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Friday, 14 July, 2000, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Should there be a revote on hosts for 2006?
Fifa's awarding of the 2006 World Cup to Germany has been marred by sleaze allegations and public outcry - so should there be a revote?
Germany pipped South Africa in a third round ballot by just one vote, with England being eliminated in the second round after Morocco failed to make it over the first hurdle.
The result came under fire when it was revealed Oceania's Fifa delegate Charles Dempsey had abstained from the crucial final vote.
If Mr Dempsey had voted for the closest challenger South Africa, as the New Zealand government had instructed him to do, the votes would have been tied and Fifa president Sepp Blatter would have had the casting vote
Mr Blatter favoured South Africa.
There are many, like the Fifa president, who feel South Africa - and the African continent in general - should have been given the chance to stage the finals.
Mr Dempsey admitted he was under "unsustainable pressure" in the leadup to the vote which prompted his decision to abstain.
Fifa have now decided to open an internal inquiry into the sleaze allegations surrounding World Cup vote.
So should there be a revote on who hosts the 2006 World Cup?
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A revote is not necessary. Everyone wanted South Africa to win and now, as the Germans won, many people look for a way to change the decision. I do not like the way we won, but it was a free decision of all Fifa members and that Mr Dempsey decided not to vote is OK. There is no rule in the Fifa that you have to vote.
I also would have supported South Africa if we weren´t among the contestants. The feeling of having a World Championship just a few kilometres away from our house is wonderful. I hope South Africa will host the next championship. I would like to go to Africa in 2010. I'm sure it would be wonderful there!
First of all: England gave their word if Germany would let England bid for Euro'96, they would let Germany bid for the World Cup 2006, thus England broke their promise.
Secondly I agree that Africa should be able to get the World Cup, but I agree on the rotation with Europe every eight years, as 'football' is at home here. The question I raise is why countries like the USA or Japan are getting the World Cup when this sport is a minority sport in their respective country, and furthermore why delegates from New Zealand or Mali have a Fifa vote in the first place. Germany has got no vote for the Rugby World Cup and correctly so, since the sport is a minority sport there.
The 1982 World Cup was in Spain, 1990 in Italy, and 1998 in France. That is three of the last five World Cups. Why should Europe have the rights to host that many world cups when the world's second largest continent haven't been given the chance to host at least one world cup? Aren't there countries in Africa capable of hosting the tournament? Or this a repeat of what went on a long time before Africa was allowed to send more than one representative to the World Cup?
Clearly, Charlie Dempsey should reveal exactly WHO made the threats against Oceania, and then FIFA should decide whether they were acceptable shrapnel of war under the circumstances, or beyond the limits of what should be said and done under the circumstances. If they are beyond the limits, and they were made by or on behalf of acknowledged supporters of Germany's bid, not only should Germany lose the World Cup, it should also be suspended from Fifa for an appropriate length of time, so that the members of Fifa get to understand that there are limits to the kinds of inducements and threats which can be brought to bear upon those who decide multi-billion dollar decisions, which also happen to have gigantic symbolic consequences for the sport. Of course, none of this will happen, because those who got their decision are on the take, and you need to have a double lobotomy to miss that one.
In matters of elections and voting and where controversy reigns on the results, we have to decide first on the validity of the vote in question. Paramount considerations in this decision, is to satisfy that there was a level playing ground for all participants and that no undue influence, pressure, intimidation or corruption was applied to the voters. Once a vote is declaired invalid, a new vote should be arranged where the pitfalls of the initial vote shall be avoided, if need with the possible disqulification of the offending candidate.
What Fifa is suggesting by calling only for an internal inquiry is offensive to all particularly to us Africans and disregards international norms in matters of elections.
Tridiv Borah, Germany/India
As much as I as a South African, feel like we were robbed by the actions of the Oceania delegate a revote is completely out of the question. Germany won it fair and square and unless it emerges that there was some wrong doing on the part of the German bid committee (of which there is no evidence) the tournament must go ahead in Germany in 2006 and hopefully we in South Africa will get our chance in 2010.
Shameless! Absolutely shameless. Yes, Germany has better infrastructure and facilities than South Africa, but is it not time that we all stood back and gave another area of the world a chance. Is the West going to take charge of this as well.
There should be no celebrating, there should be no revote. Africa should boycott the supposed World Cup...which, incidentally should be renamed "European Cup"
If the "Fair Play" symbol which FIFA surpports has any meaning than there should be a revote and personally South Africa and the African Continent in general deserves to win the 2006 revote.
Giving into European intimedation, as confessed by Mr Dempsey surely gives Germany a very hollow victory and undermines the good name of football in general.
I for one would not feel safe travelling to South Africa in the current diplomatic climate. I'm not happy that the Germans have the competition but at least we don't have too far to travel.
A re-vote would make a total mockery of Fifa. It would turn an 'election' process into a 'selection' process. Whatever jiggerypokery is alleged, you cannot just overturn the outcome of a vote because it is unpalatable. It is obvious a re-vote would change the destination of World Cup 2006 from Germany to South Africa - assuming delegates voted the same way as before and the New Zealand delegate followed team orders. Altering election results is the politics of tin pot dictatorships.
There should not be another vote! And someone ought to tell Mr Blatter that Fifa is not the American government and can't impose action on behalf of South Africa. If I were South African, I would not accept hosting the World Cup with a re-vote. Pride dictates meritocracy; not back door politics! Remember how Germany reacted when Uefa said that England may be expelled from Euro 2000? They said they would refuse to continue if England's expulsion was going to earn them a place in the quarter-finals. Now, that's pride!!!
Just because one guy turned tail and took the easiest way out of a difficult problem a nation should not be made to suffer. I've got nothing against the Germans getting the bid but that does not mean that unfairness should be allowed to reign. It is against everything Fifa stands for or says it stands for so the only course of action is a revote.
No! South Africa was definitely not robbed. Though the circumstances of the voting are sort of suspicious, at this moment in time South Africa do not have the organisational or adminstrative resources to host a tournament of this magnitude. The country must carry out a demonstrable change in, among other things, security before trying to elevate itself to "first world status".
Alan Cameron, UK
Much as re-voting may sound good it will only address the symptom. It seems individuals now have power rather than the people they represent. Mr Dempsey had specific voting instructions. "Threats" or no threats he was not voting for himself but for those who sent him. Rather than consulting them he made the decision to abstain purely a personal one. This leaves one to wonder whether the decision was made by football associations from all parts of the world or by the 24 people. This scandal was not the first nor will this be the last if individual interests are allowed to overule those of the people they represent.
It is not entirely the fault of Mr.Dempsey, but of all those New Zealand officials who put him in that position in the first place. It is very strange to see such a old man (who should have been retired by now) being given such a big responsibility at such a crucial moment. It would have been the same thing if the member of the Oceania had been a 10 year old kid. How can Fifa even accept a member who is so old and can be easily scared or manipulated by a bunch of fools?
The best team won. One man took a courgeous solitary decison. Many countries other than South Africa were also disappointed at the failure of thir bids. But the allocation game was won fair and sqare and against the stated desires of the Chairman. That seems to to be a triumph of Democracy. Nobody likes a sore loser.
Grant Stantiall, New Zealand
There has to be a re-vote. The New Zealand delegate, obviously acted against the instructions of his country. It should not be allowed that an individual decides this matter. Once the re-vote is taken, with presumably South Africa being awarded 2006, a trustworthy representative body must work out a better system. Having seen the Olympics rocked by sleaze, Fifa needs to clean its own house, before it tumbles down and destroys the greatest game in the world!
What a joke!
Only when the governing bodies make a manditory rotational system for sports events like the Olympics, Soccer world cup, Winter Olympics etc, will the total corruption and manipulation be side-stepped! The events are not about who gets a cash injection into their economy, it is about sport!! It seems all the politicians have forgotten this. Under the current system, trying to play by the rules is like swimming upstream. Continents like Africa are getting tired and soon the only option will be to boycott these events on a continental basis, to ring the changes. Lets see how competitive the Soccer world cup will be without Africa! For me, I avoid frustration on all these votes by just not folloing these rediculous circus events. It's too frustrating to continuously pin your hopes on fair play! What a shame.
Melanchton Makobe, South Africa
Its just another example of corruption in sport, money talks and i think that where money is involved corruption follows. If their is a slight possibility of threats or bribes being made then their should be a revote and an immediate inquiry.
Steve Jones, USA
While South Africa may have been the sentimental favourites, let us not forget that Germany did put together a very credible bid. On merit alone, they had every right to be considered front-runners. Personally, I would have liked to see South Africa win (even though I am a huge German soccer fan) but to call for a re-vote at this time, without the evidence of wrongdoing on Germany's part, would not be justice. For world soccer's sake, I sincerely hope an African country is able to make a strong run for the right to host the 2010 World Cup (or is that Brazil's to lose now?)
Sad as I am that South Africa did not get the 2006 World Cup, I believe that Germany won fairly as the rules allowed. Mr Dempsey exercised his right and did not vote. However, the inquiry should be held to determine if Mr. Dempsey didn't vote because he had been intimidated. Should it be found that that was the reason he didn't vote, then the elections were not free and fair. On the other hand, I think representation on the FIFA executive should be amended to ensure that we don't end up with the World Cup hosting that's borrowed from Europe every four years as it is the case at the moment. To the fellow South African who seems to believe that South Africans think that the world owes them something by bidding for the hosting, he probably is not aware of the bidding process and has not even followed the process from the beginning. I believe we had a solid bid that could have delivered to the world the most exciting World Cup ever.
Brian Gaze, England
The decision to award Germany the 2006 World Cup smacks of selfishness. The world is going global but football has been taken several steps backwards. It's high time Africa's contribution to sport was appreciated. There must be a revote or have the tournment awarded to South Africa in view of Charles Dempsey's suspicious behaviour. If I were a German, I wouldn't be proud of this particular victory!
All the controversy surrounding Charles Dempsey is farcical. What is the point in sending someone to view the presentations and cast a vote when his vote has already been decided for him? Even the New Zealand Prime Minister complained about his vote - what does she have to do with it, this is supposed to be football not politics.With all the backhanders going on - ie you vote for me and we'll support you next time - the entire system is flawed and unfair. Fifa, it is time to change.
Since the delegates who vote represent the interests of where they come from, no individual voter should be allowed to abstain if they are not instructed to do so. In this case New Zealand wanted their vote to be polled. To bring harmony and logic to staging the World Cup and the Olympics, there should be rotation between all the continents.
Frank Wagner, UK
No, there should be no new vote. Conveniently forgotten in the English furore over German victory is the fact that 12 people voted for Germany...Mr Dempsey simply exercised his right as a voting delegate to abstain...this is the process that the South Africans accepted when they decided to submit a bid....failure to succeed does not give the right to change the rules afterwards.
I do not think there should be a re-vote. I will expect, however, that
Germany will throw all possible support behind a 2010 South African bid. It's time to take Africa seriously. Football has become a global sport, and Fifa needs to reflect this.
The whole bidding process for sports events is getting out of hand. South Africa are complaining about foul play but only just last week they were trying to do a deal with Brazil so that they could get the South American vote now in return for Africa's vote in 2010. Germany should keep the World Cup now but surely the system for awarding it and the Olympics must be looked at and done more fairly, rather than give to the highest bidder or to who gives the delegates the best time.
What is this rubbish about turns? Germany is a much better suited host. It has the grounds, the infrastructure and the ability to run the whole show effectively. None of the other candidates could offer this, it's as simple as that. As for the losers... You're only singing when you're winning!
This was the most disgraceful event ever. Europe has too much influence in Fifa. The World Cup voting system is about money, greed and power, which will continue to favour Europe for so long as the status quo remains. With reference to supposed problems in South Africa, where was crime when the following events were held successfully? The Rugby World Cup, African Nations Cup and the All Africa Games? Will crime be gone by the time we host the Cricket World Cup? I sense utter arrogance.
Fifa's fair play propaganda only exists on paper. This is a world event and the continent that has produced some of the best footballers in the world should also be given the chance to host the event. South Africa, and for that matter Africa, has been robbed. Personally I think a re-vote is needed and the New Zealand delegate must vote. Africa should be given the chance for 2006 or else I suggest African countries should boycott the 2002 and 2006 World Cups as a protest.
Steve Foley, England
WelI, I think the best thing for Fifa to do is to have a re-vote. This would improve the image of Fifa and reassert the confidence of the footballing fans in the world's biggest sport body. South Africa may not be as mighty as Germany in terms of infrastructure, but it would definitely add romance to the game.
I can understand the disappointment of the South African people because South Africa was the clear favourite. Revote? There is a simple answer: If it can be proved that bribery has taken place then yes; if not, no, because the vote has been done according to the rules of Fifa, whether you like the result or not.
So many views are missing the point. That is, why did Mr Dempsey abstain? We have to wait to find out, but if personal threats of some kind are behind it then that vote should be immediately voided as a matter of course. It could be the tip of a corruption iceberg. But don't go assuming Germany might have been behind such threats either, it is just as conceivable some group would want to deny South Africa, as some other group would want to favour Germany.
Craig Johnston, New Zealand
Of course there should be a re-vote, once the allegations against the German bid have been thoroughly investigated and once the technical committee has been dismissed for gross incompetence for giving South Africa's bid a higher technical award than England's.
No re-run. The voting system is completely rigged anyway, and everyone votes by confederation bloc. What if it had finished 12-12 and Blatter had plumped for South Africa? Would there have been complaints then? South Africa stitched up a deal with Brazil to try and buy their votes in return for support for Brazil in 2010. All that we're complaining about here is that the wrong stitch-up won. Germany, South Africa and England all did excellent bids, and should be awarded the next three tournaments - in that order - to stop the fiasco of the "bidding" (ie "lobbying and bribing") system. The only person to come out of this with any credit is the New Zealand representative who was upfront about his disgust for the process and the pressure he was being put under and said before the voting started that he would abstain if it got down to Germany v South Africa.
I am a South African living in Europe and I was naturally disapointed that South Africa lost out on the 2006 bid. However I try to take a balanced view on this whole issue. I wish to put forward that this is not about sport anymore especially when the stakes are so high. I am for equitable distribution and hope that Fifa adopt a rotation system. Let me however congratulate Germany and wish them the best. I am sure they will put on a good show. My wish is that if South Africa bids for the World Cup 2010 that Europe, Germany in particular, will lend its support to the African bid.
Bob Donnelly, South Africa
I think those who are calling for Mr Dempsey's head should read the details more carefully. There is no conspiracy with regard to Mr Dempsey. Mr Dempsey informed Fifa of his decision to abstain before the final round. The fact that there was only one vote in it only now makes his abstention relevant. If there had been two votes in it then there would be none of the hullabaloo.
The committee did not replace Dempsey when South Africa made a complaint against him in May. South Africa cannot expect to play it both ways at the same time. Dempsey did the honourable thing to refrain from voting, and even against the wishes of his own committee.
A re-vote is only meaningful if some of the other executives have repented.
It seems very strange that Europe hosts every second World Cup final. Surely in a fairer system Europe would host one in five contests.
Dempsey was representing his country. He was not entitled to make the decision for himself. I am hoping that the investigation will disqualify Germany, and South Africa will be given what is rightfully theirs. Hopefully there will be some criminal convictions as well. Can no governing body in sport be trusted?
It's a sad day for Africa, especially South Africa. They have been denied an opportunity to host this event for the first time in Africa. This has become not a World Cup but a European Cup. When will Africa be treated fair and fairly? It's sad, sad, sad...
Don't go through the whole rigmarole again - just have the final vote between Germany and South Africa repeated. If the New Zealand representative was unable to vote as instructed by his government, then he should be replaced. The situation as it is is not tenable. Even if the vote remains in favour of Germany, no matter. The important thing is to have a transparent vote and the result will be accepted.
Juergen Doeblin, Germany
With all the negative press regarding Zimbabwe which is not even part of us, this can only impact negatively on the South African economy. I think a re-vote is necessary. Most South Africans were stunned to silence when the verdict was announced. I swear it was just like a funeral for the whole country.
Too right they should vote again! After the recent scandals involving Olympic committees Fifa should be seen to hold a free and fair contest. I cannot believe South Africa did not win. It is obviously their turn and I think they would do an excellent job of it.
Whilst it is at first unthinkable that Germany would put offers of bribery into writing in a letter to the Fifa committee, it is equally unthinkable that the other countries would produce a fake letter. Surely, if the other countries had faked the letter, they would have done it more carefully by spelling the name on it correctly. Given their demonstrated skills in behind-the-scene deals it is quite conceivable that Germany did fake the letter, but did it in such a way (spelling names incorrectly) to make it look as though it was done by their competition. The result would be a blow to Germany's competition who would be seen as attempting underhand tricks. Germany would gain sympathy as the victim of the letter. Even without the suspicious "bribery" letter, the unauthorised abstention should necessitate a re-vote.
What are we really debating here? Anyone from this country that is complaining that the Germans got it and it should have been South Africa is a hypocrite. I don't remember any great outcry to say that we should not have tried to get the World Cup, and I've no doubt that had we won it, we would be celebrating. We bid and lost, it's as simple as that, the real feeling is an anti-German one. I have no doubt that the Germans will host a very sucessful and well-run competition. Good luck to them in that respect (but I still hope that they get knocked out in the first round).
There should be a re-vote. Even though Germany won the bid, there appears to be enough information around to suggest there has been "foul play" involved.
Simi, DR Congo
Well done to Germany. However, South Africa's bid was just as strong, the Fifa teams sent here did not say that crime was a major factor. The European media totally misrepresents crime. The investment and jobs the World Cup would have brought would have reduced crime! It is a disgrace that Mr Dempsey acted out of personal bias and did not carry out offical orders. There should be a re-vote.
It will not be a surprise if an investigation of the vote opens up a can of corruption worms similar to the one that rocked the International Olympic Committee. It is particularly disturbing that Mr Dempsey's crucial abstention (after voting in the two earlier rounds) was the deciding factor in Germany winning. It is a sad commentary on sports today. A re-vote involving all 24 voting members needs to take place, and let the chips fall where they will.
Jaybalan Goonahsylin, South Africa
I do think that South Africa should have been given a chance. Like the UK, Germany or any other country for events like this, security issues are always a problem. It doesn't make South Africa more or less dangerous. A terrorist will strike whereever it can. But most of all, I find it very disappointing that Africa, a soccer mad continent, would not be given a chance for not only the honour itself but also the economical strength it would give it. Shame, shame shame...
I am delighted Germany won. England was the least worthy candidate, having gone back on its word to support Germany's bid, in return for their support in securing the 1996 European Championship for England. Why England refuses to acknowledge this when the rest of the world knows the truth defeats me. As for the notion that there is a lack of respect for England at an international level, of course there is. The public face of England is a lousy team, fans who come across as drunken thugs, and a dishonest Football Association who cannot keep its own word. What is there to respect in that?
Germany, plagued by far right extremism and an openly racist citizenship law (in my opinion), should not be allowed to stage international events that are supposed to promote peace and friendship among nations. Both South Africa and England would have been much better choices. I do not think I will enjoy watching football in the summer of 2006.
Patrice, South Africa
I am totally disappointed in the fact that Fifa failed to give Africa its first opportunity to host the World Cup. I am very, very angry. I believe South Africa had all that it takes to host the World Cup but Africa was robbed of this opportunity, like it has been robbed of economic opportunities by the large economies of the world. When will Africa and Africans be given the chance to take their rightful place in the comity of nations?
Anyone who thinks that football at this level is about sport is somewhat naive I think. It's all about money and power and South Africa have neither and will still be incapable of generating the same amount of money as the Germans in 2006. By the time it comes around it will be all pay-per-view, and I for one will not be paying inflated amounts of hard-earned money to watch it.
I think England deserved to be eliminated after reneging on a promise to support Germany's bid in return for its support for Euro 96, and switching their support, and then backing Blatter for the Fifa presidency.
This is a sad day for the third world countries, I cannot believe that in the 21st century no one has been able to question the stranglehold that the Europeans have on Fifa and the Olympic Committee. What happened to democracy? It's about time to have representation based on population and what about applying a simple rule of rotating among continents? Or would that be too simplistic for the sophisticated European elites?
Aleta Armstrong, Swaziland
Personally I'm delighted that Germany won as it gives the rest of us in the UK yet another opportunity to indulge in our favourite spectator sport, watching the English in another bout of self-pitying whingeing and paranoid persecution fantasies. If, God forbid, England had won, we would have had to endure a six year build-up of hysteria as the media indulged in an orgy of self-delusion and nationalist xenophobia, until England became self-appointed favourites for the championship. To be followed, of course, by the inevitable first round exit and the traditional riots in Trafalgar Square. I can sympathise with the South Africans but it's hardly surprising that Fifa were reluctant to stage the final in the murder capital of the world.
The decision shows that there might be need to remove the "world" from the World Cup.
Peter Henningsen, Germany
Fifa should take fair play beyond the football field, and allow it to come to dinner and the boardroom. South Africa should have been chosen to host the World Cup.
The decision to give the World Cup to Germany is appalling. South Africa's case was logistically and morally unanswerable. An African country presented a credible bid for the first time ever and should have got the World Cup. The Europeans have showed contempt for the Third World.
Europe has too much power within Fifa. Other continents should be given greater representation, otherwise Europe will continue to host a disproportionate number of World Cups.
It is a great pity that politics have decided that Germany not South Africa have got the 2006 World Cup. No doubt facilities and arrangements etc will be excellent and it will be much easier for most people to get there, including me. But think of what it would have done for people, especially the younger people in South Africa. Shame on those who could not see the human side of the issue.
I would have supported the South African bid, and I am sure they would have had enough time to tackle all the problems before the deadline. No country is perfect as regards tackling all the logistical problems. We have to face new world realities. It is high time to break the stranglehold of rich and economically strong European nations. After all, football is a world obsession, and an emerging sporting nation such as South Africa rightfully deserved to host this event.
It should have been South Africa. What a wonderful opportunity it would have been to show solidarity with South Africa and to support sport in that country. Why is it always countries in Europe or the United States who host these events? I think it is nothing short of a disgrace and a very sorry reflection on the way sport is going. All politics and business. A wonderful chance thrown away. As for us - England should have withdrawn its bid in shame after the antics during Euro 2000.
Congratulations to Germany. It is disappointing that South Africa lost. Next time round the powers of decision should perhaps also consider what role a tournament such as this could play in uplifting the world's poorest continent.
Vineet Sehgal, UK (citizen of India)
I think it is absolutely ludicrous that the World Cup has now gone to Europe again. It does not make sense to refer to it as a World Cup when mainly Europeans get to see the games on their doorstep. I will not beat the usual discrimination drum but it is not clear to me what benefit there is for Africa and South America for example bidding at all. If a country like South Africa does not get the bid for an African country what hope do the rest of the African countries have? It is important that the competition be staged in poor continents like Africa and South America to help with the "worldwide" expansion of the sport - otherwise it will always remain something distant for people in Africa and South America.
So much for the "World" Cup !
Having worked in both Germany and England and been to matches in both countries I think the vote should have gone to England. They seem to have more passion for the game, they certainly have the better stadia and facilities, and they have waited longer than Germany to host the Cup. Uefa have made the wrong decision to back Germany, and it just shows that politics are all that matters these days.
Simon Cole, UK
I think it's a disgrace that Germany have been given the 2006 World Cup. It just shows that money and not the best interests of the game decide such things. I feel so sorry for South Africa, it was theirs by right. It is a sad occasion for world football.
It is fantastic that we are allowed to host the World Cup 2006. Sure the Britains are disappointed but they have at least the opportunity to see the matches in Germany. It is the first big event in the reunited Germany and I think Germany is worth it. I think it was not fair from the England delegation to say that England is the only European country which will get the World Cup 2006. In Germany we say the one who laughs at the end, laughs best. Nobody thought we could do it, but we did.
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