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Fifa to hear bribe allegations

Senior officials of football’s world governing body, Fifa, are to interview an informant who alleged bribes were paid to win votes for Qatar’s World Cup bid.

According to the AP news agency on Thursday, Fifa President Sepp Blatter has said that the British Sunday Times newspaper, where claims of corruption first surfaced last October, was ready to bring its whistleblower to Zurich to discuss the matter.

The whistleblower claims that two Fifa executive members, Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma, received $1.5 million (SFr1.33 million), to support Qatar last December when Fifa selected the World Cup host nation for 2022. 

Qatar was awarded the event, beating the United States in the final round of voting.

Blatter did not rule out reopening the vote if corruption were proved, but said the matter should be taken "step by step".

He also said the organisation was "anxiously awaiting" more evidence about further allegations made last week to the British parliament by David Triesman, the former head of England's failed 2018 bid.

Triesman claimed that four long-standing Fifa executive committee members had engaged in "improper and unethical" conduct in the bid, which was won by Russia.

Blatter said Fifa's independent ethics committee was “alerted and alarmed” and could be summoned within days to hold its own probe.

All six Fifa officials named in the allegations have denied wrongdoing.

Two of those named by the Sunday Times in October for bribe taking are currently suspended from Fifa activities.

Blatter said the situation must be "clarified" by May 27. On June 1 he is seeking re-election for a fourth term. His only challenger is Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar.

swissinfo.ch


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