Fifa has written to the Football Association asking for a full report on allegations of corruption within world football’s governing body.

Former Football Association chairman Lord Triesman claimed four Fifa members sought “bribes” in return for backing England’s failed 2018 World Cup bid.

Fifa said there was “extreme concern” at the latest allegations.

Fifa has also asked for evidence from the Sunday Times after it made claims of bribery in the 2022 voting process.

A statement from Fifa said: “The Fifa secretary general [Jerome Valcke] has also sent a letter to The Sunday Times to ask the newspaper to provide Fifa with any piece of evidence with regard to the statements made to MP John Whittingdale.”

The MP for Maldon, Essex, is the chairman of the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee, where Triesman made his claims on Tuesday during a hearing about the country’s failure to secure the right to host the 2018 World Cup finals.

Triesman, a former chairman of England’s 2018 bid, accused members of Fifa’s executive committee of “improper and unethical behaviour” during the campaign process.

e alleged Fifa vice-president Jack Warner, Paraguayan Nicolas Leoz, Brazilian Ricardo Teixeira and Thai Worawi Makudi sought “bribes” in return for backing England’s World Cup 2018 campaign.

Another member of parliament’s select committee, Conservative MP Damian Collins, said evidence submitted by the Sunday Times claimed two more Fifa executive committee members – vice-president Issa Hayatou, from Cameroon, and Jacques Anouma, from the Ivory Coast – were paid nearly £1m to vote for Qatar’s successful 2022 World Cup bid.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who is seeking re-election this year, said his organisation must react “very fast” to answer the latest round of allegations ahead its Congress in three weeks.

“We have to deal with this matter before the Congress and not just kick it out of the minds of Fifa and [say] ‘we will deal with it afterwards’,” he told Al-Jazeera.

“We have to do it now, immediately, and we have three weeks. We must accelerate the movement, whether it is for the good or for the bad.”

Sports Minister Robertson urged Fifa to open up its bidding process and conduct similar internal reforms implemented by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics campaign scandal.

“The first thing is the allegations are brought to the attentions of Fifa and make sure that happens in concert with the FA,” he said.

“We have to back that up with evidence and I would hope Fifa follow the example of the International Olympic Committee, who went through a similar process after Salt Lake City.

“There is nobody currently bidding for the 2018 Winter Olympics who doesn’t believe their system is fair and transparent – Fifa needs to be in the same position.”

However, in a subsequent interview with the Press Association, Robertson advised against canvassing support to re-stage the 2018 vote process.

England were knocked out in the first round with only two votes when Russia were awarded the tournament, while Qatar were named 2022 hosts.

“There is no practical chance of the process being re-run – that would be a huge admission of failure by Fifa,” added Robertson.

“I think we have to be honest as a country that Lord Triesman made these allegations in Parliament but they are going to be very difficult to actually prove because these were just conversations he had with individuals.”

Concacaf president Warner said he “laughed like hell” when he first learned of Triesman’s allegations that he had asked for around £2.5m to build an education centre in Trinidad.

“I hold my head tall because I can stand up and tell the world I never accepted anything,” he told Trinidad publication Newsday. “People who know me would be totally dismissive of that nonsense.”

Valcke has insisted that the voting process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups was conducted cleanly.

Australia, beaten by Qatar in the 2022 voting, has already played down suggestions it could ask for a re-vote.

“Ultimately, this is a question that needs to be directed to Fifa, the governing body,” said Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

“We were very disappointed. We put in a bid which was impressive and we pursued that bid in an ethical and impressive way.”

Meanwhile, Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, said sports leaders must fight against corruption to prevent the type of scandal shaking Fifa.

Rogge said there was “always the threat” of unethical behaviour in sports management but stressed that claims made by Triesman and others on Tuesday must be backed “by solid proof”.

Source: BBC


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