FIFA opens 2-day meeting on scandal-hit World Cup

Oct 28, 2010 12:58

FIFA's ruling executive committee started a two-day meeting on Thursday which could alter the shape of the scandal-hit 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests.

The session was scheduled long ago for the executive to select a voting procedure it would use in a Dec. 2 secret ballot to choose the two hosts, but it has been overtaken by events and began with two of the 24 members temporarily banished from FIFA headquarters.

Allegations of bribery and corruption involving Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii plus two of the nine bidders have shaken FIFA's control over the two-year multimillion dollar global lobbying contest.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter chaired a meeting which will consider delaying one or both World Cup decisions until more credibility and public confidence has been restored to the process.

On arriving, FIFA vice-president Chung Mong-Joon of South Korea told The Associated Press he expected a "constructive and productive" meeting.

Blatter leads a ruling body reduced in numbers after Nigeria's Adamu and Tahiti's Temarii were provisionally suspended by FIFA's ethics committee which is examining evidence of alleged corruption discovered by the British Sunday Times newspaper.

The panel also is investigating two bidders for alleged collusion in the 2018 and 2022 elections, and four former FIFA executive committee members who were reported saying voters' support was for sale.

Ethics chairman Claudio Sulser said last week he aims to publish findings by Nov. 17, but warned that Adamu and Temarii could be suspended for a further 20 days - beyond the Dec. 2 polling day - if his team needs more time to investigate.

Voting also could proceed with one or more candidates disqualified if the ethics probe decides bidding rules were broken by a vote-swapping alliance.

A leader of the Spain-Portugal committee bidding for the 2018 World Cup denied it was colluding with 2022 contender Qatar.

"The Iberian bid denies reaching any pact with Qatar or any other candidate and has made itself completely available to FIFA to investigate the allegations," bid chief executive Miguel Angel Lopez said in a statement.

The 2018 contest also includes England, Russia and the joint bid of Belgium-Holland.

The 2022 race also involves the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

In other scheduled business, FIFA's executive will receive a progress report on preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

FIFA also will discuss ongoing problems in its relations with some national members, including Nigeria, Togo and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Blatter is expected to appear at a news conference after the meeting ends on Friday.


OP: I'm at school and for reason the tags aren't responding so I'll fix'em when I get home ;) ♥
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