New York - The president of the Organizing Committee for Morocco’s bid for the 2010 FIFA World Cup has released a statement indicating that the decision to choose the host site had been made in advance, and that Sepp Blatter had wanted to award South Africa with the honor in order to please Nelson Mandela.
New York – The president of the Organizing Committee for Morocco’s bid for the 2010 FIFA World Cup has released a statement indicating that the decision to choose the host site had been made in advance, and that Sepp Blatter had wanted to award South Africa with the honor in order to please Nelson Mandela.
Mr. Saâd Kettani said that on the eve of the vote, former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner received threats from his boss, Sepp Blatter, to join members of the FIFA executive committee in a meeting with former South African president Nelson Mandela in a hotel room on the eve of the vote.
“The day before the vote, I met Jack Warner, who claimed to have received threats from Sepp Blatter. He insisted that all voters come in a hotel room on the same night to meet Nelson Mandela,” Kettani said in an interview with Telquel.
Kettani added that although Blatter’s move was unethical, Morocco had no other choice but to accept FIFA’s verdict to award South Africa the right to host the 2010 World Cup.
“Ethically this is questionable. We could have challenged it, but there were only suspicions. We had to accept the decision of FIFA, only for Mr. Mandela who was present.
Kettani refuted the accusation made by former FIFA executive Chuck Blazer, who claimed in a statement to American judges that the organizing Committee for Morocco’s 2010 bid offered to pay Jack Warner $1 million in exchange for his vote for Morocco.
“I have never seen him in Morocco. He may have come during the bid for the World [Cup] ‘98. I may have bumped into [him] in CONCACAF congress, in which he was assisting the organizing committee, but I have not seen him elsewhere,” Kettani added.
Kettani stated that the number and nature of countries that voted for Morocco’s bid proves that Morocco did not engage in any corruption schemes.
Morocco obtained the votes of all the African members of the FIFA executive committee, including Botswana. In addition, Morocco received the votes of France, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, South Korea, Qatar, Thailand, and Japan. Morocco received 10 votes and was outnumbered by South Africa, which received 14 votes, including three votes from the CONCACAF.
In a separate interview with Medias24, Kettani said that the day when South Africa was chosen to host the 2010 World Cup, he suspected something unethical happened behind the scenes.
“Our file was impeccable and clean,” Kettani said. “Corrupt practices in the ranks of FIFA were known. The day we got the result we realized what had happened, but we played fair. It’s unfortunate, but it’s like that.”