World Cup voting must be publicPosted by George Cumming
The recent accusations of corruption against two members of the FIFA Executive Committee are public relations disasters for the organisation.
FIFA claims itself, publically at least, to have transparency in its decision making but the present situation raises serious doubts about the validity of such claims.
The power to decide the venue of the FIFA World Cup, which has a major economic influence in the successful bidding country, can attract those seeking to influence the result illegally. Add to this the sporting advantages and the chance to promote the country on a global stage and you can realise the attraction of making a winning bid.
There is a legacy although sometimes this is more a white elephant and a financial burden than an actual legacy when the stadia built for the competition are not required when the World Cup leaves town.
The FIFA Ethics Committee are to investigate the claims but other claims are now emerging of bidding countries for 2018 and 2022 reaching agreements on voting strategies.
The only way FIFA can gain some sort of respect is for it to change its voting procedures.
Corruption, either alleged or actual, can hide behind the mask on anonymity.
FIFA must do at least three things quickly.
1 It must complete its enquiry into the accusations made against its two Executive Committee Members as soon as possible. If they are found guilty they cannot be removed from the Committee according to the FIFA Statutes but they should be suspended from voting.
2 It must a complete an enquiry into alleged voting arrangements by bidding countries
3 At the moment the ballot is carried out in secret. The voting must now be made public This will be resisted by many in FIFA but it is the only way to achieve the transparency which FIFA claims to have.
The status quo is not an option!