Egypt and FIFA


First off, congratulations to the USA for winning the Women’s World Cup. But with corruption allegations throwing FIFA into a tailspin, here are some interesting tidbits from Egypt. First, on the nation’s resistance to corruption, said to cost it the 2010 World Cup. From Ahram Online:

Egypt refused to pay a $7 million bribe to ex-FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner to help Egypt win its bid to host the 2010 World Cup, former sports minister Aley Eddine Helal said on Thursday.

Egypt dramatically lost their bid to host the 2010 tournament, after failing to obtain a single vote in the 2004 poll for it, with South Africa beating competition from Morocco to win hosting rights of the football’s most prestigious tournament.

“I did not imagine that FIFA was so corrupt,” Helal told ONTV programme Manchet on Thursday. “Jack Warner demanded $7 million before the voting.”

“Egypt’s FA president El-Dahshori Harb met with the FIFA official in the United Arab Emirates and informed me that he wanted a $7 million bribe.”

“I told the EFA [Egyptian Football Association] president that Egypt could not participate in such a crime.”

There are mixed reports about corruption in Egypt, some showing improvement, one saying it is the worst in the world. But in this case, it seems, Egypt comes out clean.

But perhaps not here, though the charge is incredible. Ahram Online reports on the domestic league:

Ismaily, Egypt’s third-most successful club, want rivals Ahly stripped of the 2009 Premier League title following a corruption scandal that has engulfed world governing body FIFA over the past nine days.

Ahly defeated Ismaily 1-0 in a rare playoff six years ago to win the title, concluding the only exciting league race of the past decade and depriving their bitter foes of their first triumph since 2002.

Ismaily came within touching distance of the title on the final day after Ahly had scored two late goals to defeat El-Geish and force a decider, but in the end Ahly prevailed, thanks to a brilliant header from Angolan striker Flavio Amado.

“Ismaily demand an investigation into the 2009 league competition because of FIFA’s corruption,” the club, who were the first Egyptian side to win the African Champions League in 1969, said in a statement on their official website.

“The main reason for our loss was an illegitimate Ahly goal that was allowed to stand by the referee in their last league match against Geish … and we also want to know who was responsible for appointing a hardly known Spanish referee for the playoff.

“This Spanish referee also disallowed a goal by [midfielder] Mohamed Hommos against Ahly.

“After the recent discovery of the FIFA corruption saga, we will send a fax to the Egyptian Football Association to demand that we be awarded the 2009 title.

“If our demand is not met, we will file a complaint with the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” the club added, though it did not clarify how their loss against Ahly could be linked to FIFA’s corruption.

But not all believe Egypt is corruption free:

The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) have played down allegations by a Ghana FA member claiming that they offered a $1-million bribe to fix a 2014 World Cup qualifier.

Board member Kofi Manu was quoted by radio station Asempa FM on Wednesday as praising his boss Kwesi Nyantakyi for refusing “a $1-million inducement from fixers to throw the last match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier in favour of the Pharaohs”.

Egypt has denied the allegation. They lost the match 6-1.

FIFA scandals are brewing around the world; what will happen in Egypt next?

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