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Page last updated at 07:37 GMT, Monday, 18 October 2010 08:37 UK

World Cup 2018 vote claims 'will not hurt England'

England 2018 bid

A senior Fifa member says an English newspaper's claims of vote selling for the contest to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups will not hurt England's bid.

Fifa is investigating allegations that two officials offered to sell votes.

President Sepp Blatter said the affair has had a "very negative impact" on world football's governing body.

But Chuck Blazer, the American member of Fifa's executive committee, said it should not damage England - and the 2 December vote need not be postponed.

Reporters from the Sunday Times posed as lobbyists for a consortium of American companies who wanted to bring the tournament to the United States.

Supporters of England's bid are concerned that the claims may rebound on them if Fifa members are unhappy the expose emanated from the English press.

But Blazer, a member of the 24-strong executive committee which will decide on the World Cup hosts, said it should not sway opinion against England.

"I don't think this is an issue which will have an anti-English backlash in the executive committee," he said.

"If it had been in a Spanish paper, would that damage the Spanish bid? I don't think so."

Executive committee members Amos Adamu and Reynald Temarii allegedly asked for payments.

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Nigerian Adamu allegedly said he wanted $800,000 (£500,000) to build four artificial football pitches. This would be against Fifa's rules.

The Sunday Times footage appears to show Adamu asking for money to be paid to him directly for endorsing a US bid.

Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) president Temarii, of Tahiti, is also alleged to have asked for a payment, in his case to finance a sports academy.

Blazer said all bidding countries he had dealt with had behaved entirely properly.

He added: "I'm disappointed with what I have read but you can't say the system is bad. They have created a scam, a trap, tempting people to do something wrong and it's up to the Fifa ethics committee to make their recommendation."

Blatter has written to the 24 executive members promising a full investigation.

Fifa has the option of postponing the 2 December vote, which will decide the host of both World Cups.

But Blazer said: "We should deal with it within the timeframe established. We want to keep the issues separate and it's important we conclude the World Cup decision.

"There is no reason why we shouldn't. The investigation can be done right away."

England, Russia, Spain/Portugal and Netherlands/Belgium are bidding for the 2018 World Cup while the United States, Australia, Qatar, Japan and South Korea are campaigning to host the 2022 tournament.

"I have met with five different bidding committees and in some cases visited their countries - England, Russia, Belgium/Holland, Japan and the United States," added Blazer.

"They were all very professional and proper and not alluding to any other types of benefits and that needs to be said. They were simply trying to offer the best World Cup proposals."

The OFC says it is investigating the reports.

"Further to information made public by the Sunday Times, the OFC president and Fifa vice president Reynald Temarii will cooperate fully with the Fifa Ethics Committee and the Fifa secretary general," a statement read.

"Reynald Temarii welcomes a full and thorough investigation so that all the facts can be heard."

England and the US initially asked to be considered as hosts for either the 2018 or 2022 World Cup.

But on Friday, the Americans withdrew from the 2018 race, while England did the same for 2022.



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see also
Fifa examines vote selling claims
17 Oct 10 |  Football
The World Cup in their hands
02 Dec 10 |  Football
World Cup bids head-to-head
17 Oct 10 |  Football
Fifa warning on World Cup votes
21 Sep 10 |  Football
England withdraw bid for 2022 Cup
15 Oct 10 |  Football
Blatter holds 2018 Cameron talks
13 Oct 10 |  Football


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