FIFA: Whistleblower demands 'unacceptable'

Allegations of bribes by ex-employee of Qatar's World Cup bid not heard due to unreasonable demands.

    Qatar got the better of the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea to stage the 2022 event [GALLO/GETTY]

    World football's governing body FIFA have failed to hear bribe allegations made by an ex-employee of Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid due to 'unacceptable' demands from the worker.

    Talks aimed at hearing alleged evidence that Qatar's bid paid $1.5 million in bribes collapsed after the whistleblower made demands for witness protection.

    The former bid employee's promised interview at FIFA headquarters in Zurich had raised expectations that an official investigation into how Qatar won the five-nation contest to host the 2022 tournament, beating the United States in a final round of voting last December, would be launched.

    "The whistleblower asked for conditions that could not possibly be accepted by FIFA,'' FIFA said in a statement.


    A FIFA statement detailed the whistleblower's conditions to open talks, which it "could not agree'' to.

    "Among others, the problems were that the whistleblower gave no warranty for the accuracy and correctness of the information he/she was providing, asked for the right to destroy the information at any time and that the information he/she provided not be made public,'' FIFA said.

    FIFA also was asked to "cover the costs to indemnify the whistleblower for any breaches of contract he/she would be sued for, for any liabilities and for any potential criminal proceedings related to the agreement, as well as for an unlimited witness protection program.''

    Last month FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who was elected unopposed after Asian Football Confederation boss Mohamed bin Hammam dropped out of the race, said the whistleblower had agreed to come to Zurich to discuss claims that FIFA voters Issa Hayatou and Jacques Anouma were paid to support Qatar.

    The allegations were revealed by British lawmakers after Britain's Sunday Times newspaper submitted evidence to a parliamentary inquiry.

    Hayatou, the Confederation of African Football president from Cameroon, and Ivory Coast official Anouma deny the allegations.

    In the same parliamentary inquiry, former English Football Association chairman David Triesman also accused Jack Warner, Ricardo Teixeira, Nicolas Leoz and Worawi Makudi of asking for favours in return for their votes for England's 2018 bid.


    Blatter had said he had wanted the matter resolved before his June 1 election contest against bin Hammam.

    However, the whistleblower never arrived and FIFA declined to refer the case to its ethics committee, which provisionally suspended bin Hammam in a separate process examining allegations he offered bribes to Caribbean voters in the presidential contest.

    Qatari officials have denied the allegations and suggested that the whistleblower was "an embittered ex-employee.''

    Blatter has suggested that, if fresh evidence does emerge, Qatar's 2022 bid could yet be investigated by his proposed "committee of wise men'' or a revamped ethics panel.

    Bin Hammam denies the presidential election bribery claims and faces a full ethics hearing next month, alongside FIFA vice president Jack Warner from Trinidad and two Caribbean Football Union officials.

    Asian football is also battling a number of problems including FIFA's suspension of Indonesia's membership for failing to halt a rebel league, and a South Korean match-fixing scandal which prompted one player's apparent suicide.

    Many clubs in Australia's A-League are struggling financially while FIFA is targeting Malaysia and Singapore as the source of match-fixing scandals in wealthy European leagues. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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