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Fifa delegate claims European pressure swayed World Cup decision

Charlie Dempsey flanked by his daughter, Josephine King, explains why he didn't vote in the ballot in Zurich Keystone

The man at the centre of the storm about the allocation of the 2006 football World Cup has been giving his version of events in Zurich last week, when Germany edged South Africa for the right to host the championships.

This content was published on July 10, 2000 - 11:35

At his first news conference since his sudden departure from Switzerland, Charlie Dempsey - the Oceania member on the executive of the international football federation, Fifa - said he had been given permission by the Oceania football federation to alter his vote.

His abstention during the third round of voting at Fifa headquarters in Zurich gave Germany a 12-11 majority. He had been expected to cast his vote for South Africa, which would have left the Swiss president of Fifa, Sepp Blatter - who was known to have favoured South Africa - with the casting vote.

"It had been made clear to me by influential European interests that if I cast my vote in favour of South Africa there would be adverse effects for the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and Fifa," Dempsey told reporters in Auckland.

He did not go into details but said he felt that abstaining from the vote was the most expedient course of action.

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