World Football governing body FIFA has started investigating allegations of vote-trading by tournament bidders Spain/Portugal and Qatar. With FIFA’s 24 man executive committee set to vote on the winners of the 2018 and 2022 event in a little over a month’s time, such allegations could bring the credibility of the December 2 vote into doubt.
Spain and Portugal have placed a joint bid to host the 2018 against favourites England, Holland/Belgium and Russia. Qatar on the other hand are bidding to host the 2022 edition. Qatar are up against strong bidders in the form of Australia, USA, Japan and South Korea.
This comes only days after two senior FIFA officials were suspended after being caught trying to sell their votes for money. Amos Adamu from Nigeria and Tahiti’s Reynald Temarii were caught red handed by a Sunday Times undercover investigation as they tried to sell their votes.
FIFA is now running parallel investigations into both cases and is expected to make a decision before the December vote. Obviously shocked and surprised by the turnout of events, FIFA President Sepp Blatter was quick to defend his organisation.
“I was a little bit surprised that you say ‘is FIFA corrupt?’ FIFA is actually in the world of sport a well-recognised organisation and institution and if there are some activities that are against the ethics and the morals (of FIFA) that’s why the ethics committee came in.
“As the president of FIFA I appeal to and I expect all members, not only of the FIFA executive committee but all members of the FIFA family, to behave in an honest, sincere and respectful manner because football is based on discipline, respect, fair play and solidarity. We have the necessary tools to intervene when needed and that is what we have done.”
FIFA has already ruled out postponing the December 2 vote and they are expected to replace both Adamu and Temarii after investigations are complete.
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