FIFA admits bribery in selecting 1998, 2010 World Cup hosts

Geneva, March 16 (IANS) Global football’s governing body FIFA on Wednesday officially acknowledged that bribes were paid during the election of the host countries for the 1998 and 2010 World Cups, held in France and South Africa respectively.

The facts of bribery were stated by the world’s governing body of football in its 21-page letter sent to US authorities as part of the major corruption case involving FIFA officials, reports Tass.

FIFA submitted documents with the authorities of the United States in an effort to reclaim tens of millions of dollars, illegally pocketed by 41 organisation’s corrupt executives and other football officials, the world’s governing body of football said in its statement on Wednesday.

“In its capacity as a ‘victimised institution,’ FIFA has submitted a Request for Restitution to the US Attorney’s Office and the US Probation Office for the Eastern District of New York, claiming damages from 41 former officials of FIFA and other football organisations, including Chuck Blazer, Jack Warner, Jeffrey Webb and others who have been indicted in the ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice,” the statement said.

Meanwhgile, Vyacheslav Koloskov, a former member of the FIFA executive committee, said on Wednesday that he was never offered bribes during the election of the host countries for the 1998 and 2010 World Cups.

“This is striking news. I was a member of the executive committee and should have felt that something wrong was going on. No one ever approached me offering bribes, no one attempted to exert pressure on me and so on,” Koloskov said.

“I do remember very well that France was competing with Morocco for the right to host the (1998) World Cup and the former was the favorite in the race,” Koloskov said.

“As for South Africa, I believe it was even stated in the (FIFA) Charter that the World Cup must be held in Africa.”

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