The claim that some members of the FIFA Executive Committee have compromised themselves by allegedly offering to vote for a certain candidate for World Cup 2018 and 2022 in return for some sort of financial gain is a major embarrassment for FIFA.

FIFA publically prides itself on transparency and the thought that at least 2 of the 24 members of the FIFA Executive Committee are prepared to take money to support a certain candidate must be a matter of major concern.

The decision to award a major sporting event to a country or to a city has often been clouded in mystery and suspicion.

When Germany was awarded the 2006 FIFA World Cup in 2002 it was a very close vote and only the controversial decision by Charlie Dempsey, the President of the Oceania Confederation, to abstain when he had been initially mandated to vote for South Africa, confirmed that the competition would go to Europe.

It was clear after this disappointment that the 2010 competition would go to Africa and, especially with the Mandela factor, to South Africa.  

The Olympic Games, the other great global sporting event, has had similar problems to the present accusations being leveled at FIFA.

Marc Hodler, an octogenarian IOC member and recognised as a champion of integrity was the man who started questioning the integrity of the Salt Lake City bid.

He’d suggested all was not as it should have been in the bid process for the 2002 Winter Games won by Salt Lake City.

The consequences of Hodler’s whistle blowing shook the IOC to its core.

The Olympic values of fair play, honesty, and respect had little place in the conduct of some of the IOC members, who had enjoyed the hospitality of the cities bidding to stage the games.

Four investigations followed, including one by the US Department of Justice. Astonishing tales emerged of members securing university scholarships and plastic surgery for family members, all-expense paid ski trips, visits to the Superbowl.

It was a gravy train, and for the first time in its history, the IOC expelled 10 members and 10 others were sanctioned.

The ethics commission established by the IOC drew up rigid new rules and new codes of conduct. Visits to bidding cities by IOC members were banned and the practice of giving excessive gifts to members or their wives stopped immediately.

FIFA had experienced a similar problem in the bidding for the 2002 FIFA World Cup when Japan and Korea bombarded the FIFA Executive Committee with all sorts of gifts.

It was left to the late David Will, the Scottish FIFA Vice- President and a man of the utmost integrity, to publically state that he would refuse to accept any gift from any candidate federation. Other FIFA Executive Committee Members followed his example.

Make no mistake the present crisis is a major challenge to FIFA.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter will want to clear things up as soon as possible.

If the two minor members of the FIFA Executive Committee, Amos Adamu of Nigeria and Reynald Temarii, President of the Oceania Confederation, are shown to be guilty, they will quickly be removed from the FIFA Executive Committee.

And rightly so!

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