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FIFA must change before we bid again says Anson

Fri 3rd Dec 2010 | FIFA

England’s dejected World Cup bid chief executive Andy Anson, has said there is no point in the country bidding for the tournament again until FIFA changes.

After a humiliating defeat in which England could only muster two votes in the first round, Anson spoke of his dismay at the way the voting system worked and how the FIFA committee members had been warned about the "evils of the media".

It is understood that FIFA president Sepp Blatter had spoken to the voting members just before they voted on who would host the World Cup.

England’s chances took a blow after the BBC’s Panorama accused some of the voting FIFA exco members of taking bribes following the Sunday Times investigation which led to two members being suspended.

Anson believes that such media activity was referred to by Blatter in his final speech to the 22-man executive committee, just before the vote.

"They are saying to us that our media killed us but I don't believe that for one minute, but that's what we are being told,” said Anson.

“When you have the best technical bid, fantastic inspection visits, the best economic report, and, from what people told us, the best presentation, it's quite hard to stomach that all that seemed to count for absolutely nothing.

"Having only 22 guys only voting gives them too much influence. Running two bids together was clearly a huge mistake. Everyone who had a vote and a bid clearly wanted to trade that vote for something that helped them get over the line in that campaign.

“Australia had a very good bid and they got one vote, we had a very good bid and we got two, the USA had an unbelievably strong technical bid and got three. Six votes in the first round between those three, there's something not quite right.

"You have to open it up to all member associations and have transparency and open voting so everyone knows who voted for whom. With 22 guys having so much power it becomes very, very difficult."

"I still find it hard to understand what happened," he continued

"I'm not going to beat around the bush - individual members promised to vote for us and didn't clearly.

"Russia did a lot of last-minute lobbying and votes appeared to switch at the last minute - we know some switched in the early hours of the morning."

Hugh Robertson the minister for sport and the Olympics suggested that only two or three of the members of the FIFA executive committee had asked to see the technical report on the English bid.

Speaking on Talksport radio this morning Robertson said: "One of the rumours sweeping Zurich last night was that there are 22 FIFA exco delegates as you know, and the rumour was that only three of them bothered to call for the technical reports and two of those bothered to call for those technical reports so they could release them to their own bid teams.

“If you have 22 exco members and they're not bothering to read the technical reports, I think that probably tells you it's not a football-based decision."

 

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