Indriksons who urged Ģirģens to become a candidate for the post in LFF, both Ģirģens and Indriksons said no. Both told journalists they had never met before.

The programme reported multiple suspicious transactions that took place when Indriksons was in charge of LFF.

In 2005 the federation’s secretary general Jānis Mežeckis wrote a letter to football field surface manufacturer in Germany. According to the programme, the football field surface was likely procured from the manufacturer. However, the letter mentions that the manufacturer needs to transfer money to the federation. An odd request was also detailed in that letter – to have the money transferred to an account of a firm in New Zealand instead of the federation’s account. The owners of that firm hide inside the network of offshores in Malta, the programme mentions.

Ģirģens claimed in a conversation with the programme that he has not yet decided if he wants to become a candidate. He stressed he would be able to combine both posts and that nothing would distract him from managing the sports federation.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš mentioned on the public space that Ģirģens has a wide range of responsibilities as interior affairs minister. On top of that, the prime minister says he is confused how it could be possible to combine work as minister and president of LFF.

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