SYDNEY — Australian football chief Frank Lowy said on Thursday picking hosts for two World Cups at the same time was a flawed process as fallout continued over corruption claims against six FIFA decision-makers.
England’s Football Association (FA) and a newspaper have come forward with evidence of fresh allegations of corruption at the top of world football in the choosing of countries for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
Former England 2018 chairman Lord David Triesman told a parliamentary hearing in London on Tuesday that four FIFA executive committee members had requested cash and a knighthood in exchange for their votes in the 2018 World Cup ballot, won by Russia.
The Sunday Times newspaper also alleged that Qatar paid bribes to secure the 2022 World Cup.
Australia was humiliated to receive only one FIFA vote and was eliminated in the first round as Qatar went on to beat the US 14 votes to eight in the fourth round.
“It was a flawed process. Having two World Cups on the market at the same time gave the opportunity for people to talk to each other, and it was no longer a level playing field,” Lowy told newspapers.
“Some national governments have taken it out of the football federations, and they used all their resources to get there.
“Did we make mistakes? Yes. But I could have stood on my head for 24 months and we still wouldn’t have got it.
“Out of the 44 votes for the two Worlds Cups, Australia, England and America got four votes. So we were in very good company.”
The Australian government spent AUS$45.6 million (US$50 million) helping to fund Football Federation Australia’s failed bid for the 2022 World Cup. — AFP