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Friday, 7 July, 2000, 03:51 GMT 04:51 UK
Dempsey quizzed over abstention
Sepp Blatter chairs the 2006 World Cup voting
Oceania football chief Charlie Dempsey will be asked to explain his decision to abstain from the final round of voting for the 2006 World Cup host nation.

Dempsey's decision not to take part in the third round of voting, having voted for England in the first two rounds, effectively handed victory to Germany.

South Africa lost by one vote, but would almost certainly have secured the right to stage the 2006 competition had Fifa president Sepp Blatter been asked to use his casting vote in the event of the tie.

Blatter had already made known his desire to see South Africa stage the World Cup.

Dempsey now faces a meeting of the Oceania Football Confederation in Auckland on Sunday, where he will be asked to explain his decision.

The 78-year-old Dempsey is believed to have gone against instructions in abstaining from the final round for "personal reasons".

As Oceania's representative, Mr Dempsey was under instruction to support the South African bid, once England had dropped out of the ballot, said New Zealand sports minister Trevor Mallard.

"I'm shocked that one individual seems to have abused his voting rights by disregarding instructions on voting requirements."

South African bid officials were infuriated by Dempsey's decision and bid chairman Irvin Khoza said he had "betrayed the South African people".


He has betrayed the South African people. Fifa should investigate
South African bid chairman Irvin Khoza

"I do not see how a man can vote in the first two rounds and then not in the third and final round. Fifa should investigate this," Khoza added.

Fifa spokesman Keith Cooper revealed Dempsey had warned the voting committee what he planned to do before voting began.

"No-one thought any more about it, as they had no idea what the count would be come the third round," said Cooper.

South Africa made an attempt to remove Dempsey from the presidency of the OFC at a meeting in May, accusing him of bribery and corruption.

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 ON THIS STORY
Oceania football chief Charlie Dempsey
"I was under unsustainable pressure."
See also:

07 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
06 Jul 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
29 Jun 00 | 2006 World Cup decision
07 Jul 00 | AudioVideo
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