Teixeira, Leoz deny World Cup bribery allegations

Teixeira, Leoz deny World Cup bribery allegations

Published May. 11, 2011 7:14 p.m. ET

The two South American FIFA officials implicated in bribery allegations during the 2018 World Cup bidding contest have denied the allegations.

Ricardo Teixeira, the Brazilian football federation president, labeled the claim made in a British Parliamentary inquiry by David Triesman that he asked for a bribe as ''absurd'' and threatened legal action against the former head of England's failed bid.

Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay, the president of the South American confederation, also denied that he had asked for an honorary knighthood in exchange for his support, as claimed by Triesman.

Teixeira said his vote had already been announced in favor of the joint bid by Portugal and Spain long before England asked for Brazil's support.


''(The accusations) are an attempt to hide his failure leading England's bid after winning only one vote, in addition to its own,'' Teixeira said in a statement, adding that he will pursue all possible ''legal action against Triesman.''

Triesman claimed that Teixeira asked him to ''come and tell me what you have got for me,'' which the Englishman said ''did not represent proper and ethical behavior on the part of members of the executive committee.''

Teixeira said Triesman wasn't even present when the English delegation met with him in Brazil in 2010 to request his vote. But Triesman said the conversation he was referring to occurred in 2009 after Brazil's 1-0 win over England in a Doha friendly, saying they met after the match when Triesman went to congratulate Teixeira on the victory.

Two other officials - Worawi Makudi of Thailand and Jack Warner of Trinidad and Tobago - were also accused of improper behavior in the 2018 World Cup bidding process, which Russia eventually won.

There were also allegations over the 2022 World Cup vote won by Qatar.

Issa Hayatou of Cameroon and Jacques Anouma of the Ivory Coast were allegedly paid $1.5 million to vote for Qatar, according to evidence submitted to the inquiry by the Sunday Times newspaper.

Leoz issued a statement late Tuesday saying CONMEBOL had showed ''its unconditional support'' to the bid by Spain and Portugal from the beginning and ''deeply lamented'' the allegations.

Leoz's spokesman, Nestor Benitez, on Monday called the accusations ''pure fantasy and morbid.''

''The South American football confederation always said that its votes were for Spain and no other country,'' Benitez said.

FIFA asked Triesman and The Sunday Times on Wednesday to provide evidence for the allegations.

Secretary general Jerome Valcke has written to England's Football Association to request a ''complete report'' plus ''all documentary evidence'' from Triesman so he can ''examine the situation thoroughly and with clear-sightedness.''


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