London: FIFA was rocked by new allegations
of corruption today as the former head of England`s 2018 World
Cup bid accused senior officials of demanding cash and honours
in return for votes.
In an explosive session of a British parliamentary
committee, six members of FIFA`s graft-tainted executive were
accused of involvement in bribery before last year`s votes to
decide the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts.
British lawmaker Damian Collins said the hearing had
received evidence FIFA vice-president Issa Hayatou from
Cameroon and Jacques Anouma from the Ivory Coast received
bribes of USD 1.5 million to vote for Qatar`s 2022 bid.
In separate testimony, Lord David Triesman, the chairman
of England`s 2018 bid until his resignation in May last year,
accused four FIFA officials of "improper and unethical"
behaviour ahead of last December`s vote in Zurich.
"These were some of the things that were put to me
personally, sometimes in the presence of others, which in my
view did not represent proper and ethical behaviour on the
part of members of the executive committee," Triesman said.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who is fighting for
re-election as head of world football`s governing body,
immediately vowed to address the latest allegations.
"If this is true, I will fight this," Sky Sports reported
Blatter as saying. "I am fighting for FIFA to clean FIFA.”
"I cannot answer for individual members of our committee.
I cannot say if they are all angels or if they are all
Triesman revealed that Jack Warner, the influential head
of the North and Central American federation CONCACAF, had
demanded to be paid directly around 2.5 million (USD 4m) for
construction of schools in Trinidad.
Triesman, who had met Warner along with England 2018
deputy chairman Sir Dave Richards, said the request was
"I said immediately the proposition was out of the
question. Sir Dave said `You must be joking Jack. You`re
probably talking about 2.5 million.`
"Jack nodded at that. He said that the money could be
channelled through him and he would guarantee the funds would
be appropriately spent."
In a second incident involving Warner, Triesman revealed
how the Trinidadian had sought a ?500,000 "donation" to secure
the rights to broadcast the 2010 World Cup in Haiti to lift
the spirits of the earthquake-shattered nation.
Warner later dismissed Triesman`s allegations as a "piece
of nonsense" in a statement to Sky Sports.
"I`ve never asked Triesman nor any other person,
Englishman or otherwise, for any money for my vote at any
time," Warner stated.