London 2012 Olympic Chairman Sebastian Coe,who chaired FIFA’s ethics committee before standing down to join England’s doomed bid for the 2018 World Cup has urged world football’s governing body to fully investigate allegations of corruption over votes for 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts. Stating that it was vital for FIFA tobe seen beyond reproach in an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the chairman of the British Olympic Association warned of the dangers of FIFA failing to fully investigate allegations of corruption over the vote to determine the hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.
Lord Coe spoke to The Telegraph’s Ben Rumsby after it emerged that at least two members of FIFA’s executive committee had discussed sabotaging its own probe into the 2010 vote following disclosures of payments made between two of its disgraced vice-presidents shortly after Qatar was awarded the 2022 tournament.
“I think we have to accept that everything in sport is based on confidence,” said the former Olympic 1,500 metres champion. But fair play is not a concept entirely and uniquely rooted in the field of play. It comes from the very top of every organisation. It’s the organisation that sets the tone. So, it’s very important whether it’s FIFA , whether it’s the IAAF, whether it’s the IOC, that the corporate governances are absolutely pristine and that you have clear and transparent processes. It is really important that federations recognise that outwards perception is really important,” said Coe.
With The Telegraph having revealed the first concrete evidence of payments made to the then vice president Jack Warner and his family it emerged that at the fringes of last week’s FIFA Executive Committee meeting a number of its members openly discussed overthrowing its chief investigator and scrapping its independent ethics committee. However, the plot was foiled before it could be debated by executive committee, some members of which would have considered resigning had the investigation, led by New York lawyer Michael Garcia, been stopped in its tracks. “Those reform-minded members confirmed they had been approached in the corridors between sessions of the two-day meeting in Zurich,” according to Ben Rumsby.
This article has been republished with permission by Karl-Heinz Huba, Editor and Publisher of The Sport Intern.