Zen-Ruffinen in midst of bid scandal

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Last Updated : 24 October 2010, 17:34 IST
Last Updated : 24 October 2010, 17:34 IST

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Zen-Ruffinen was caught on film by the Sunday Times detailing a list of executive members from the world governing body FIFA, saying how much their votes would cost.
He described one of them as “the biggest gangster on earth.”

Zen-Ruffinen also claimed that the Spain/Portugal bid had struck a deal with Qatar to exchange votes, which is illegal under FIFA procedural regulations. Qatar denied the allegations.

“People expect a battle between Russia and England but they are very much disturbed by the alliance with Qatar, because if Spain start with seven, which nobody was expecting ... that’s a real alliance,” the 51-year-old lawyer said.

“It’s bound, tacked with a nice ribbon and that’s really problematic. This is the most problematic thing. And I was informed about it last week. And this is not just a rumour. That’s a fact.”

Zen-Ruffinen, who was secretary-general for 16 years before falling out with president Joseph Blatter in 2002, named two FIFA executive committee members he said would be susceptible to financial inducements.

He said a third was “the guy you can have with ladies and not money ...” and described a fourth member as “the biggest gangster you will find on earth”, whose vote would cost “a minimum of half a million (dollars).”

Zen-Ruffinen later said that he had only been recounting “well-known rumours.”
Meanwhile Ahongalu Fusimaholi, a member of Oceania’s executive committee, suggested that Reynald Temarii, the FIFA executive committee member for Oceania who was suspended last week over vote-rigging concerns, had pledged his support to Spain-Portugal.

“Oceania have indirectly said they will support England,” he said. “But they are not.” Asked who they were supporting, he replied, “Spain.”

Published 24 October 2010, 17:34 IST

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