Reform needed at FIFA: UK sports minister Robertson

Reform needed at FIFA: UK sports minister Robertson

British sports minister Hugh Robertson today called on FIFA to implement a wholesale reform of their World Cup bidding process after the latest allegations of corruption.

Robertson said that the FA breaking away from FIFA was “not on the agenda” but that drastic change was needed at the sport’s world governing body.

Ex-FA and England 2018 chairman Lord Triesman told a Parliamentary committee yesterday there had been “improper and unethical” behaviour by four FIFA executive committee (ExCo) members including asking for money and a knighthood when he was lobbying for England’ World Cup bid.

Two others were named by the committee as having been paid 1.5million US dollars to vote for Qatar 2022.

Robertson said: “Leaving FIFA is not on the agenda but all the effort at government level is on trying to get reform at FIFA.

“FIFA need to have a look at what the International Olympic Committee did after the Salt Lake City scandal and the reforms they made.

“Three cities are bidding to host the Winter Olympics with the decision in July, and there is not a suggestion from anyone that this is anything other than a fair contest. FIFA needs to get to that position.”

Robertson ruled out calling on FIFA to re-stage the 2018 vote – England were knocked out in the first round with only two votes.

He added: “There is no practical chance of the process being re-run – that would be a huge admission of failure by FIFA.

“I think we have to be honest as a country that Lord Triesman made these allegations in Parliament but they are going to be very difficult to actually prove because these were just conversations he had with individuals.”

Robertson also pointed out that England had failed to win a single vote from Europe, other than from Britain’s own FIFA member Geoff Thompson, and said it would be unlikely for the result to be changed as FIFA wanted to take the tournament to parts of the world where it had not been staged before.

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