The Sunday Times has a cracking story on FIFA troughing. The paper says back in October 2010 it showed FIFA a video of leading FIFA officials talking about bribery. Reporters gained access by posing as lobbyists.
The allegations are that the vote to host the 2010 World Cup was rigged in South Africa’s favour – and that Morocco was the actual winner.
* The vote by 24 the Fifa executive committee (Exco) was rigged. At the final count South Africa (14) defeated Morroco (10) and Egypt (0).
* Ismail Bhamjee, an Exco member from Botswana, says: “After talking with everybody . . . Whose votes went where? We’re all colleagues, you know. And then we found out that actually Morocco won by two votes.” He says Exco members conferred after the vote and realised Morocco had won. Although some Exco members could have lied about their votes.
* The ballots were counted behind closed doors. Were they deliberately miscounted?
* It’s alleged FIFA suppressed the Sunday Times’ tapes and failed to investigate claims of bribery.
* It’s alleged members took bribes from Morocco and South Africa.
* Ahongalu Fusimalohi, the former Fifa Exco member from Tonga, says Morocco had offered him a $150,000 bribe for his vote. He did not take any money. But did others?
* It’s alleged that members Jack Warner, the former Fifa vice-president, took over $1m in bungs from both sides. Bhamjee is cited as having said: “I know they gave Jack Warner personally a lot of money for the Concacaf [Warner’s north America confederation]. But please, this is confidential.”
Michel Bacchini, a former Fifa director of competitions told the undercover reporters: “But Jack, they [the Moroccans] were paying him and at the end when they were voting here in Zurich, you know, he was making a big scene, he was running out of the hotel complaining that somebody was cheating. He was the guy who cheated, he was making a big scenario out of it. I know a hundred hundred per cent that he was voting for the South Africans and pretended to vote for the Moroccans. I always said you never have to pay any money upfront.”
FIFA has responded thus:
“It cannot have escaped even The Sunday Times’s attention that these matters are being investigated by the proper authorities, ie, government agencies, not newspapers. And Fifa is fully co-operating with these investigations.
Add that to the testimony to the FBI made by former Fifa executive Chuck Blazer and the stench gets higher. As Blazer told a judge in 2013: “I and others on the Fifa executive committee agreed to accept bribes in conjunction with the selection of South Africa as the host nation for the 2010 World Cup,”
Such are the facts.