Former Oceania football boss Charlie Dempsey was paid nearly $400,000 to abstain from the vote for the 2006 World Cup hosting rights, a new book alleges.
The Scottish-born New Zealander, who died in 2008, was a central figure in the controversial vote in 2000 which awarded the tournament to Germany.
The book by investigative journalist Andrew Jennings, The Dirty Game: Uncovering the Scandal at FIFA, alleges Dempsey was paid US$250,000 (NZ$398,000) not to vote for South Africa, thereby awarding the tournament to Germany.
An extract from the book has been published in the Daily Mail, outlining how Germany got the hosting rights.
Dempsey declined to take part in the final round of the voting process. He had voted for England in the first two rounds but was under instruction to back the South African bid once England were eliminated from contention.
Instead, he abstained and left the vote at 12-11 in favour of Germany. Had the vote been tied, Fifa president Sepp Blatter, who had previously expressed his desire for football’s biggest tournament to be held on the African continent, would have held the deciding vote.
The book alleges a German man “fixed” Dempsey.
“Anticipating the possibility of a 12-12 draw, the arrangement was that Charlie would leave the vote, go back to the Dolder Grand hotel and collect a briefcase left for him in the cloakroom. It contained US$250,000. A cab would rush him to the airport for the flight home.”
This would surprise no-one. FIFA is to global sports what the mafia is to sanitation services.