“1 million USD for a vote.”
On the 27th of May, 2014, the largest corruption scandal in modern sports history was uncovered as a group of 14 individuals comprising of FIFA executives, sports marketing managers and one broadcasting corporation head were indicted on charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering among others. With the US Department of Justice prosecuting the indicted, Attorney General Loretta Lynch stated that these arrests were to be seen as stepping stones towards tackling the corruption that had maligned world football’s governing body.
In a recent expose, it has been revealed that Egyptian authorities were allegedly asked to pay $7 million for 7 votes in their favour to support their bid to host the 2010 World Cup.
Former FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner is amongst those currently being persecuted by the US DoJ and former Egyptian Sports Minister Aley Eddine Helal pinpoints the former school teacher and current member of the Trinidad and Tobago parliament as the man who brought the deal on the table in 2004.
“Warner was the one who approached us from FIFA,” claimed Helal. “He said he could guarantee us seven votes. He asked for $US1 million for each vote.” Mr Helal also says that FIFA’s approaches were rebuffed which can be construed from the fact that Egypt received zero votes in the support of their bid.
Meanwhile, the BBC reports that in 2004 itself, FIFA struck a deal for $10 million from South Africa as a bribe to aid their bid to host the World Cup in 2010. In 2008, the money was then transferred from FIFA’s bank onto an account under CONCACAF of which Warner was the President in that time period. Warner had allegedly used JTA Supermarkets, a supermarket chain operating in Trinidad, as a base for money laundering and received a net amount of $US1.6 million of the $10 million involved in the deal.
These accusations could not come at a worse time for FIFA as it struggles to preserve some shreds of its tattered reputation. The resignation of Sepp Blatter as FIFA President was seen as a welcome indication towards better times by the global community. However, from what can be construed of the situation, the organization needs a complete revamp if it wishes to be reinstated to its former glory.
For a more detailed take on the FIFA scandal and its implications on the global football community, CLICK HERE.