Blatter vows action on World Cup bribery claims

ENGLAND’S Football Association will send a full dossier of the latest allegations of World Cup bidding corruption to FIFA as the world governing body’s president Sepp Blatter promised swift action to deal with the new claims.

FA general secretary Alex Horne yesterday wrote to FIFA enclosing some of the evidence provided to Tuesday’s British parliamentary select committee and promising to provide the rest as soon as possible.

Two FIFA executive committee (ExCo) members were on Tuesday accused in the committee of being paid $1.5m (€1.05m) to vote for Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid.

Former FA and England 2018 bid chairman David Triesman also alleged there had been “improper and unethical” behaviour by four other FIFA ExCo members including asking for money and a knighthood when he was lobbying for England’s World Cup bid.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said the allegations had to be dealt with before the body’s Congress in Zurich in three weeks’ time.

He said: “We have to do it very fast. We must accelerate the movement, whether it is for the good or for the bad.”

FIFA said in a statement that general secretary Jerome Valcke had written to the FA and expressed “extreme concern” at the allegations “questioning the integrity of some FIFA ExCo members in connection with the bidding procedure for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups”.

In his letter, Valcke asked for the FA to provide all available evidence with “the utmost urgency”.

Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Qatari president of the Asian Football Confederation who did much to secure the 2022 World Cup for his country, yesterday denied any bribes were paid.

Bin Hammam said: “I can assure you nothing like this has happened from our side.

“If someone wants to damage reputations like this, then they have to provide the proof.

“It didn’t happen. It is fine to say something, to try to damage the reputation of somebody but where is the proof?”

Triesman alleged FIFA vice-president Jack Warner asked for cash to build an education centre; that Thailand’s FIFA member Worawi Makudi wanted to be given the TV rights to a friendly between England and the Thai national team; that Paraguay’s FIFA member Nicolas Leoz asked for a knighthood and that Brazil’s FIFA member Ricardo Terra Teixeira asked Triesman to “come and tell me what you have got for me”. Warner retorted he “laughed like hell” at Triesman’s claims.

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