'Reform needed at FIFA'

2011-05-11 14:26

London - British sports minister Hugh Robertson called for urgent reform of FIFA's Soccer World Cup bidding process on Wednesday after fresh corruption allegations against the global football body.

Robertson, speaking after former England 2018 chairperson Lord David Triesman accused FIFA voters of "improper and unethical" conduct, said the organisation should follow the example of the Olympics after the Salt Lake City scandal.

"Leaving FIFA is not on the agenda but all the effort at government level is on trying to get reform at FIFA," Robertson said.

"FIFA need to have a look at what the International Olympic Committee did after the Salt Lake City scandal and the reforms they made.

"Three cities are bidding to host the Winter Olympics with the decision in July, and there is not a suggestion from anyone that this is anything other than a fair contest. FIFA needs to get to that position."

In testimony to a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday, Triesman named four FIFA executive committee members who had requested cash and a knighthood in exchange for their votes in the 2018 World Cup ballot.

Two other FIFA officials were named by the parliamentary hearing as having accepted bribes to influence the vote for the 2022 World Cup, controversially won by Qatar.

Although the allegations have cast fresh doubt on the dual votes for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, Robertson said there was no possibility the ballots could be held again.

"There is no practical chance of the process being re-run - that would be a huge admission of failure by FIFA," he said, adding that Triesman's allegations would be almost impossible to prove.

"I think we have to be honest as a country that Lord Triesman made these allegations in Parliament but they are going to be very difficult to actually prove because these were just conversations he had with individuals."

Read more on:    fifa


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