Report: Morocco beat South Africa in vote for 2010 World Cup
Morocco actually received two more votes than South Africa in the vote to select the 2010 World Cup host, The Sunday Times of London reports.
South Africa was selected to host the tournament after winning the vote 14–10 in May 2004, but a former FIFA Executive Committee member said in an audio recording released by the Times. Reporters for the Times posing as lobbyists recorded Ismail Bhamjee, a former member of FIFA's most powerful committee from Botswana, speaking about the bid process.
The Times report is behind a paywall but Deadspin has an excerpt:
“After talking with everybody ... Whose votes went where? We’re all colleagues, you know. And then we found out that actually Morocco won by two votes,” Bhamjee said.
He admitted it was possible some [Executive Committee] members might have lied about their votes. But he went on to list those he understood had supported Morocco and seemed convinced the North Africans had won. He speculated that the ballot papers, which were tallied behind closed doors, could have been deliberately miscounted. He added: “Please, this is very secret.”
The Times said the recordings were made in 2010 and were not made public because of legal concerns. The tapes were sent to FIFA, the Times said.
The U.S. Department of Justice alleged in its indictment of 14 FIFA officials and business partners that former FIFA vice president Jack Warner accepted a $10 million bribe on behalf of South Africa's bid for the 2010 World Cup. He also reportedly accepted $1 million to vote for Morocco.
- Dan Gartland