FIFA to investigate two bidding nations

FIFA to investigate two bidding nations

At least two bidding nations for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups are set to be investigated by FIFA as part of their inquiry into a bribery scandal.

Two of FIFA’s 24-man executive committee offered to sell their votes for cash, according to a Sunday Times undercover probe.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has announced their own investigation, and that will also cover claims that at least two bidding countries offered bribes for votes.

Tahiti’s FIFA executive committee member Reynald Temarii was taped saying he had been offered US$10m and US$12m by separate bidding nations which he had turned down.

Nigerian Amos Adamu is said to have told reporters that he wanted US$800,000 to build four artificial football pitches in his home country.

Blatter has admitted the scandal had had a “very negative impact” on the world governing body and FIFA are considering postponing the December 2 decision.

Blatter has written to all 24 executive committee members promising a full investigation and saying: “I am sorry to have to inform you of a very unpleasant situation, which has developed in relation to an article published in the Sunday Times.

“The information in the article has created a very negative impact on FIFA and on the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. Some current and former members of the executive committee are mentioned in the article.”

He adds: “FIFA will... open an in depth investigation, which we will start immediately together with the FIFA ethics committee and the FIFA secretary general.”

England, Russia, Spain/Portugal and Holland/Belgium are bidding for the 2018 World Cup while USA, Australia, Qatar, Japan and South Korea are campaigning to host the 2022 tournament.

Fears that England’s bid may suffer a backlash have been downplayed by Chuck Blazer, the American member of FIFA’s executive committee.

Leading figures in England 2018’s bid team have concerns that the scandal could rebound on them if other FIFA members are unhappy that the expose emanated from the English press.

But Blazer told Press Association Sport: “I don’t think this is an issue which will have an anti-English backlash in the executive committee.

“If it had been in a Spanish paper, would that damage the Spanish bid? I don’t think so.”

Adamu has insisted he had been talking about business in Nigeria after the World Cup and that his vote was not for sale.

Temarii was unavailable for comment and the Oceania Football Confederation have also announced they are investigating the reports.

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Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s. https://www.facebook.com/PopsceneCork/You've Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

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