Most of Fifa’s World Cup 2022 decision-makers mired in controversy
While former Uefa chief Michel Platini has come under the spotlight after he was called up for questioning by French police, he is just one of the many stakeholders who awarded the World Cup 2022 hosting rights to Qatar to be mired in controversy.
The Daily Mail reported yesterday that 16 of the 22 Fifa officials who voted on where the 2018 and 2022 World Cups would be held "have either been banned, accused of or indicted for criminal corruption, involved in Federal Bureau of Investigation cases or accused of ethical violations, but not convicted".
Ex-Fifa president Sepp Blatter was banned from the sport for six years for a two-million Swiss francs (S$2.7m) payment to Platini, Jack Warner was banned for life for bribery and Vitaly Mutko has been handed a lifetime ban by the International Olympic Committee after Russia was found to have a state-sponsored doping programme.
Other officials who have come under a cloud are the late Chuck Blazer, Franz Beckenbauer, Nicolas Leoz, Ricardo Teixeira, Angel Maria Villar Llona, Issa Hayatou, Mohammed bin Hammam, Rafael Salguero, Worawi Makudi, Chung Moon Joon, Jacques Anouma and the late Julio Grondona.
In addition, Michel D'Hooghe was accused but later cleared of accepting a painting from Russia before they won the rights to host last year's World Cup, while the Garcia Report alleges that Geoff Thompson breached anti-collusion rules by agreeing to a vote-trading deal with Chung.
The other Fifa officials involved in voting for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments are Senes Erzik, Marios Lefkaritis, Junji Ogara and Hany Abo Rida.
Meanwhile, Platini was freed yesterday after having been questioned over the awarding of the World Cup 2022 to Qatar.
His lawyer, William Bourdon, said his client was innocent of all charges and that he had been questioned on "technical grounds".
"They asked me questions over Euro 2016, the World Cup in Russia, the World Cup in Qatar, Paris Saint-Germain, Fifa," said Platini.