World Cup 2018 – 13 days to decision
The Sunday Times will feel fully justified in their recent expose of the votes for cash story, as the FIFA Ethics Committee banned Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii. Both men will not be able to vote on 02 December in relation to the 2018 and 2022 hosting ballots. Adamu is banned from football activity for three years and fined £6,300. Temarii was handed a one year ban and fined £3,150. There were also bans handed out to the following former Executive Committee members; Ismael Bhamjee (Botswana) four years, Amadou Diakite (Mali) and Ahongalu Fusimalohi (Tonga) three years and Slim Aloulou (Tunisia) two years. In addition they were each fined £6,300 for having broken rules on general conduct and loyalty and of failing to report evidence of misconduct in relation to the case.
The Ethics Committee also looked at reported collusion between the 2018 Spain/Portugal Bid and the 2022 Bid of Qatar, but found no evidence to substantiate these claims. However, FIFA must now be regretting their decision to announce the host countries for two World Cups at once. FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke admitted as much when he intimated that there was very little that could be done to stop countries striking deals between themselves.
As a result of FIFA’s decisions this week, the ballot will proceed on 02 December with the previous 24 votes now reduced to 22 and therefore the number of votes needed to win is now 12. Despite the good feedback in the Executive Summary this week on the England 2018 Bid, the reality is that the chances of winning the vote are set to be threatened once more. The BBC will screen a Panorama investigation into FIFA just three days before voting in Zurich, which is sure to alienate the FIFA Executives once more. How ironic that the final nail in the coffin of the England Bid could be delivered from within the country itself.