Joint World Cup bidder Spain-Portugal confirms investigation by FIFA


Madrid: Spain and Portugal, joint bidders for the 2018 football World Cup confirmed Thursday that their bid was being investigated by FIFA for possible illegal agreements with other federations.

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“We have given the maximum help to FIFA for the investigation and we are sure that there will be no sanction because we have done nothing incorrect,” Miguel Angel Lopez, the general director of the candidature, told Spanish radio station Onda Madrid.

Spain and Portugal are accused of having colluded with Qatar, which is a candidate to stage the 2022 World Cup, for the interchange of votes. FIFA rules prohibit such agreements.

“We categorically deny that there has been an agreement with another candidature. We are given all possible help and our behaviour has always been correct,” Lopez said.

A FIFA spokesperson said: “As we have already stated, there is an investigation in process, but we cannot give the names of the candidatures involved.”

FIFA’s executive committee began a two-day meeting Thursday to discuss the World Cup bidding process.

FIFA last week said its ethics committee had opened an investigation into alleged agreements between member associations regarding the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding process.

FIFA last week also provisionally suspended two members of the executive committee – Amos Adamu of Nigeria and Reynald Temarii of Tahiti – over allegations they offered to sell their votes to undercover newspaper reporters from the Sunday Times.

FIFA’s executive committee is due to choose the hosts for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Zurich Dec 2.

Apart from Spain/Portugal, the other countries competing to host the 2018 tournament are England, Russia and Netherlands/Belgium, while the 2022 World Cup hosts will be from Australia, United States, Qatar, Japan and South Korea.