Reports in Germany reveal Saudi deal in 2006 while Ireland chief executive John Delaney is asked to provide transparency over payment.
The German newspaper Die Zeit reported on Friday that the then chancellor Gerhard Shröder supplied arms to Saudi Arabia in return for support in Germany’s World Cup bid – in which it defeated South Africa 12-11 in the final round in controversial circumstances. The claims – also reported in Der Spiegel – alleged that the government lifted arms restrictions days before the vote in order to make the shipment and help swing Saudi Arabia’s vote to Germany.
The claims mean that the votes for the 1998, 2006, 2010, 2018 and 2022 tournaments are now under scrutiny in some way. Brazilian authorities and the FBI is also looking into the contracts signed in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup.
FBI sources have confirmed that it is investigating claims relating to all of those tournaments except 2006 and Egypt – one of the bidders for 2010 – has now alleged that Warner – who has vigorously denied wrongdoing but was charged in the US indictment – asked for a $7m bribe.
‘I did not imagine that Fifa was so corrupt’ the former Egypt sports minister Aley Eddine Helal told ONTV in Cairo. ‘Jack Warner demanded $7m before the voting. Egypt’s FA president El-Dahshori Harb met with the Fifa official in the United Arab Emirates and informed me that he wanted a $7m bribe’.
Helal said he and other officials on the 2010 bid committee have been silent for the 11 years since losing because they did not have any proof to back ‘the suspicions we have always had about the disgraceful way we lost’.
Egypt failed to poll a single vote and the tournament was awarded to South Africa – which was desperate to clinch the right to host the World Cup after losing out so narrowly to Germany for 2006.
New evidence has also emerged that appears to confirm that Danny Jordaan – the leader of the 2010 World Cup bid and organising committee – and the Fifa secretary general Valcke – knew about a disputed $10m payment to Warner’s Concacaf confederation.