David Beckham hits out at 'despicable' Fifa over corruption and vote rigging which left him 'sick'

Former England captain says its time for governing body to change

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The Independent Online

David Beckham has admitted that he found it infuriating watching the Fifa corruption scandal escalate over the course of the past week.

The former England captain, who played a high-profile role in helping England lobby for votes ahead of the 2018 World Cup, said at the time that the award to Russia left him with a "sick feeling".

Read more: Fifa corruption scandal - live

Beckham said in 2010 that he had been misled by senior executive committee members who had pledged to him their support.

And issuing his first statement in the wake of the unfolding scandal that has seen nine Fifa officials indicted and Sepp Blatter resign as president, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star said he hoped the governing body would now clean up its act.

"Some of the things that we now know happened were despicable, unacceptable and awful for the game we love so much," he said.

"Whilst it has not been good to read some of the headlines surrounding our sport recently, I hope at last we are now moving in the right direction.

"Football is not owned by a few individuals at the top, it belongs to the millions of people around the world who love this sport. It is time for Fifa to change and we should all welcome it."