Egypt claims $7m bribe for World Cup hosts

The latest allegations of corruption to hit FIFA are coming from Egypt which lost the bid to the 2010 World Cup to South Africa. According to an Egyptian sports official, the country refused to pay a $7m bribe to the former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner to help the north African state win.

Egypt’s former FA president El-Dahshori Harb, left.

Egypt’s former FA president El-Dahshori Harb, left.

In 2004, Egypt was left crestfallen after failing to obtain a single vote in the 2004 polls.
“I did not imagine that FIFA was so corrupt,” the former Egypt sports minister Aley Eddine Helal said on Thursday. He was speaking on 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.”

Warner, charged by the US over alleged corruption at FIFA, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing but has said he has an “avalanche” of evidence he will reveal.

ONTV, seen as the only politically independent Egyptian television station, has been covering the FIFA scandal from an especially Egyptian perspective, considering how dramatically they lost the bid. South Africa eventually beat competition from Morocco to win.

Helal, who was head of the 2010 bid committee, went on: “I told the EFA [Egyptian Football Association] president that Egypt could not participate in such a crime. I informed Egypt’s former spy chief Omar Suleiman who confirmed that I had made the right decision.”

The Egyptian officials who led the bid at the time have been particularly interested in exploiting the recent allegations against South Africa which has been accused of paying $10m in bribes. South Africa has denied wrongdoing and said the payment was “above board”.
Many Egyptians have not forgiven the bid officials for losing, with local media dubbing the poll result “the World Cup zero scandal”.

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”.

His claims are the latest of increasing allegations against FIFA in recent days. The former FIFA executive Chuck Blazer has admitted taking bribes to help in the award of the 1998 and 2010 World Cups.

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