FIFA members accused
Published : 29 Nov 2010 18:30:30
BBC Panorama have accused three FIFA executive committee members of taking bribes in a programme which England's 2018 World Cup bid leaders fear could further harm their chances of winning the tournament later this week.
The three men are all part of the 22-man committee which will vote on the 2018 and 2022 hosts on Thursday.
African confederation president Issa Hayatou, whose vote England 2018 had high hopes of capturing, Brazil's Ricardo Terra Teixeira and Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay have all been named by Panorama.
The programme is likely to be criticised over the timing of the screening as the allegations have nothing to do with World Cup votes and all relate to payments made between 21 and 11 years ago by the collapsed company ISL, which had been awarded the marketing rights to successive World Cups by FIFA. Under Swiss law at the time, the payment of such sweeteners was not illegal.
FIFA vice-president Jack Warner is also subject of accusations that he "ordered [2010 World Cup] tickets costing 84,240 US dollars from the FIFA ticket office but the deal subsequently fell through".
Warner last week said: "In my personal opinion, it is deliberately designed to negatively impact on England's chances. It is just a rehash of the same old b******* so I continue to sleep very soundly at nights."
The fact that the programme does not cover World Cup bidding at all is likely to lead to an outcry over the timing of the screening in the week of the FIFA vote.
BBC Panorama said in a press release: "Panorama has obtained a confidential document from inside ISL that lists 175 secret payments made between 1989 and 1999.
"The payments total about 100million US dollars (Â£64million) and Panorama understands that most were bribes paid to a handful of senior FIFA officials.
"Many of the recipients of the bribes cannot be traced because the cash was paid through a series of front companies in Liechtenstein."