By Robbie Blakeley, Contributing Sports Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Ricardo Teixeira, head of the CBF (Brazilian Football Federation) was named by Lord Triesman on May 10th as one of four FIFA members willing to accept bribes in return for voting for England’s unsuccessful 2018 World Cup host bid. Speaking before a British Parliamentary inquiry into why England failed to land the 2018 World Cup, the former chairman of the English Football Association claimed Teixeira, along with Jack Warner, Nicolas Leoz and Worawi Makudi were willing to sell their votes.
Triesman now plans to present his evidence to FIFA and John Whittingdale, chairman of the committee, will be writing to Sepp Blatter, encouraging him to launch an investigation “as a matter of urgency.”
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has promised “immediate action” if any evidence of wrongdoing is unearthed. “I was shocked, but one has to see the evidence,” Blatter said. “They are coming from other confederations, so I cannot say if they are all angels or all devils. We will react immediately against all those in breach.”
Lord Triesman, who had been the chairman of England’s unsuccessful 2018 World Cup bid, claimed Teixeira asked him to “come and tell me what you have got for me”, implying he would only vote for England’s bid should he receive something in return. The Brazilian denies the claims and issued a statement last week refuting the accusations.
“The president of the CBF [Teixeira] is already taking the relevant judicial measures with a case against Mr. David Triesman for the absurd comments, which, in truth, attempt to hide his failure in leading the English candidacy since it only obtained one vote… its own,” the statement read.
Triesman also alleged that Warner wanted £2.5 million (US$4 million) to build an education center in Trinidad as well as an additional £500,000 to buy Haiti’s World Cup television rights. Paraguayan Nicolas Leoz requested a knighthood and Makudi, Thailand’s FIFA member, wanted the television rights for a friendly game between England and Thailand.
The revelations spell more trouble for FIFA, an organization steeped in controversy in recent months. Eight of the 24 members have now been accused by the British media of dishonesty and involvement with bribes. In a bad week for world football’s governors, it was also alleged that two more FIFA members were paid US$1 million each in exchange for voting for Qatar in the 2022 World Cup bid.
For Teixeira, it is not the first time he has found himself embroiled in a bribery scandal. Last year, BBC television program Panorama claimed Teixeira accepted £9.5 million in bribes from International Sports Limited (ISL). In return, ISL were granted exclusive rights to market World Cup tournaments to global brands.
Roland Beuchel, a former accountant at ISL, said staff were suspicious bribes were being paid-out. “It is huge money, billions, that can be earned, and all the sports marketing companies fight, they want it,” he said. Neither FIFA nor Teixeira himself responded to the allegations.
Brazil are set to host the next World Cup in 2014 and with delays already hitting a number of the host cities, President Rousseff has stepped in to enforce some rapid and significant progress. This latest allegation against Teixeira comes at a sensitive time, especially in light of the upcoming London 2012 Olympic games and the desire to build stronger ties between Brazil and the UK.