KEIR RADNEDGE in ZURICH: At least FIFA’s decision to push a Qatar decision into the long grass eased the risk of a concern over conflicts of interest trailing behind the deliberations of the FIFA executive committee on Qatar 2022.

The Home of FIFA . . . shrouded in fog today

FIFA held all exco members, including those from countries with a direct interest in the original bidding process, as completely free to enter into the discussions and, if necessary, a vote.

The two-day exco meeting began yesterday with Sepp Blatter presiding over his governing committee in the Home of FIFA just over the edge of the hills above Zurich.

The committee is normally 26 strong but Cyprus’s Marios Lefkaritis was absent on health grounds.

Six of the remaining 25 represented countries involved in the simultaneous bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Those bids were as follows:

2018: Belgium/Holland, Portugal/Spain, England, Russia; and

2022: Australia, Japan, Qatar, South Korea, United States.

Indonesia and Mexico had started the bid process only to drop out during the campaign. Indonesia was ruled out by FIFA for lack of government guarantee while Mexico withdrew.

All the European nations had expressed, originally, an interest in bidding for both 2018 or 2022. In the spring of 2010 it was agreed that 2018 should go to Europe and 2022 to the rest of the world.

Hence the losers of the first vote, for 2018, were precluded from being considered for the second vote, for 2022.

The six current exco members whose countries bid were:

Moya Dodd (Australia)

Jim Boyce (from Northern Ireland but, as British vice-president, effectively England)

Michel D’Hooghe (Belgium)

Sunil Gulati (United States)

Vitaly Mutko (Russia)

Angel Maria Villar (Spain)

Three of those six – D’Hooghe, Mukto and Villar – were members of the exco which voted for Russia and Qatar in December 2010.

Recently promoted

Boyce joined the exco as British vice-president in 2011, Gulati replaced Chuck Blazer in spring this year while Dodd was co-opted at FIFA Congress in Mauritius in May.

Dodd, an Australian lawyer, comes from a country from national association president (Frank Lowy) had expressed publicly an expectation that compensation should be paid by FIFA to losing bidders in the event of a date switch.

Of course, the FIFA exco members are chosen by, and to represent, their regional confederations not their individual countries.

No fewer than nine of the 22 exco members who voted for Russia and Qatar have since left (including then vice-presidents Geoff Thompson [Britain/England], Mohamed Bin Hammam [Asia/Qatar] and Jack Warner [CONCACAF/Trinidad & Tobago]).

FIFA sources responded to a question about possible conflict of interest by stating that all members of the exco would take part in discussions over the entirety of the agenda.

The current FIFA exco*

(2010 voters italic)


Sepp Blatter (Switzerland)

Senor vice-president:

Julio Grondona (CONMEBOL, Argentina)


Issa Hayatou (CAF, Cameroon), Angel Villar (UEFA, Spain), Michel Platini (UEFA, France), David Chung (OFC, Papua-New Guinea), Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein (AFC, Jordan), Jim Boyce (Gt Britain, N Ireland), Jeff Webb (CONCACAF, Cayman Islands)


Michel D’Hooghe (UEFA, Belgium), Senes Erzik (UEFA, Turkey), Worawi Makudi (AFC, Thailand), Marios Lefkaritis (UEFA, Cyprus),  Jacques Anouma (CAF, Ivory Coast), Rafael Salguero (CONCACAF, Guatemala), Hany Abo Rida (CAF, Egypt), Vitaly Mutko (UEFA, Russia), Mohammed Raouraoua (CAF, Algeria), Theo Zwanziger (UEFA, Germany), Marco Polo Del Nero (CONMEBOL, Brazil),  Sunil Gulati (CONCACAF, United States), Eugenio Figueredo (CONMEBOL, Uruguay), Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (AFC, Bahrain), Zhang Jilong (AFC, China), Lydia Nsekera (CAF, Burundi), Moya Dodd (AFC, Australia), Sonia Bien-Aime (CONCACAF, Turks & Caicos)

The voting exco in 2010*


Sepp Blatter (Switzerland)

Senor vice-president:

Julio Grondona (CONMEBOL, Argentina)


Issa Hayatou (CAF, Cameroon), Chung Mong-joon (AFC, S Korea), Jack Warner (CONCACAF, Trinidad & Tobago), Angel Villar (UEFA, Spain), Michel Platini (UEFA, France), Geoff Thompson (Gt Britain, England)


Michel D’Hooghe (UEFA, Belgium), Ricardo Teixeira (CONMEBOL, Brazil), Mohamed bin Hammam (AFC, Qatar), Senes Erzik (UEFA, Turkey), Chuck Blazer (CONCACAF, United States), Worawi Makudi (AFC, Thailand), Nicolas Leoz (CONMEBOL, Paraguay), Junji Ogura (AFC, Japan), Marios Lefkaritis (UEFA, Cyprus), Jacques Anouma (CAF, Ivory Coast), Franz Beckenbauer (UEFA, Germany), Rafael Salguero (CONCACAF, Guatemala), Hany Abo Rida (CAF, Egypt), Vitaly Mutko (UEFA, Russia)

* CAF = Africa, CONMEBOL = S America, AFC = Asia, CONCACAF = Central and North America, OFC = Oceania, UEFA = Europa