FIFA boss admits backroom World Cup deal

| 29/10/2015 | 1 Comment
Cayman News Service

FIFA President Sepp Blatter left with former CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb

(CNS): The beleaguered president of world football’s governing body has admitted that backroom deals had been made among the FIFA executive over the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. In an interview with the Russian news agency TASS, Sepp Blatter revealed that football bosses had agreed before the vote to give the 2018 and 2022 games to Russia and the USA but the UEFA president, Michel Platini, did not follow the agreement and voted for Qatar.

Blatter and Platini are both serving 90-day suspensions imposed by FIFA’s Ethics Committee, which is looking into a bribe Blatter is accused making to Platini in 2011, which is also part of one of the many probes being conducted by the US, the Swiss and other national authorities into football corruption.

Blatter told the Russian media, “We had a discussion of the World Cup and then we went to a double decision … For the World Cups it was agreed that we go to Russia (for 2018) … and for 2022 we go back to America. And so we will have the World Cup in the two biggest political powers.”

But Blatter claimed Platini had a change of heart and implied that this was behind the probe that has seen FIFA shattered by massive corruption allegations.

“There was an election by secret ballot. Four votes from Europe went away from the USA … If the USA was given the World Cup, we would only speak about the wonderful World Cup 2018 in Russia and … not about any problems,” he told the Russian news agency.

Meanwhile, the Former Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president, Jose Maria Marin, has agreed to be extradited to the United States in relation to the FIFA corruption probe. Marin was arrested alongside Webb and six other seven FIFA officials arrested during dawn raids at a Zürich hotel in May.  Like Webb, the 83-year-old is accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes in connection to the sale of sports marketing rights.

Marin was fighting the extradition but the Swiss Federal Office of Justice reported that he will now join Webb, the former FIFA vice-president and local football boss, in agreeing to proceed with the case in New York.

“Jose Maria Marin, former President of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) agreed on Tuesday to be extradited to the USA,” the Swiss authorities said. “Under Switzerland’s Mutual Assistance Act, the former soccer official must be placed in the custody of a US police escort and taken to the USA within ten days.”

The five remaining FIFA officials in Zürich are still opposing extradition requests including Costas Takkas, Webb’s former assistant and one time general secretary of CIFA.

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  1. Cass says:

    This case will be going on for years to come; by the next world cup there will be more people named and shamed, as they should be! How greedy some people are!

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