World Cup Site Selection Tainted By Bribery Scandal

By Michael Preston
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 12:16 PM PDT
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Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas, right, holds up the World Cup trophy at the end of the World Cup final soccer match between the Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, July 11, 2010. Spain won 1-0. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

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If FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, thought it had put its recent scandals behind it, it's probably time to think again.

On the heels of alleged on-field impropriety by referees during the 2010 World Cup, FIFA is now facing a possible bribery scandal related to the selection of the next two sites for the world's largest sporting event, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Reporters for the Sunday Times of London posed as members of a group working to secure America's bid for the 2022 World Cup and allegedly caught Amos Adamu, a Nigerian member of FIFA's 24-member executive committee, asking for $800,000 to build soccer fields in his home country in support for his vote. They also reportedly saw Reynald Temarii of the Oceanic Football Confederation asking for more than $2 million for a soccer academy in New Zealand. Four former FIFA executive members have also been suspected of breaching ethics rules and have been suspended.

Speaking on October 20, FIFA president Sepp Blatter called it "a sad day for football."

"We have to fight for respect and especially we have to fight that the people here in charge of FIFA behave as they should do. Our society is full of devils and these devils you find them in football."

England, Russia and joint bids by Belgium-Holland and Spain-Portugal are in the running for hosting duties in 2018, while the U.S. faces off against Australia, Japan, Qatar and South Korea in the race for 2022.

A secret ballot will determine the host countries and they will be announced December 2.

Selected Reading: Wall Street Journal ESPN, Yahoo

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