ZURICH - Collusion is difficult to keep
out of the World Cup bidding process, FIFA president Sepp
Blatter said on Friday as he praised the way football's governing
body had handled a corruption scandal.
He also added FIFA would have to toughen up its
anti-corruption watch in the future.
"You cannot avoid collusion but if there should be something
wrong in such collusion, then naturally somebody should
intervene," Blatter told a news conference.
"You find collusion in politics, in elections, when two
parties are enemies during the year and then they run
Two FIFA executive committee members were banned and fined
on Thursday, one for bribery, over allegations they had offered
to sell their votes in the contest to host the 2018 and 2022
Four other officials were also banned and fined for various
offences including bribery in three cases.
However FIFA's ethics committee, which investigated the
case, found no evidence of alleged collusion between
Spain/Portugal, one of four bids to host the 2018 World Cup, and
Qatar, who are bidding for 2022.
The hosts for both tournaments will be chosen on December 2 in
Zurich. Blatter said last month that FIFA had been wrong to
decide to vote on both tournaments at the same time.
"The World Cup is not only footballing, emotional
competition, where people assemble, they dance, they are happy,"
"It (December 2) is not just an important date for football, it
is important for international politics.
"We have nine bidding countries for the 2018 and 2022 World
Cups, they will send their top representatives, we have to deal
with nine countries sending prime ministers, heads of state and
other high-ranked political personalities."
A FIFA committee has compiled detailed reports on each of
the nine bids but there has also been intense lobbying behind
the scenes of the 22 executive committee members who can vote.
Asked if he thought the quality of the bids would be
decisive, Blatter said: "In principle, yes, otherwise it
wouldn't be worth making a technical report if finally those who
are going to vote are not using the information of such reports.
"But we are not only dealing with the World Cup institution,
we are also dealing with human beings and they have ideas other
than those which are available in the documents."
Blatter said he was satisfied, but not happy, about the
outcome of the ethics committee hearing.
The investigation started when executive committee members
Amos Adamu of Nigeria and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti were accused
of offering to sell their votes to undercover reporters from the
Sunday Times British newspaper posing as lobbyists for an
"It gave us the opportunity to clean a little bit whatever
has to be cleaned but I cannot say it is very fair when you open
traps for people," said Blatter.
"I am very satisfied, but I'm not happy, you cannot be happy
when you have to sanction members of our family, it is not a
pleasure but I'm satisfied with the work down by the ethics
"It is with optimism that I'm looking forward to the last
few days before the decision day of December 2," he added. "I am
convinced that between now and December 2 there will be no more
Blatter also said FIFA would have to toughen up procedures
in the future.
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