FIFA members caught in bribes claims- 11 May 2011 00:00:00
Former English Football Association chairman Lord Triesman has made claims that four FIFA members sought bribes in a bid to sell their vote during the 2018 World Cup campaign - while two Issa Hayatou of Cameroon and Jacques Anouma of the Ivory Coast have also been caught in the allegations.
Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma were allegedly paid R10m to vote for Qatar, according to evidence submitted to a British Parliamentary inquiry by a British newspaper.
Triesman was initially the chairman of England’s failed 2018 bid, and made allegations about FIFA members Jack Warner, Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi.
According to Lord Triesman, vice-president Warner asked for R27.5m to build an education centre in Trinidad, and later wanted R5.5m to buy Haiti's World Cup TV rights for the earthquake-hit nation – on both occasions Warner reportedly asked that the money be channelled through him.
Leoz, the FIFA member of Paraguay, asked Triesman for a knighthood, Brazil's FIFA member Teixeira implied that he wanted something in return for his vote, and Thailand's FIFA member Worawi Makudi, wanted the TV rights to a friendly between England and the Thailand national team to be given to him.
Speaking at the House of Commons in front of a Department of Culture, Media and Sport committee, the ex-FA chairman added that their behaviour was: ‘below what would be ethically acceptable’.
By giving evidence to the select committee, Triesman is protected from possible action against him by parliamentary privilege.
Since the allegations were made, FIFA vice president Jack Warner has rubbished the claims by Triesman as ‘a piece of nonsense’.
Warner said: ‘I've never asked Triesman nor any other person, Englishman or otherwise, for any money for my vote at any time’.
‘In the English campaign, before Triesman was unceremoniously kicked out, I've spoken to him on his initiative on only three occasions, while I've spoken to his other colleagues on other occasions and not one of them will ever corroborate his bit of trivia’.
Triesman admitted to the committee that his bid team should have reported the quartet immediately, but feared that a complaint by the FA could jeopardize England’s World Cup bid.
England’s bid however, collected just two votes from a possible 22, with the hosting rights eventually awarded to Russia.
Chairman of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport committee, John Whittingdale, said he would be writing to FIFA president Sepp Blatter immediately, to launch an investigation into the evidence.
The FIFA president said that the accused executive committee members were not elected by the same congress as him, but said: ‘One has to see the evidence’.
Blatter added: ‘They are coming from other confederations, so I cannot say that they are all angels or all devils’.
‘There is a new round of information. Give us time to digest that and start the investigation by asking for evidence on what has been said. We will react immediately against all those in breach of the ethics code rules. Zero tolerance is going through FIFA, it is one of the items on the Congress. It is my battle horse’.
Lord Triesman also claimed that Richard Scudamore, the English Premier League chief executive, offered to support the 2018 World Cup bid, in exchange for the FA’s backing for his 39th game proposal.