News 8th June 2015

FIFA Daily Update: Russia & Qatar could lose World Cup

Russia and Qatar could still lose the right to host the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups if evidence of bribery during the bidding process emerges, the independent Chairman of FIFA’s Audit and Compliance Committee, Domenico Scala, told a Swiss newspaper. “If evidence should emerge that the awards to Qatar and Russia only came about thanks to bought votes, then the awards could be invalidated”, Scala told Sonntags Zeitung. “This evidence has not yet been brought forth”.

Last week, a US law enforcement official told Reuters that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) investigation into bribery and corruption at FIFA will examine how FIFA awarded the right to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar. If further charges do emerge, then Scala’s comments suggest that a revote on the hosting of both tournaments could be possible. The charges against the six FIFA officials arrested at the request of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) on 27 May were not in connection to the awarding of those tournaments.

Other FIFA News

• The BBC reports that it has evidence that Jack Warner syphoned off US$10 million that FIFA and the South African Football Association (SAFA) had designated to support the African Diaspora as part of South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup. The BBC’s documents allege that Warner, who was President of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) at the time, used the payment for cash withdrawals, personal loans and to launder money. SAFA denied that the $10 million was a bribe in exchange for votes for South Africa, highlighting the history of the African Diaspora programme. ‘That the money may have been siphoned off by individuals after it was donated does not make the donor complicit or a co-conspirator as it has been so vigorously described in the public domain’, read a statement. However, South Africa’s Sunday Times claims to have a 2007 emails between then-President Thabo Mbeki and FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter discussing the payment of the money directly into Warner’s bank account.

• It has been alleged that Warner double crossed the Moroccan bid to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup by accepting a US$1 million bribe for votes, and also attempted to offer the Egyptian bid seven votes for $7 million.

• Secret tapes obtained by the Sunday Times allege that Morocco won more votes than South Africa, and therefore should have been appointed as the host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, the UK newspaper alleges that FIFA manipulated the secret ballot in order that South Africa could host the tournament.

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