More allegations emerge of FIFA corruption during World Cup bids

Posted Nov 30, 2014 by Kev Hedges
Just when football's world governing body Fifa was trying to sweep the corruption scandal under the carpet, new allegations have emerged of nefarious activity during the bidding process for 2018 and 2022.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter in 2010 announed Qatar as host country for the 2022 World Cup
FIFA President Sepp Blatter in 2010 announed Qatar as host country for the 2022 World Cup
Philippe Desmazes, AFP/File
Previously unseen material has been passed to a major Sunday newspaper in the U.K. by the House of Commons Culture Media and Sport select committee. The bidding process for the World Cups of 2018 and 2022 were won by Russia and Qatar respectively.
The Sunday Times has claimed that senior figures involved in the England bid (that eventually lost out to Russia for 2018 host) found that even Russia's President Vladimir Putin played a key role in his country's victory in the bidding process. The allegations even suggest that President Putin had lobbied Fifa chief executive Sepp Blatter and asked him to help Russia win votes. There were 22 Fifa officials who are eligible to cast a vote for the winning host nation within the bidding process.
The allegations also centre on how votes were easily bought and sold without Fifa being able to do much about it because of opaque rules and the odd blind eye being turned. Another claim in the documentation released by the House of Commons select committee suggested Russia tried to bribe Michel Platini - president of Uefa and himself a voter in the bidding process - by offering him a Picasso painting.
However, it is not just Russia that has been mentioned in the fresh allegations of corruption but Qatar too. The Gulf state is so dominant in the natural gas supply industry that it was able to secure key bilateral trade deals and procure votes in its favour. Playing football in temperatures of 48c (118f) is not physically feasible in a country where there is virtually no naturally grown grass and whose side's position in the Fifa World Rankings is 98th.