England 2018 Bid Hit By Fifa Row
Thursday, 4th November 2010 at 13:22pm
England's bid to host the 2018 Fifa World Cup finals suffered a blow today as a result of the backlash caused by the Sunday Times' probe into the activities of two high ranking Fifa officials.
It had been previously thought that the England bid, widely considered to be the favourite to land the finals along with Russia, would remain unaffected.
With the vote date of December 2 just four weeks away, the England 2018 campaign team will now have to work fast to claw back any lost ground after the activity of the British media was criticised by Fifa supremo Sepp Blatter.
"One can ask whether such an action is appropriate, trying to set traps for people. It is a deeply rooted problem [with the English media]," he said.
"Who is benefitting from this situation and who is being harmed, we are asking ourselves why did it happen and why did it happen specifically by English journalists? We are looking at that," he added.
Mohammed Bin Hammam, head of the Asian Football Federation and one of the games' most powerful figures, also questioned the ethics of the British press in his blog.
"Is it ethical to use unethical methods to protect the ethic? How will we clean dirty laundry by using dirty water?" he wrote.
The two Fifa officials, Amos Adamu of Nigeria and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti, were both caught asking for money from Sunday Times journalists posing as lobbyists for companies supporting the American bid.
Adamu allegedly asked for 500,000 to help build four artificial pitches in Nigeria, while Temarii, a Fifa vice-president who represents Oceania, is thought to have asked for 1.5 million to finance a sport academy.
Both men have been suspended and will discover if further sanctions will be imposed on them following the meeting of the Fifa ethics committee on November 15-17.