On Thursday 2nd December, FIFA will bring to an end the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups when the Executive Committee meets in Zurich.

This has been a flawed process in many ways.

Firstly, the decision to vote on both 2018 and 2022 venues has not been successful. The double vote was proposed by Jerome Valcke, the FIFA General Secretary, on the grounds that it would increase the revenue FIFA would gain from marketing.

The commercial aspect of the decision has been undermined by the fact that it has allowed collusion between bids for the two competitions. Arrangements are alleged to have been made by some bids to vote for each other – a practice which is against FIFA rules.

More seriously, however, have been the allegations of corruption made against some members of the FIFA Executive Committee. The Sunday Times in London arranged an undercover operation to offer two Exco members, Amos Adamu of Nigeria and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti, money to vote for the American bid for, at that time, 2018 and 2022.

US Soccer were not involved in any way with the sting but both men took the bait and were filmed agreeing to accept money to vote for the US bid.

After an investigation by the FIFA Ethics Committee, they were found guilty and suspended.

Four senior members of other FIFA committees were also filmed agreeing to try to influence the result and were also suspended and banned.

Two former employees, Michel Zen Ruffinen and Michel Bachini were declared ‘persona non grata’ after making comments to the undercover team.

A Panorama programme on 29th November alleged that in 1999 three other members of the Executive Committee, Issa Hayatou, Ricardo Teixeira and Nicolas Leon had received bribes from ISL, the marketing company which bought and distributed the right to future World Cups.  

In the same programme, Jack Warner, the powerful FIFA Vice President from CONCACAF, was alleged to have bought and resold tickets for the 2006 World Cup through Simpaul a travel company owned by the Warner family in Trinidad and Tobago.

Hayatou has since repudiated the accusations but the questions remain.

The above list must be a major concern to FIFA.

Of the 24 original members of the Executive Committee, two have already been suspended and another four accused of malpractice. Two of the other four who were suspended were at one time members of the FIFA Executive Committee.

There must be serious questions about the suitability of this committee to make a decision on the different bids.

After the International Olympic Committee had a major problem with corruption in the lead up to the voting for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City it totally revised its voting procedures to ensure honest voting.

It is too late to change for 2018 and 2022 but the present procedures are totally flawed and must be radically altered.

‘May the best bid win’ – forget it.

No matter who wins, the result is tainted.

  • Share/Bookmark