FIFA members slammed


LONDON, England, may 11 – Fresh corruption allegations against football's governing body FIFA attracted wide coverage in British press on Wednesday, with reports branding officials "sleazeballs" and "rotten to the core."

FIFA has been rocked by new allegations of graft after a British parliamentary committee heard testimony about bribes being offered during the races for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

The Times reported the story on its front page under the headline "The Dirty Game", while an editorial reflected that a "culture of tolerating corruption has permeated one of the most important international sporting bodies."

The Times called on Britain to take a lead in rooting out corruption in football’s corridors of power.

"This must end, at least as far as Britain is concerned, right now," the editorial stated.

"Even if the home nations host no other shindig this millennium, we should lead in confronting the betrayal of sporting ideals that allowing such practice represents."

The Daily Mirror carried reports on the latest allegations in both its news and sports pages with headlines ranging from "Cup for Sale" and "Rotten to the Core."

The Mirror’s chief sports writer Oliver Holt commented that the scandal should not come as a surprise as under the stewardship of FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the organisation had "become a byword for rampant greed and venality."

"(FIFA) staggers from one scandal to another, from one embarrassment to the next, relying on fear to prevent others speaking out," Holt remarked.

The Daily Mail meanwhile criticised the failure of English officials to blow the whistle sooner after being confronted by demands from FIFA voters.

Lord David Triesman had told parliament on Tuesday that four FIFA executive committee members had requested favours ranging from a knighthood to funding for development projects.

"It stinks. FIFA stink, but England’s bid stinks too. Who were these men that knew this behaviour was going on, yet said nothing?," the paper’s chief sports writer Martin Samuel commented.

An editorial in The Sun headlined "Sleazeballs" meanwhile asked: "Has there ever been a sleazier sporting organisation than FIFA?

"If the World Cup can only be hosted through bribery and corruption, England are well out of it … so long as FIFA is in charge, the World Cup will not be worth winning."