LONDON - England's 2018 World Cup bid has
been significantly damaged by a newspaper investigation into the
bidding process, a senior member of the campaign team said on
Reporters from the Sunday Times posed as lobbyists for a
consortium of American companies wanting to secure FIFA's vote
for the U.S. and targeted two executive committee members who
are now under investigation for corruption.
"It is correct to assume that the article has caused some
significant damage to us," said the source, who spoke to Reuters
on condition of anonymity.
"It would be far better for us not to have any issues with
our own media, but we believe the position is recoverable. The
next two or three weeks are going to involve a lot of work in
turning this situation around, but we feel we have a great bid
and that FIFA will judge it on its merits and are not put off by
a newspaper story."
England are facing a challenge from Russia, and joint bids
from Spain/Portugal and Belgium/Netherlands to host the finals.
FIFA will make its decision in Zurich on December 2.
Last month's Sunday Times story named Amos Adamu from
Nigeria and Reynald Temarii from Tahiti as the two executive
committee members who were prepared to sell their votes for
The two men, who have denied any wrongdoing, have been
suspended by FIFA and are the subject of an investigation by the
body's ethics committee which is meeting from Nov. 15-17 before
publishing its findings.
Adamu is accused of asking for 500,000 pounds -
half paid in advance - to build four artificial football
pitches in his home country.
Temarii, a FIFA Oceania confederation vice-president is
alleged to have requested 3 million New Zealand dollars ($2.36
million) for a sports academy to be built at the OFC's
The campaign source said England's bid could recover from
the crisis, but thought a BBC programme about FIFA which could
be shown the week before the vote would prove highly damaging.
"People from around the world cannot understand why on the
one hand, the British Government, and all the opposition parties
are totally behind the bid, while the BBC, effectively the
state-run TV channel, would broadcast a programme that could
scupper it," the source said.
"We do not want FIFA members to feel they are being
persecuted by the English media, that is not the case at all."
FIFA president Sepp Blatter was critical of the newspaper's
role last week, when he told reporters after an executive
committee meeting in Zurich: "One can ask whether such an action
is appropriate, trying to set traps for people. It is a deeply
rooted problem with the English media.
"Who is benefiting from this situation and who is being
harmed, we are asking ourselves why did it happen and why did it
happen specifically by English journalists? We are looking at
The president of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC),
Mohamed Bin Hammam of Qatar, used his blog to criticise the Sunday Times
investigation when he wrote: "Is it ethical to use unethical
methods to protect the ethic? How will we clean dirty laundry by
using dirty water. This would not have happened in the Middle
Qatar is bidding for the 2022 World Cup along with Japan,
South Korea, the United States and Australia and has been the
subject of allegations that it has colluded with Spain/Portugal
in a vote-trading deal for their respective campaigns, something
both bids deny.
Berlin will stage Champions League final for the first time in 2015
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand signs one-year contract
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010