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EDITIONS
2006 World Cup decision Sunday, 9 July, 2000, 13:02 GMT 14:02 UK
Under-fire Fifa rep resigns
Dempsey speaks after his resignation
Dempsey speaks after his resignation
Fifa's New Zealand football representative at the centre of the World Cup voting scandal has been forced to resign.

Charles Dempsey stepped down as president of the Oceania Football Confederation, two years before his contract expires, after a four-hour meeting of the body in Auckland.

OFC officials met Dempsey to demand why he had ignored their instruction to vote for South Africa to host the 2006 World Cup. His abstention meant Germany controversially won the vote.

Charles Dempsey
Dempsey: Blamed media harassment
The reason for the abstention is still unclear but Dempsey has spoken of "intolerable pressure", though earlier reports of death threats have been denied.

Officials said after Sunday's meeting that Dempsey would have been sacked had he not stepped down.

Dempsey said after his resignation: "Behind closed doors the executive met and discussed, I wasn't present, and gave approval to the explanations that I gave for what took place in Zurich.


My view is that when an executive directive is given it should be complied with

Sahu Khan, Fiji's delegate

"But after all this consideration and the [media] harassment I will retire at the end of September because I cannot accept what has taken place over the last three days."

But OFC executive officials were unhappy with his abstention decision and forced him to retire.

"The call definitely would have been made for him to step down. My view is that when an executive directive is given it should be complied with," said Sahu Khan, Fiji's representative to the OFC.

Intolerable

Before the meeting Dempsey was defiant he would not quit. But he was left with no choice.

On his way home from the vote on Friday he said he decided not to vote because he had been put under "intolerable pressure" by supporters of the competing bids, including attempts to bribe him.

Fifa have dismissed calls for another vote.

But they did open an internal inquiry into sleaze allegations made in connection with the World Cup bidding.

The German Football Federation and the organising committee are being invited to join in the inquiry.

Soccer Australia chief Basil Scarsella has already declared his intention to bid for the Oceania confederation presidency when Dempsey officially steps down.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Greg Ward
"Mr Dempsey had clear instructions to support South Africa's bid"
Basil Scarsella, chairman of Soccer Australia
"The fact that Mr Dempsey is leaving his post two years early answers itself"
South African bid committee president Irvin Khoza
"Very important that we establish the facts"
See also:

09 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
07 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
07 Jul 00 | Media reports
07 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
07 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
06 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
07 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
07 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
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