THE WORLD CUP bidding process is under fresh scrutiny after further allegations of vote selling were made against six of the men who decide who hosts the tournament.
Former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman accused four members of world governing body Fifa’s all-powerful executive committee of seeking incentives to support England’s failed bid to stage the 2018 event.
And it is alleged that two more ExCo members received substantial sums in return for voting for Qatar, who surprisingly won the right to host the 2012 tournament last year, the culture, media and sport committee heard yesterday.
Fifa chairman Sepp Blatter voiced his shock at the claims, which he said would need to be supported by evidence, while pointing out the ExCo members were not appointed by him. “They are coming from other confederations, so I cannot say that they are all angels or all devils,” said Blatter.
Triesman, who was initially chairman of England’s bid, accused ExCo members Jack Warner, Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi of asking for cash or incentives in return for support, saying their behaviour had been “below what would be ethically acceptable”.
The committee also heard Conservative MP Damian Collins describe evidence submitted by a British Sunday newspaper that claimed to show two more Ex Co members, Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma, had been offered money to vote for Qatar.
Fifa’s ethics committee banned two ExCo members, Amos Adamu and Reynal Teymarii, from last year’s vote following allegations of impropriety relating to votes.
Triesman pledged to submit evidence in support of his claims to Fifa, and said the FA had chosen not to complain at the time because they feared it could harm their chances of winning the vote, which went with Russia.
Fifa vice-president Warner, whom Triesman says asked for £2.5m for an education centre in his native Trinidad, called the claims “a piece of nonsense”. He added: “I’ve never asked Triesman nor any other person, Englishman or otherwise, for any money for my vote at any time.”
Mike Lee, the British public relations guru who helped win London the 2012 Olympics vote and worked for Qatar’s bid, told MPs: “My experience is I would have had a sense if such things were going on and I had no sense of that.”