Lord Triesman, the former FA and England 2018 World Cup bid Chairman has come out guns blazing in the Culture, Media and Sport Committee at the House of Commons in London. His accusations into the corruption surrounding the World Cup Hosting rights will not surprise many, but it is sure to make the upcoming FIFA elections all the more interesting.
Now eight of the 24 Executive Committee who gave World Cup Hosting rights to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022 have been alleged or found guilty of impropriety.
Accusations include 1.5 million dollars being paid to FIFA Vice President Issa Hayatou from Cameroon and Jacques Anouma from Ivory Coast, who voted for Qatar.
Triesman gave evidence of “improper and unethical behaviour,” by serial FIFA bad boy Vice President Jack Warner who reportedly put his hand out for money to build an education centre in Trinidad, with cash to go through him, and money to buy Haiti World Cup TV rights, also to go through him. Mr Warner comes out badly in two books on corruption in FIFA – “How they stole the game” and “Foul” – and funding for similar ventures have not seen the facilities intended built.
Others accused include Nicolas Leoz from Paraguay, Woarawi Makudi of Thailand and Brazil’s Ricardo Teixeira – who happens to be related to former FIFA President Joao Havelange, the man who brought ‘commercialism’ to FIFA.
The Chairman of the committee which was looking into why England’s bid failed, and why they picked up no votes now plans to pressure FIFA President Sepp Blatter to launch an investigation. With a similar review about to get under way in Australia, it will be interesting to see if the two combine to try and apply pressure on the FIFA Executive.
It is now time that Ben Buckley and the FFA made public who they will be endorsing in the coming FIFA Elections, the public deserve this. It is time that Australia, who constantly goes on about its sense of fair play, stood tall and stated it will be abstaining unless doubts as to the legitimacy of the election process can be cleared. Maybe the Football public need to pressure the FFA into such a stance.
In SBS Television’s Les Murray, Australia has someone on the FIFA Ethics committee, and if he has the courage to stand tall and lift his head above the trenches he could put the icing on the cake of a career that has tried to lift the profile of the game in Australia. He owes it to the game and to Australian fans to stand up and ask questions. FIFA’s ethics have long been questionable, but now is the time for those with the power to put a stop to it.
Serious action needs to be taken similar to that taken by the International Olympic Committee following the corruption surrounding the awarding of the 2002 Winter Games.
Blatter who has allowed such corruption to exist on his watch as President of FIFA, while also being accused of it, needs to accept it is time to step aside. The ride is over, and it was an unbelievably good one. The person standing against him, Mohamed Bin Hamman should also step aside come the elections as of the nine countries who bid for hosting rights all of the current allegations are directed at one, his home, Qatar.
If there is any honour in FIFA both should withdraw. If Australia genuinely believes in fair play, and that they were wronged with their bid, it is time to stand tall, be counted and play a part in changing the history of the game.