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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

European Football Hit by Match-Fixing, Bribery Scandal; Deflation Returns to Japan

Aired November 20, 2009 - 14:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


RICHARD QUEST, CNN INT'L. ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Tonight, a match fixing scandal hits European football, and it has nothing to do with Thierry Henry.

It's back. Deflation returns to Japan.

And more fixing, but this time a legal kind. The German government tells airlines, raise, your prices.

I'm Richard Quest, it maybe Friday, but for the next hour, I mean business.

Good evening. Tonight, German prosecutors say they have arrested 15 people in what looks like European football's biggest ever match-fixing scandal. Two more people are under arrest in Switzerland. It all follows a nine-month investigation, conducted over 50 raids across Europe.

Now, the countries involved include Switzerland, Austria and the U.K. Apparently payments have been offered to players, coaches, and officials. So those are the details.

Here is what we know so far, the details only coming out in the last few hours.

Betting leaders are suspected of bribing players, coaches, and referees, and other officials to fix games. They are believed to have made almost $50 million, according to some sources. Two hundred matches under suspicion at the moment. The extent of range - it has been going sometime, the investigation. It has been backed by UEFA, Europe's governing body. The head of Disciplinary Services said this is undoubtedly the biggest fraud scandal there has ever been in European football.

"Deeply shocked by the extent of match manipulations by international gangs."

Pedro Pinto from CNN Sports joins me now.

Let's sort of sift - because it only has just happened within the last couple of hours; so let's sift what we know and what we don't know.

First of all, who was involved? What matches were involved? All that sort of stuff.

PEDRO PINTO, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: That's the most important thing to reference, Richard. Because according to authorities these match fixing incidents occurred in Europe's club competition, the world's richest club competition, the Champion's League. Three games in the Champion's League. We do not know if they are in the group stages or in the qualifying stages. And also 12 games from the Europa League, which was once known as the UEFA Cup.

These games do not involve matches played in the top four countries in Europe, when it comes to football. The ones that are considered to be the best countries at the game, England, Italy, Spain, and France. They do include games in the second tier of German football and top-class games in other minor footballing countries in Europe as well.

QUEST: Regular viewers to QUEST MEANS BUSINESS will know you can just about write on a postage stamp my understanding of leagues and championships leagues. So, if we take the top tier, how far down does that basically take us into and how widespread, do you think? From what we know?

PINTO: They are talking about 200 games. They are talking about 15 games that relate to Europe's top-two club competitions.

QUEST: What are they alleged to have done? Do we know?

PINTO: They have bribed players, referees, coaches, and officials. What we need to know now, and it depends whether the authorities can get this information from them, is what clubs and what players and what referees and what coaches were involved.

QUEST: And what the results were? And potentially -and this I don't really know -could that have affected championship results? I mean, how long back does it go and all these sort of things?

PINTO: Well, they are saying that the investigation started in January into results of this season, and last season. So this could have affected what teams qualified for the group stages of the Champion's League. It could have affected which teams advanced to the next stages of the Champion's League, or the Europa League.

It is very important to state now, Richard, I know you want to interrupt. Can you give me just 10 more seconds.

QUEST: Yes!

(LAUGHTER)

PINTO: It is important to state that we aren't aware right now of what these games are and you are absolutely right, Peter Limacher, the representative of UEFA at this press conference in Germany, where they announced these results. Said it was the biggest match-fixing scandal uncovered, so far, in Europe.

QUEST: People - I was going to interrupt you and I was -and you are quite right to chide me for it.

Look, people will say, hang on a second, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Pedro means sports. And QUEST MEANS BUSINES, why are we talking about it on a business show tonight? And the reason, I think, is the vast amount of money that is involved in sporting business.

PINTO: Of course, $1.5 million were confiscated in the raids today. As you said, around $15 million were made out of betting in these matches. And the Champion's League has the highest number of television viewers, the highest number of prize money around the world. Sponsors are attached to it. The top earners in the game are attached to it. That's why we care.

QUEST: That's why we are grateful that you are here covering it. Pedro Pinto, come back when there is more to talk about on that.

PINTO: Thanks.

QUEST: You are up-to-date on tonight's big news. Now, the news headlines where we are going to brief you. Adrian Finighan with an evening briefing.

ADRIAN FINIGHAN, CNN INT'L. NEWS ANCHOR: Richard, British police have found the body of a constable knocked into a raging river after a bridge collapse. Flooding engulfed cities and towns in Northern England, leaving hundreds of people trapped. The army, police, Royal Navy; they are all involved in the massive rescue effort. Neighboring Ireland has also been hit by flooding.

Italian prosecutors are making closing arguments in the murder trail of an American student, Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend. They claim the defendants murdered Britain Meredith Kercher, in a drug fueled sex game and then tried to cover it up. Kercher's body was found two years ago in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia, Italy.

Police in Paris are looking for the gunman who killed one man and wounded two others outside a train station. Authorities say the man opened fire with an automatic weapon, on a car outside the Gardu Nord (ph) Station on Friday. The suspect fled on foot. Such shootings are rare in France, which has strict gun control laws.

World football's ruling body says the controversial World Cup qualifying match between France and Ireland will not be replayed. FIFA denied Ireland's request for a rematch, even though French star Thierry Henry admitted to handling the ball in the run-up to the winning goal. Henry says a rematch would be the fairest solution.

Richard, those are the headlines, back to you.

QUEST: And when we come back in just a moment, we are going to obviously be talking about - we will have a report on Thierry Henry and the potential that it all means for his future career, as sponsors see it. Does touching the ball damage his career?

Also, Japan getting that sinking feeling; the lost decade maybe finished, deflation, though has returned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: The world's second-largest economy caught in a dangerous downward spiral. Japan says that for the first time since 2006 it is seeing a sustained drop in prices, deflation.

In its monthly economic report the government of Japan says the country is going through a mild "deflationary phase". I wonder if that is a bit like being a little bit pregnant? It warns that falling prices could seriously damage the country's economic recovery. The BOJ didn't offer the government any comfort. It kept interest rates on, near zero, and upgraded its assessment of how the economy is doing.

The apparent rift between policy makers is a critical moment for the economy. It is only just emerged from the worst recession in decades. GDP, third quarter, up just about 1 percent.

Seijiro Takeshita, the executive director of Mizuho International, joins me now.

I was being slightly facetious when I say a mild deflationary phase. In Japan there is no such thing as a mild deflationary phase, it is a serious issue.

SEIJIRO TAKESHITA, DIRECTOR, MIZUHO INTERNATIONAL: Well, it is back again. And we've experienced a horrifying 10 years and it must be horrifying to face it again.

Unfortunate thing is we are going through a transitional stage in our structure in Japan, of the employment side, meaning that we are trying to change away, partially from the Japanese government style. But, therefore, we are having a drop in income and we are having lack of security in our job placement.

QUEST: To end up in a situation, though, with interest rates at zero, the economy growing, so you have not got stagflation, but you have got deflation. Now it becomes just about impossible, other than some dramatic quantities of easing or non-traditional methods to get it out of the system.

TAKESHITA: We tried that, didn't work.

QUEST: Just didn't try it long enough, or enough of it.

TAKESHITA: Now, well last time we had deflation we got out of it thanks to the fact that we were able to export our self out of it. That was more than three years ago. This time around the external environment is quite different, isn't it? So -

QUEST: Well, yes, because not only is there not the growth and no consuming economies, or other exporting and importing countries, you have a devaluating dollar.

TAKESHITA: Yes, very much so. And strong yen certainly does not help at all for the exporters as well, who are supposed to be the white knights to save Japan in this kind of circumstance. So, what the government really has to do is further induce enhancement to change that transformation that we are going through, and complete it. Although this is not something that is going to happen overnight.

QUEST: Why is there no sense of urgency? You and I have been talking about transformation in the Japanese economy. And for more years than either of us probably care to think about?

TAKESHITA: That is because we still have strength, because there is no real reason to make a full transformation. For example, if Toyota did transform to GM, would we have liked it? The thing is there are two sides of Japan. Strong Japan, the manufacturing side, and the weak side; and the strong side shouldn't -and there is no need to make that transformation, at least on the human resource side.

QUEST: When do you think this deflationary period comes to an end, in Japan?

TAKESHITA: We believe it is going to take more than after 2012, for it to abate (ph).

QUEST: Oh, my goodness. I thought you were going say the middle of next year?

TAKESHITA: I'd hope so. I wish I could.

QUEST: 2012? You are, another set of these traffic lights. As we look at the Japanese economy tonight, Seijiro, red, obviously, the recession going nowhere and, quite obvious, green. Which would you like for Japan for tonight?

TAKESHITA: Well, I think it is right in the middle. And the reason is --

QUEST: Which one, amber?

TAKESHITA: Yes.

QUEST: Right.

TAKESHITA: And we will be in plateau for 2010, but we will see recovery coming up, particularly through cap ex measures (ph), because the Japanese have been extremely successful in cutting down, not only facilities, but personnel. And that is the reason why we are seeing this deflation. Cut down in personnel, evoking fear amongst consumers.

QUEST: Thank you very much. And have a lovely weekend. Thank you, making sense, as always.

Now, we have been talking about deflation. Falling prices may sound like a good thing to you and me. But prolonged deflation is a recipe for economic misery, as we have just been discussing. If words like "deflation", "inflation", "stagflation", leave you bewildered and inflated, CNN's Jim Bolden is on hand with one of our "Jargon Busters".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BOLDEN, CNN INT'L. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): To explain deflation let's start with inflation. After years of growth it is the one we are all familiar with. The rise in the price of goods and services over time, measured as a percentage rate of change.

Experts basically agree that a little inflation, perhaps between 2 and 3 percent per year, is healthy. It keeps the economic cogs turning.

(On camera): A pound certainly doesn't go as far as it used to.

(Voice over): Now, before we get to deflation, there are a few other terms we need to worry about: "hyper-inflation". Extremely high or even out of control inflation. Zimbabwe is the classic example of that.

"Stagflation", the dreaded combination of inflation and stagnation; slumping economic growth, while prices continue to rise.

"Disinflation", a slowing in the rate of inflation.

(On camera): Fears are spreading that disinflation could turn into a period of outright deflation.

(Voice over): Opposite of inflation, deflation, is a sustained period of prices falling across the board.

(On camera): In a time of recession you might be forgiven for thinking that a fall in prices is great news for all of us. Unfortunately, deflation strikes fear in the hearts of governments for very good reason.

(Voice over): It can lead to a vicious economic cycle of decreased consumer spending and increased unemployment. People wait for prices to get cheaper before buying, and that effectively creates a buyers' strike. Then that creates more deflation. Smaller and smaller profit margins and eventually companies have to cut wages and jobs. If it isn't kept in check, a recession can become a depression.

(On camera): The catastrophic nature of deflation is that it is much harder to put right than inflation.

(Voice over): When inflation rises, you can force down prices by raising interest rates. That encourages people to start saving and stop spending.

Here in the U.K., the base rate is already sitting at only 0.5 percent above zero. If deflation does not respond to drastic cuts in interest rates governments are left with a few unorthodox options to kick start spending.

(On camera): But that is a story for another "Jargon Buster". Jim Bolden, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: Jim Bolden making sense, and helping us understand when we throw words like "inflation", "deflation" around. The significance of it.

Wall Street is open and doing business. Stocks are falling for the third consecutive session. And Susan Lisovicz is in New York to bring us up to date.

You know, we talked yesterday about a consolidation, but how bad is it going today?

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN FINANCIAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, not bad at all. I know you also talked about correction. And I suppose at this moment you would like to say that maybe this is what's happening.

But, you know, it is really kind of very tepid given the gains that we've seen, that lead up to Wednesday's selloff. And the three averages are up for the week, at this point. You know, a couple of things going on, once again. The dollar, the weaker dollar is actually gained a little strength, so you see some commodities like oil selling off. And so you see the energy sector getting hit.

We do have, out of the three major averages, the Nasdaq is getting hit the hardest. Dell Computer, right now, down nearly 9.5 percent. Because of a big disappointment in its quarterly results, when other tech companies, even PC companies have done well. So, some concerns there.

Not a whole lot of action - you know, but concerns, I think, consumer spending and business spending is something we are going to be watching for increasingly.

QUEST: You and I are going to be talking a great deal on that consumer spending in the days and weeks ahead. Thanksgiving is coming up. That heralds the start of the Christmas shopping season. I don't want to rush along in any way, Susan, but I suspect people are already -the Christmas lights and the Christmas shops already there.

LISOVICZ: I'm sick of it already, Richard.

(LAUGHTER)

LISOVICZ: I hope that doesn't sound like I'm a - like I am a Grinch, like you can be occasionally.

QUEST: Ah!

LISOVICZ: Just occasionally.

But yes, well, actually that reminds me of some of the retail reports that are out there. GAP, which is the largest specialty retailer in the U.S., had terrific results. You know, up 25 percent. A lot of that was due to cost cutting. We have seen that before. A lot of that was due to inventory trimming. We've seen that before. But it is bargain basement brand, Old Navy, did particularly well.

QUEST: Right.

LISOVICZ: And GAP says it is getting on the bandwagon. It is to do some big sales for the holidays and it is even going to ramp up advertising, which is kind of an event with GAP because they haven't done it in three years.

QUEST: When it comes to my present think more Tiffany than Track (ph), Lisovicz.

LISOVICZ: There is a Tiffany on Wall Street now. So, yes, it is very convenient for me. Just send me your credit card numbers and I'll be happy to pick something up that is just appropriate for you.

QUEST: That has really frightened me, the thought of that.

Tonight, Susan Lisovicz, have a lovely weekend.

We need to update you with how the European markets have traded. You can get an overview. Paris was off just a tad, same in Frankfurt. London down a third of a point. But what was the moving points? Travel companies, interestingly, fared spectacularly badly. Thomas Cook, Tui, both down over 4 percent. There are fears that Tui may have to go to a cash call for emergency funds from shareholders. And the market in London off just a third of 1 percent.

In Frankfurt slightly larger losses. Banks had bad days. Commerzbank was the biggest loser. Down 3.7 percent. Interestingly, and the president of the ECB, Jean-Claude Trichet said that the ECB - I want to get this right -would gradually withdraw stimulus cash. There were disappointing results from Dell and that took the numbers down. But I think it was Mr. Trichet's comments that really have had quite an impact on European bourses.

And in Paris where it was the energy sector which was hit. Crude price were lower. Total was down 1.4 percent. As you might have expected, if banks were weak in Frankfurt, that carried into Paris, and Societe was off as well.

So, I think we can say, since we did hit pretty high numbers earlier in the week, many of these markets still near their highs for the year. We got out pretty much unscathed as you look over the Euro bourses this Friday.

In just a moment, when we talk about television, this was an iconic moment. Oprah Winfrey famously telling her audience, everyone gets a car. Today it seems everyone gets a farewell. Good bye, the business of "Oprah" next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: For a quarter of a century, I bet she wouldn't like me saying that, a doyenne of the daytime talk, that talk will soon be over. Oprah Winfrey today, tells her audience she's moving on. The woman who has the influence of booksellers and even election results, said she would step down at the end of her next season.

Ali Velshi is in Oprah's hometown, from where the program comes from. That is Chicago.

Good evening, Ali. You know, you and I - look, there will be lots of other programs on our networks that will pontificate at enormous length about the sociology of Oprah Winfrey and her thing. You and I are businessmen.

ALI VELSHI, CNN SR. BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Right.

QUEST: We need to talk about -she's a wealthy woman, but what happens to the empire?

VELSHI: She's fabulously wealthy. She is also one of the biggest earners in the entertainment or media business. Her wealth is estimated to be coming up close to $3 billion. She is remarkably influential in other people's ventures.

So her empire has now been concentrated into Harpo Productions, her production company. And the Oprah Winfrey Network, which is what Discovery Health Network was. And is going to become the Oprah Winfrey Network, probably in 2011.

So she is, once again, hyper concentrating what she's doing. She's had a ratings slip on network television. She has had some issue and some problems that she's confronting. Her prices are expensive for local channels to keep up with so she is going to move into a multi-media, her own cable network that has access to about 75 million viewers here in the United States, but will be multi-media. It will be radio, it will be satellite radio, it will be Internet. I don't think you see Oprah's empire shrinking at all.

I think she is going to continue to have the influence that she has, the psychological influence that she has on consumer. The very, very strong pull over women, in particular, but you are going to see this empire expand. She is just closing up this quarter century part of it.

QUEST: Is one of the reasons she has been so successful in the business environment, because there is not a feeling that she's in it for the money. A lot of celebs do the net, do the book, do the things they do, but you always get the feeling of how much can we make this week?

VELSHI: Yes. That is right. There is a real sense that Oprah Winfrey, she in her own words said I don't do anything I don't want to do anymore. I think she's quite taken, and I don't mean this in a bad way, but quite taken by the fact that when Oprah speaks, people listen. They buy, in the case of her endorsement of President Obama, during his nomination for the Democratic Party, they vote. There is a study by the University of Maryland that said Oprah's endorsement of Barack Obama when he was running against Hillary Clinton, may have been responsible for 1 million votes in his favor.

So, I think there is something to be said for the fact that she is not only fabulously wealthy, and a money making machine, and the queen of daytime television, but she has more influence over more Americans than many elected politicians do.

QUEST: The king of American business coverage, Ali Velshi, met up with the queen of, the doyenne of daytime television. Did you not? Come on let's have some honesty here. Conflict of interest, tell me what we are looking at?

VELSHI: I was on. It was October 3, 2008, it was the day that the Senate passed the bailout bill. If you will recall, you will recall very clearly that week. That was the end of a three-week period that I describe as 19 days of hell. That was the -when we were looking into the abyss of the financial crisis. And Oprah had invited me on to her show, because she had heard a very simple explanation that I had given her friend, Gayle King, on the radio, about describing the financial crisis. So she wanted me to come on and describe to her audience how we got into the mess we were in and what needed to be done to get out of it.

It was a fantastic challenge for me because I tried to simplify things as I normally do on TV. But she had a higher standard. She wanted it even more direct. I still have people telling me that that day was only time they understood the financial crisis. So, that is what she specialized in. She specialized in taking complicated things to her audience, not dumbing it down, but making it entirely accessible. Bringing people on who were able to do that for her. And I was lucky enough to be one of those people once.

QUEST: Ali, many thanks, indeed. I'm quite envious of you being on. Anyway, lovely to see you. The king of American business coverage, Ali Velshi, joining us from New York.

When we come back, in a moment. A major airline is gearing up for a fare fight, literally. Emirates is in one corner. The German government is in the other. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Good evening, I'm Richard Quest, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. This is CNN.

Emirates, the Dubai airline, and the German government are squaring up for a fight over what fare is fair. The Dubai-based carrier says Germany is forcing it to raise the price of business class seats on some routes, which the airline calls ludicrous.

Each week Emirates operates 49 flights out of four German airports. Obviously, Frankfurt, the main, Dusseldorf, Berlin, and Hamburg, all the way down to Dubai, and then out to the rest of the world. The German government has told Emirates it is breaking European rules, because it is undercutting the price of European carriers on routes to non EU countries.

The devil is in the detail. It is routes like down to Singapore and elsewhere. The airline says it has been forced to raise business class fares by 20 percent. Frankfurt to Johannesburg is one of the routes. Hamburg to Singapore is another route. Germany's national carrier, Lufthansa has told me that it has made no complaint about Emirates pricing. Earlier I spoke to Andrew Parker, the senior V.P. from Emirates. And he is not impressed with the Germans decision.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREW PARKER, SENIOR V.P. EMIRATES AIRLINE: I think, Richard, in 2009 to have a government intervene to say that competitor airlines can't pass commercially. In other words, charge the fares they would like to charge, but instead be dictated the fare they have to charge, which happens to be at a higher level against the home carrier, we think, is anti- competitive and completely unreasonable, not only for us, Emirates, but for German travelers and consumers generally.

QUEST: But if those fares are against the bilateral agreements and the rules that have already been agreed, then the German government has a fair point. You can't have bilateral negotiations just ripped up because somebody decides to charge a lower fare.

PARKER: Yes, but Richard, these rules are from the Jurassic age. They have no place in 2009, where we have consumer interests. In fact, in many countries in the world, to have someone say you have to match fares with the home carrier would be illegal. I would go to jail. So it is ludicrous to think, in 2009, that there would be a mandate to say you, the foreign carrier, must price the same as the home carrier. We think that is unfair and we think it's anti-consumer.

And I think, importantly, Richard, you made the -- you made the point that it applies to all airlines. We don't believe that to be the case. If you looked at the prices when we received our demand to increase our fares, no one else was forced to, in terms of if you look at the booking engines of where fares are displayed. It was only Emirates. So we can only, therefore, think that this is political, it's about the great passion there is about Emirates sometimes, particularly in a market like Germany.

QUEST: The passion that you refer to is your 50 odd flights a week that some -- between Germany and -- and the Emirates -- that some would suggest dump capacity into the market. And (INAUDIBLE), you're familiar with the argument, Emirates comes in. It doesn't come in with one or two flights, it comes in with multiple flights, with large -- very large aircraft and it drives down the price.

Now, that might -- now, look, I'm going to change hats here. That might all be very, very good for the consumer, but it's devastating for an industry that's forecast to lose $11 billion. You're a menace.

PARKER: Well, I disagree, Richard. I think competition is a great thing. Our 49 flights a week to Germany are welcomed almost universally by airports, by consumer groups, the regional governments and our many friends in Berlin. And, in fact, it's ironic, isn't it, that we're actually flying German-made aircraft, as well.

But the more important point is, in 2009, competition is critical. We think we provide an essential competitive element in the German market, along with the many markets we do. Emirates is a full service, quality airline. We do not price in a way that is not commercial. We price fairly and sensibly. This is just a great shame that there's these very strange, ancient policy that is anti-consumer by forcing us to increase fares.

QUEST: So you are going to increase your fares as a result of this. You pretty much have no choice, if that's what the German government is insisting.

But you're fighting it all the way?

PARKER: Yes, indeed. Look, it -- it affects three routes and we, unfortunately, do have to adhere to this policy. We're going to challenge it because, as we say, we think it's anti-consumer and it's unfair. And when we talk to the German government, who we have a very good relationship with, but in this particular instance, are very concerned about being forced or mandated, as you say, to increase our prices to match the home carrier.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: That was Andrew Parker of Emirates.

In a second or three, take one high stakes football match, throw in that controversial miscall, stir it up with loads of angry fans, whisk in a few politicians, let it bake overnight and what you end up with is a tasty football ferrora (ph). We'll be tasting it in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: FIFA says there won't be a replay, it's time to move on. But the key figure in this week's handball hoopla, Thierry Henry, says the Faris division (ph), would, indeed, be a rematch. The fans are seething. The politicians are frothing and wading in.

From Paris, Jim Bittermann to bring us up to date.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The mood here has swung from celebration to embarrassment and now to some real soul searching that's been going on all day today in France, including some by Thierry Henry, the player at the center of the controversy. He said he really didn't mean to cheat, that his reactions were instinctive in the match between France and Ireland and that, he said, probably the fairest thing would be to replay that match.

And that comment has been echoed but a lot of people today, including for the French finance minister, who weighed in on the subject earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE LAGARDE, FINANCE MINISTER, FRANCE (through translator): I think it's very sad. I'm, of course, very happy that the French team will play in the World Cup, but I find it very sad that it did qualify with, you know, an act of cheating. And I think that FIFA would be well-served to look at the current rules, because it would be good, in similar circumstances, to be able to perhaps decide that a match must be played again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BITTERMANN: Most politicians here, including President Sarkozy, have got to question the not wanting to address a drucking (ph), although the head of the third largest party here did say that he thought it should be - - the match should be replayed, as well, although FIFA says that is just not going to happen.

But still, there's been an awful lot of controversy on the fan Web sites, a lot of people saying that this is an embarrassment, a tainted victory. And one of the unions for the school teachers of France, the sports teachers of France, said this undermines everything that they are trying to teach -- cooperation, honestly and competition and respect for the opponent, that this incident has undermined all of that.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: When Christine Lagarde uses praises like "an act of cheating," then we need to consider what it all means in the world of business.

Thierry Henry doesn't just rake in buckets of cash on the field, he makes millions of dollars through sponsorship deals.

Adrian Finighan looks at whether the corporate world minds sponsoring somebody branded a cheat.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ADRIAN FINIGHAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The handball preceding the goal that sent Ireland out of the World Cup may have earned Thierry Henry infamy, but it almost certainly won't have earned him any less money. As Henry battles to save his tarnished reputation as a sportsman after acknowledging that he waited until after the game before admitting his foul, his earning potential won't be under nearly as much stress.

His lucrative deals with Gillette, Pepsi and Reebok look under no threat, despite his vilification by disgruntled Ireland fans.

Henry has joined a growing band of what many refer to as bad boy footballers, whose careers have, if anything, been enhanced by their on and off pitch exploits -- Diego Maradona, David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, to name but a few.

GRAHAM HALES, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERBRAND: Setting Henry's notoriety goes up for the events in -- in the match itself. As his notoriety goes up, he potentially becomes more marketable because he becomes more well known. What he's now known for, potentially, pollutes the brand of Henry. But, you know, he is -- he's more famous than he was some days ago.

So how you actually use the character and the brand of Henry has now changed dramatically overnight.

FINIGHAN: While unsporting behavior may be overlooked by sponsors in top flight football, that tolerance doesn't extend to other sports. Dutch financial group ING was quick to withdraw sponsorship from Renault's Formula 1 team this year following a race fixing scandal. And Michael Phelps parted company with sponsors Kellogg's after the swimmer was photographed smoking cannabis.

HALES: Sponsors are certainly becoming more and more wary and looking for better ways that they can ensure that the behavior of their brand spokespeople is -- is increasingly in line with their own -- their own views about the brand.

FINIGHAN: Football is big business -- a money generating machine. Increasingly, the sport that we as fans are passionate about seems to come second to the game's ability to generate money.

ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: There's a real fear, isn't there, that there's going to be no deterrent in future for sports stars when it comes to cheating. Every time, there's no financial penalty when sponsors stick by their sports stars, it's going to become a little bit more acceptable in the future. And that can't be good for football or, indeed, for any sport.

FINIGHAN: So, while Henry's current endorsement deals are unlikely to suffer, he may find future sponsorship opportunities more limited.

Adrian Finighan, CNN, London.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

QUEST: Interesting stuff.

Now, if you are in the U.K. -- well, as you've been hearing on this network, you're well aware that dangerous weather has been all around and it will continue -- Guillermo, and, obviously, we know about the U.K. situation.

But I'm wondering, those storms, are they going further afield and affecting other parts of Europe, as well?

GUILLERMO ARDUINO, CNN METEOROLOGIST: They are, but Great Britain tonight is going to be OK. You'll notice that when you go out. It's going to be clear. It will be not that cold, but chillier. And the storm is coming back. It's not going to be as severe, but it's coming to areas that are already flooded or that have -- are saturated. That's why it's a big problem.

Now, it's an interesting combination, because it's mostly going on a northward direction, because we're pulling moisture from the south and it's bringing heavy rain into the area. But as you said, moving into the Denmark and the Northern France. Northern Spain -- I was checking Pontevedra, Colonia, the Galatia section -- this area over here is also going to get blustery conditions. It's going to be windy. The winds are close to 80, 90 kilometers per hour. And the same for Great Britain.

That's why I don't want to downplay this story, but you will notice that it's not going to be as severe as we saw it before.

Nevertheless, it's going to be rainy, especially on Sunday. Tomorrow it will be rainy, too, in London. The western parts of England and Scotland are going to be hammered because that's where it seems that the most severe storms are going to affect the area, this area over here, in the Cambria section, all the way -- and down into Wales, as well.

But it's not going to be cold. It's more of a wind/rain event than anything else.

Perhaps this graphic, Richard, illustrates better. The darker the color is the windier the situation it's going to be. But you see that here, London appears to be OK.

Now, if we talk about delays, again, I can replay what we did yesterday -- the same cities with really bad forecasts -- Dublin, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen -- the same thing, the same thing.

Now, in the southeast, better. And, at the same time, milder. Look at Paris, 16 degrees for Saturday. The high should be 9. In the morning, 10 degrees, it should be 3. So, again, we have a warm -- warming trend, because the winds and the air -- the weather is coming from the south.

Prague, also a nice weekend. Then on Monday, we'll see the rain and things start to go back to normal there, getting chillier.

So this is the overall picture. It seems that this area here, the Balkan Peninsula, will be better -- Richard, have a nice weekend.

QUEST: And the same to you, Guillermo.

Come back to us safely on Monday.

And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for this week.

"MARKETPLACE MIDDLE EAST" is next.

I'm Richard Quest.

Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I do hope it's profitable,

END