TOKYO - England's bid to host the 2018
World Cup was compromised by media allegations of corruption
against FIFA executive committee members, according to
Japanese football chief Junji Ogura.
Ogura, the head of Japan's failed bid to land the 2022
World Cup and a member of FIFA's executive committee, said on
Tuesday that allegations by the Sunday Times newspaper and BBC
had left members "furious" and threatening to sue.
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England's bid to stage the World Cup for the first time in
more than half a century ended in a humiliating first-round
defeat when they collected just two votes from the 22-man FIFA
One of those votes was from England's representative Geoff
Thompson, the other is believed to have come from Ogura.
Russia was awarded hosting rights for the 2018 football showpiece.
"The African members of the executive committee were
furious over the Sunday Times report," Ogura said at the Japan
Football Association headquarters.
"They even suggested suing the paper at the executive
committee meeting," Kyodo News quoted him as saying.
The JFA president was bewildered at the timing of the
stories in the English media.
"If the reports are true then that would be sad. But until
they can present the evidence, then it's hard for any of us to
definitively say anything.
"But what I can say is that the reports definitely had an
impact on the England bid. There's no mistake about that.
"I have a hard time understanding why a network as
prestigious as the BBC would go with a story like that at that
Ogura did not reveal which of the 2018 bids he voted for
but said the four "Asian" bidders (Japan, South Korea,
Australia and Qatar) backed Qatar in the last round for 2022
as had been agreed.
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