FIFA asks for English corruption evidence
GENEVA (AP) — Facing a deepening corruption scandal, FIFA asked for evidence Wednesday to back up English claims that six executive committee members were involved in bribery during the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter, meanwhile, promised to resolve the crisis before he comes up for re-election on June 1.
“We have to do it now immediately. We have exactly three weeks to do so,” Blatter said in an interview with Qatar-based network Al-Jazeera.
Blatter is seeking a fourth and final four-year term against Qatari challenger Mohamed bin Hammam, who was a central figure in his country’s victorious – and controversial – bid to host the 2022 World Cup.
Following Tuesday’s allegations made during a British Parliamentary inquiry, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke wrote to England’s Football Association asking for a complete report plus “all documentary evidence” from David Triesman, the former leader of England’s 2018 bid.
Triesman told British lawmakers that four longstanding FIFA officials – Jack Warner, Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira and Worawi Makudi – requested bribes in the 2018 bidding.
Lawmakers were also told that Qatar paid $1.5 million to two more FIFA officials, Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma, in the 2022 contest.
FIFA said it has asked The Sunday Times newspaper for more evidence of information it received from a whistleblower within Qatar’s bid.
Valcke requested detailed evidence in order to “examine the situation thoroughly and with clear-sightedness,” FIFA said.
As FIFA’s top administrator, responsibility falls on Valcke to ask FIFA’s ethics court to open official investigations against any of the six under suspicion.