SA 'colluded' with SWC rivals
London - Senior FIFA official Danny Jordaan has admitted to clandestine collusion with competitors when he led South Africa's Soccer World Cup bid team, unsuccessfully persuading England to withdraw from the 2006 race by offering Nelson Mandela's support for 2010.
While South Africa did persuade Brazil to pull out of the vote in 2000, England stayed in the contest with South Africa and the 2006 tournament went to Germany.
Jordaan did successfully secure the 2010 World Cup for South Africa and has recently been part of the FIFA inspection team that toured the nations bidding for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments ahead of December's vote.
Jordaan's revelations about insider deals a decade ago come as FIFA's ethics committee investigates claims that 2018 contender Spain-Portugal and 2022 candidate Qatar have broken rules by colluding to swap votes.
Jordaan disclosed on Wednesday that he wanted Brazil and England out of the 2006 vote to give South Africa a "stronger chance" of winning.
"In the end we wanted a straight fight so we sent an emissary to the English bid, but the English believed they were going to win 2006," Jordaan told the International Sports Event Management conference in London.
But England's bid was hampered by claims that it reneged on an agreement that it would support Germany in the 2006 World Cup contest.
Jordaan recalled that England was told: "If you withdraw we will get Nelson Mandela to come to London, to praise you and say nice things about you and then in 2010 you will be stronger because then you will have dealt with the difficulty of the debate of 1966-2006. But of course we didn't convince them."
Jordaan later claimed that such deals would be harder to attempt now because bidding nations have lucrative deals with commercial partners that would prevent a late withdrawal.
"You can't halfway through decide you aren't running the race," he told The Associated Press. "It's not good or bad. It's the reality when you bid you work within the framework of the reality of the rules."
FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam, the Asian confederation president, conceded last week that "collusion will always have a chance to happen" because the 2018 and 2022 votes are taking place at the same time on December 2.
"We all pray that no corrupted collusion will find its way to the bids," Bin Hammam wrote on his personal website.