Champagne demands FIFA transparency


Published: Sunday 23rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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The bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups must be looked at again if even one vote was improperly influenced, according to FIFA presidential candidate Jerome Champagne.

FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert said on Tuesday that a criminal complaint had been lodged with the Swiss attorney general over the possible misconduct of individuals in connection to the awarding of the hosting rights for those finals.

However, FIFA president Sepp Blatter insisted that despite that, the investigation into the 2018 and 2022 bidding process would not be reopened.

Now Champagne, who so far is the only person set to stand against Blatter in next year’s election, believes it is vital there is transparency surrounding how the bidding was conducted.

“We need to know how the voting unfolded and how it was influenced. Even if one vote was improperly influenced that is too many,” he told the Mail On Sunday.

“Was it one or none? Or five? If it was five then is that enough to change the outcome? Yes. Qatar won 14-8 (over the United States in the vote to host the 2022 World Cup). The problem is we need to know and we don’t know.”

Champagne is one of many to have called for ethics investigator Michael Garcia’s report into the 2018 and 2022 bidding process to be published in full.

“I’ve consistently and repeatedly called for transparency,” he said.

“What has happened over the past week only reinforces the need for that, more than ever.

“It continues to make me sad that the World Cup, the pinnacle of our game, remains tainted. We need to know what happened.

“I am a strong defender of the principle of innocent until proven guilty but it is clear that what is at stake is enormous.”

Published: Sunday 23rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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