Lord Treisman, the former head of the English FA and England’s 2018 World Cup bid, has accused four FIFA executive committee members of soliciting bribes from England in exchange for support during the 2018 vote. Another report suggests two FIFA executive committee members accepted $1.5 million bribes to vote for Qatar for 2022. FIFA presidentSepp Blatter is “shocked” but his “conscience is clear.”
According to Treisman, who resigned because of this scandal, FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Jack Warner asked for $4 million (paid to him) for an “education center” in Trinidad and Tobago and an additional $800,000 (also paid to Warner) to buy Haiti’s World Cup TV rights. Paraguayan committee member Nicolas Leoz asked for a knighthood. Thai FA president Worawi Makudi wanted control of the TV rights for an England friendly with Thailand (cancelled after Makudi did not vote for England). Brazlian FA president Ricardo Teixeira gave England an open-ended “come and tell me what you have got for me.”
The Sunday Times also submitted a report to the English House of Commons, showing FIFA vice-president Issa Hayatou (Cameroon) and Jacques Anouma (Cote D’Ivoire) accepted $1.5 million bribes to vote for Qatar for 2022. England’s bid was eliminated in the first round after receiving just two of 22 votes, one presumably from the English committee member.
The only thing “shocking” would be if these gentlemen hadn’t asked for their palms to be greased.
Warner has a laundry list of corruption allegations. He allegedly steered all of Trinidad and Tobago’s allotted World Cup tickets into a family-owned travel company, reselling them to earn profits of $350,000 in 2002 and more than $1 million in 2006. In 2004, Warner, in an act similar to Treisman’s allegation, asked for a friendly appearance fee from the Scottish FA to be paid in a check to him personally.
He also promised T&T players 50 percent of the profit from the country’s appearance at the World Cup. He reported the revenue for the tournament was $2.4 million and expenses of a similar. It was actually around $24 million. He offered the players around $800 each, when should be owed at least $130,000.
A BBC Panorma investigation, the fallout of which purportedly cost England any chance of the 2018 bid, implicated Leoz, Teixeira and Hayatou for accepting bribes for a sports marketing firm in exchange for contracts in the 1990s. The firm allegedly paid Leoz around $730,000 in multiple installments. It also paid $9.5 million to a Lichtenstein-based company, caught funneling money to Ricardo Teixeira. Hayatou reportedly accepted a payment of around $21,000.
So, basically, having a small committee of morally ambivalent men controlling the contract to hold the world’s biggest sporting event awarded through an opaque, closed-door voting process has bred endemic corruption. Because of the power those men wield over the organization itself, specifically who gets elected to run it, and the complete lack of oversight, FIFA will pledge to look into this and wait for the public attention to drift elsewhere.
[Photo via Getty]
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